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Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice curriculum is designed to provide a solid foundation for the student planning to pursue a career in one of the many divisions of the Criminal Justice system or a four-year degree in the subject area.

The program may be used as a terminal or as a transfer course. The student who satisfactorily completes this course is eligible for the Associate of Arts degree. Criminal justice majors look at the theories and practices used by the criminal justice system in understanding crime. They study the judicial system, prison system, criminal behavior and crime’s effect on society. Bachelor’s degree programs prepare students to work for local and federal law enforcement and investigative services. Graduates can also go on to pursue a graduate degree in law or criminal studies.

A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice (CJ) can give graduates access to a range of jobs, so it is to a student’s advantage to choose a specific area and focus coursework accordingly. Law enforcement possibilities include police officer, security, loss prevention expert and investigator. Graduates of a criminal justice bachelor’s degree program who wish to focus on the social services side of this field could become probation or parole officers or work in a correctional facility.

What can I expect from a career in Criminal Justice?
Students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice can choose to apply their training and education to a range of job types. Potential job titles include correctional officer, probation officer and police officer or detective.Police officers and detectives protect lives and property. Law enforcement officer’s duties depend on the size and type of their organizations.

Police and detectives pursue and apprehend individuals who break the law and then issue citations or give warnings. A large proportion of their time is spent writing reports and maintaining records of incidents they encounter. Most police officers patrol their jurisdictions and investigate any suspicious activity they notice. They also respond to calls from individuals. Detectives, who often are called agents or special agents, perform investigative duties such as gathering facts and collecting evidence.

The daily activities of police and detectives vary with their occupational specialty—such as police officer, game warden, or detective—and whether they are working for a local, State, or Federal agency. Duties also differ substantially among various Federal agencies, which enforce different aspects of the law. Regardless of job duties or location, police officers and detectives at all levels must write reports and maintain meticulous records that will be needed if they testify in court.

Pathway Information