Career Opportunities in the Criminal Justice System

Career Opportunities in the Criminal Justice System

Length: 1518 words (4.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Crime has been a part of our lives for thousands of years. According to the Christian Bible some of the first crimes date back to the earliest people. Reports of theft and murder occur throughout the Bible. Presently all types of crimes are happening all of the time.
With crime comes the need for punishment. Modern punishments for offenses in our country include things as minor as community service hours or as severe as the death penalty depending on the crime. The people who enforce these punishments make up the criminal justice system.
Three of the main parts of the criminal justice system are law enforcement, the courts and prisons. Law enforcement includes jobs such as sheriffs and patrol officers.
The court system offers careers in law. Correctional facilities and prisons include jobs such as counseling and correctional officers.
There are many jobs involved in law enforcement. The sheriff, the highest-ranking officer in law enforcement, oversees the entire department. The sheriff is an elected office that is voted on by the citizens of the county. Once elected a sheriff holds a four year term. After the four-year term a sheriff can be reelected an unlimited amount of times.
The sheriff has several duties both in his office and outdoors. These duties include uniformed patrol, crime prevention, and criminal investigations. The sheriff also has some of the duties of a patrol officer such as apprehending violators of the law and assisting in prosecutions.
Two basic requirements of a sheriff are that you must be a United States citizen and you must not have any prior felony convictions. In Washington State the average salary for a sheriff is about $4005 per month.

A law enforcement or patrol officer maintains law and order in a certain area. People who are interested in becoming a patrol officer while in high school should take classes like English, Political Science, and Criminal Justice. Some employers require a college degree with classes taken in criminal justice and law enforcement. Sometimes joining a police academy training program is also required. While in these programs only the top forty percent of the trainees pass. At the age of twenty-one state police applicants can become cadets.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Career Opportunities in the Criminal Justice System." 123HelpMe.com. 28 Feb 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=125303>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Addressing Unethical Behavior in the Criminal Justice System Essay

- To understand the ethical challenges in the criminal justice system, I took a look at the three parts of criminal justice, Policing, Courts, and Corrections. In doing so I found that this is quite a large topic. The areas I would like to touch on are; those areas in which the newly hired police officer, lawyer, and corrections officer my face. Having only the training he/she was given in their respective academy’s or in the case of attorneys Law School, and with the Oath of office they had just sworn to, hopefully still in, and the men and women they are placed with to guide them; above all their own s...   [tags: Criminal Justice Ethics]

Research Papers
1746 words (5 pages)

Justice And The Criminal Justice System Essay

- Madame Justice What is justice. This may seem like an easily answered question today’s society makes it quite the task. People throughout society have their own distinctive definition of justice. It is a word in which, to every person, has a different meaning. Although "Justice" has a massive list of meanings, it can somewhat be defined. Roughly, it can be defined as “the principal of fairness and the ideal of moral equity.” There are many places that justice is and is not practiced. These include the criminal justice system and everyday places like home or work....   [tags: Law, Crime, Justice, Criminal justice]

Research Papers
1001 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Juvenile Justice And The Criminal Justice System

- Juvenile Justice John Reitan The University of Memphis When our thoughts turn to the criminal justice system it is only a natural instinct to assume everyone associated with policing, courts, and corrections will have to deal with juveniles sometime in their career. Young people in today’s society can be so easily influenced by social situations, peer pressure, and family members. The courts in the United States are faced with difficult decisions on a daily basis. Sentencing juveniles to adult facilities for their crimes is becoming a common trend in the justice system today; however it is not a deterrent whatsoever....   [tags: Crime, Criminology, Criminal justice]

Research Papers
1084 words (3.1 pages)

Why Are Other Groups Of People 's The Criminal Justice System? Essay

- Why are certain groups of people overrepresented in the criminal justice system. In many nation states, it is noticed that there is a disproportionate number of black people especially those youngsters going through the criminal justice system. The overrepresentation is illustrated by related data released by the U.S. Department of Justice and the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee. In America, almost 3500 per 100,000 residents of the black male were sent to jail in 2013 which was over seven times more than the ratio their white counterpart had and in England and Wales, 8.5% of young black people aged between 10-17 were arrested during the same period .This essay aims to explore the rea...   [tags: Crime, Criminal justice, United Kingdom, Race]

Research Papers
1429 words (4.1 pages)

The Theory Of The Criminal Justice System Essay

- Introduction History in itself is how determine the path that we have taken to arrive at a certain point. Knowing is only half of the equation, we must use that information to develop and improve, so that we can take a better path in the future. In the field of law, this is especially important. Specifically in the Criminal Justice System, history is a roadmap that is mainly used a way to examine the cause and effect relationship between policies, laws, and society. Criminal law is a complex interaction between criminal procedures and the sanctions that are imposed on individuals for breaking the law....   [tags: Crime, Criminal justice, Criminal law, Police]

Research Papers
1489 words (4.3 pages)

Terrorism And The Criminal Justice System Essay

- Gaining an in-depth knowledge of the criminal justice system, throughout my Bachelors program has been exciting as much as an eye opener. Some of the subjects were ones that I did not expect. There were also, ones that had no idea how ignorant I was on the subject. Wanting to understand and be involved with putting the right criminal behind bars has always been a passion. Getting a better understanding of the criminal justice system explained how innocent can be convicted. During, this learning process it has been obvious that there are new and lethal forms of criminality, which can range from international terrorism to transnational syndicates....   [tags: Police, Crime, Criminal law, Criminal justice]

Research Papers
1037 words (3 pages)

Essay on The Problem Of The Criminal Justice System

- I first became involved with gangs at the age of 15, and by the time I was 19, I had served time in Los Angeles County juvenile halls, as well as probation camps, county jail, and state prison. Growing up in a predominantly Latino neighborhood and dysfunctional household in Covina, CA has shaped my worldview.. Having a stay-at-home mother who was overstressed due to my, at times, abusive father who often came home frustrated from working overtime in a factory job, led me to hang out on the streets....   [tags: Prison, Criminal justice, Sociology, Gang]

Research Papers
893 words (2.6 pages)

Essay The Criminal Justice System

- The criminal justice system is made up of multiple different moving parts working together to catch, control and rehabilitate criminal offenders. In the prison system there are three different sections that make up the operations, the Security Personnel, Treatment and Program staff, and the Service Staff. (Seiter p.376) First I want to start with one of the most misjudged job which are those of the correctional officers. They are the personnel who are the “staff person in a prison or jail who accomplishes the institution’s mission by maintaining control and order within the prison”....   [tags: Prison, Crime, Criminal justice, Corrections]

Research Papers
1022 words (2.9 pages)

Pursuing a Degree in Criminal Justice Essay

- Today our world is filled with crime. The people committing these crimes must have a consequence for their illegal actions. The system in place to keeping everything fair and safe is called the criminal justice system. This was put in place to ensure there is fairness and justice served to people who break the laws set up by the government. Criminal justice is one of the most important majors one can study due to the necessity to keep the streets safe and clean. From street cops, to state troopers all the way to criminal psychologists the criminal justice system is a very important part of modern society as it keeps us safe from murders, rapists and various other criminals....   [tags: Criminal Justice]

Research Papers
1751 words (5 pages)

My Education for a Career to Pursue Justice Essay

- “Make them sit in judgement of their fellow men, which is worse than swinging from the gallows.” Bertolt Brecht (The Caucasian Chalk Circle) (I recently watched a production of Brecht’s famous play “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” which made me reflect upon the idea of the Law.) The distribution of justice is not an easy job as it will always leave one party dissatisfied; the boldness lies in deciding regardless which one will be dissatisfied. I have grown up in a small island where the power of justice and the application of the law have been often undermined as defenders of Human Rights, for the sake of big interests....   [tags: criminal justice, career,]

Research Papers
846 words (2.4 pages)

Cadets are offered specialized training that enhances skills for performing duties.
Patrol officers prevent violations of the law, investigate complaints and investigate traffic accidents. Other duties of a patrol officer include testifying in court and working in crime labs. Officers may specialize in a specific field such as Juvenile or Arson.
In Washington the average salary for a patrol officer is $3655 per month. The average entry-level salary of an officer in the country is $1837 per month.

Security guards protect industrial and commercial property from danger. Security guards enforce employer regulations as well as local, state, and federal laws. Usually they patrol grounds or buildings while checking windows, doors and lights. They may also be asked to direct traffic, investigate crimes and testify in court.
Although most employers do not require a certain level of education or training, certain physical and mental requirements may have to be met. Security guards working in Washington must be licensed as either armed or unarmed through the department of licensing. Most skills are learned on the job.
Wages vary depending on the employer. Entry-level wages usually range from between $5.70 and $8.00 an hour. In the Puget Sound area security guards average between $10.26 and $12.16 per hour. State wide the average is about $8.90 an hour. A military background will lead to higher pay in most cases.


Other careers in law enforcement include investigators and special agents. Investigators carry out civil, criminal and narcotics investigations to detect or confirm violations of the law. They collect facts and evidence to present in hearings. Investigators also locate, interview and arrest suspects. Undercover or surveillance work may be required.
Private investigators work for patrons to locate missing persons, solve crimes or gather information. Private investigators are being used more by lawyers to get in depth information to present in court. They have the same job duties as Investigators except they cannot arrest suspects. Private investigators are usually self-employed and make about $2090 a month.
FBI Special Agents gather facts and evidence for criminal cases. They investigate bank robberies, organized crime, terrorism and other violations of federal law. Special agents need a degree from law school or a college degree in accounting. They must be 23 to 35 years old and in excellent shape.

Another branch of criminal justice is the court system. Lawyers advise clients of their legal rights and obligations. They also represent clients in court. Lawyers need to be able to speak and write effectively, do legal research and have knowledge of the law and legal reasoning.
There are about 13,249 lawyers or attorneys in Washington. About 70% of attorneys are male and 30% are female.
Lawyers advise clients of their legal rights and obligations. They also represent clients in court. Lawyers need to be able to speak and write effectively, do legal research and have knowledge of the law and legal reasoning.
Useful classes for future lawyers to take while in high school include English, Business Law and Criminal Justice. Attorneys must first pass the Law School Admissions Test just to get into a school. Then they must receive a degree from an institution accredited by the American Bar Association. After graduating from law school a state bar exam must be passed before practice can begin for a given state.
There are different ways for lawyers to be employed. One way is for an attorney to start his or her own private practice. Private companies, law firms or the armed forces may also employ attorneys. On the average lawyers make about $5737 per month in Washington. An attorney with more than two years experience can make as much as $7125 per month.

Paralegals or legal assistants aid attorneys in legal services. The paralegal profession began in the 1960's to improve legal services. Paralegals free attorneys for other duties and are also more cost effective for law firms and businesses. The legal assistant is one of the fastest growing professions in the economy with 77,000 new jobs by the year 2005.
Paralegal programs are found in community colleges, four-year universities, and business schools. The most common legal assistant programs are the Associates Degree Program and the Bachelors Degree Program . Twenty-one percent of paralegals have an associate degree while fifty-three percent have a bachelors degree.
Paralegal job duties consist of conducting client interviews, conducting legal research and drafting legal documents. Legal assistants also attend executions of wills and real estate closings. They cannot give legal advice or represent a client in court. When working with client they must express their non-legal status.
Legal assistants make less money than lawyers. Entry-level wages are usually around $22,001 per year, while the average is $38,085. Most paralegals receive an annual bonus of about $2,225.

Other careers in law include the Judge, Court Reporter and Court Clerk. The Judge oversees the legal process in courts of law. They resolve criminal disputes and sentence criminals. Judges listen to lawyers present and argue their cases when no jury is involved. Judges are also required to be lawyers.
Court reporters record what is said and done during a trial or at other necessary occurrences. There are over 300 colleges that offer classes in this field, but the National Court Reporters Association accredits only one-third of them. There are state specific tests, such as the Certified Court Reporter test, that must be passed before a Court Reporter can begin his or her career. Court reporters must type a minimum of 175 to 225 words per minute. There are currently 115,000 court reporters in the county, 70% of whom are female. The starting salary of a court reporter is about $16,400 per year.
The Court Clerk performs all administrative functions of the State Court. They must also maintain accurate and complete records of all court proceedings including traffic offenses and misdemeanors and disperse the money of the court. Court clerks may also perform criminal record searches.
The Office of the Attorney General is an elected position with four-year terms. The duties of the attorney general are unique to each state but may include serving as a legal counsel to state agencies, to the Legislature and to the Governor. They may also issue legal opinions upon request.


A third branch of criminal justice is the prison system. Prisons employ people like correctional officers, counseling psychologists and wardens. The deputy prison warden runs the prison. Some duties of a prison warden include selecting and assigning staff, maintaining records, and planning, coordinating and supervising leisure time activities of prisoners.
There are two options of education that a warden can choose from to gain employment. The first is possession of a bachelors degree from a college or university along with two years of professional experience in state service in an adult corrections setting. The second option requires no education and three years of experience as a Corrections Shift Supervisor or Corrections Security Inspector.

Correctional officers watch over inmates at correctional institutions. With a record number of inmates in United States prisons there is an increasing need for correctional officers. Correctional officers observe the conduct and behavior of inmates to prevent disturbances and escapes. Officers may transport inmates to court or other appointments. Some officers are stationed in cellblocks while others are in watchtowers.
The minimum educational requirement for a correctional officer is a high school diploma. Some employers may require and associates or a bachelors degree. In some cases military experience may substitute for education. Correctional officers may be required to pass a civil service written and oral exam, polygraph test or psychological exam.
Because officers are needed to watch over inmates 24 hours a day officers may need to work late or work on holidays. Entry-level wages for a correctional officer are $1530 to $1900 per month. In Washington correctional officers average $2840 per month.

Counseling psychologists work closely with inmates. They administer a wide variety of psychological assessment techniques, interpret results and prepare complete reports. Counseling psychologists are responsible for developing and organizing individual and group therapy.
Counseling psychologists must have completed two years of graduate study directly related to professional work in counseling psychology or completed a master degree in counseling psychology with one year of postgraduate experience dealing with clients with a wide variety of problems.
You must be a licensed or a certified psychologist to apply for a counseling psychologist position.


There are three main branches of the criminal justice system. The first branch, law enforcement, has careers such as patrol officer and security guard. A second branch is the court system. The courts offer careers in law. The final branch, prisons, employ people such as correctional officers and counseling psychologists.
Each of these branches is dependant on the other. All three organizations work together to keep crime to a minimum. There are careers in all three branches that require many years of college education and offer a high salary while some jobs do not necessitate any education but pay less. Some of these jobs require long strenuous hours while others require just a few hours every night.
Return to 123HelpMe.com