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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.
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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.