Criminal Justice Career

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A lot of students considering a civil service career think that a criminal justice degree is only good for being a law enforcement officer or, in combination with a legal degree, a criminal lawyer. Here are a whole range of criminal justice career choices that many degree-holders overlook, but are well worth consideration:

Social Work/ Personal Cases

These may include child support and child protective services, missing persons, domestic violence and spousal or elderly abuse. Domestic legal social work is often identified as having extreme pros and cons to it. On the one hand, you're working to make everyone's home life better. On the other, the work can be stressful when confronting a perpetrator or heart-wrenching when confronting a victim.
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The law enforcement officer does the arresting; you just solve the crimes. Be aware that it's hardly the glamorous job Hollywood movies would have you believe; your reality will be day-to-day mundane tasks such as collecting forensic evidence, checking background records, interviewing witnesses, and testifying in court. Police detectives are of course categorized into many department specialties. Robbery and burglary alone accounts for a very large portion of police detective work.

Correctional Officers and Jailers

Well, that's pretty self-explanatory, isn't it? You'll be responsible for the care, custody, and control of inmates, whether they have been arrested and are awaiting trial or have been convicted of a crime and sentenced to serve time in jail. A prison or jail is a controlled environment which in many ways is a microcosm of a society, with it's own challenges to face. While the controlled environment of the jail or prison will seem a more secure niche, unexpected surprises can develop - particularly in the intake zone. And when things get out of hand in a prison, they tend to escalate quickly.

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You'll of course need to combine your criminal justice degree with a computer science degree. Crimes committed through or with a computer may include fraud, offensive content, harassment and hate groups, drug trafficking, and cyberterrorism. If you imagined computer viruses or email scams were perpetrated by individual kids, think again: Computer fraud and data theft is actually an international organized crime operation and a multi-billion dollar per year industry! Police departments also need forensic data analysts on hand to find and recover evidence which may be on a suspect's computer and may have been encrypted or deleted. In the future, a special department may be created within the criminal justice system to deal with this special category, as currently many police departments have to outsource their computer-related
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