What Is Criminal Justice Administration?

Criminal justice administration can include the management of resources and personnel as well as hands-on work making sure the law is upheld. Read on to learn about the field, along with its educational opportunities and vocational options. Schools offering Criminal Justice degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Criminal Justice Administration Defined

Criminal justice administration focuses on preventing and punishing illegal activities. You'll find that in addition to traditional crime, this field also covers terrorism prevention, social policy and immigration policy. In addition to working as an administrator, you can work in criminal justice administration as a police officer, correctional officer, probation officer or community relations advocate.

Important Facts About Criminal Justice Administration Careers

Correctional Officer Police Officer
Median Salary (2018) $44,400 $63,380
Job Outlook (2016-2026) -7% decline 7% growth
Key Skills Good judgement, negotiation, self-discipline, and physical strength Empathy, perceptiveness, physical strength, and leadership
Work Environment Typically full-time, potentially at night, on weekends, and holidays Typically full-time, sometimes overtime

Source: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Opportunities

Postsecondary education is generally recommended if you're going to pursue a criminal justice administration career. The amount of education you'll need is dependent upon the career you choose. In most cases, a bachelor's degree is suitable for criminal justice administration careers. Graduate degrees may be required for advanced vocations in this field.

A Bachelor of Science is a common degree you can pursue as a criminal justice administration major. Lower division courses in this program include elementary criminal law, police community relations, sociology, probability and statistics, justice administration and criminal investigation. A few of the specialization options available in some criminal justice administration programs include corrections, law enforcement, offender treatment, cultural perspectives and legal aspects.

Regardless of the classes you complete or the degree you receive, you need to be prepared to complete a training program or participate in continuing education. Many criminal justice administration careers require that you meet a certain standard of physical and mental health to be employed. Along with those requirements, you'll have to remain familiar with changes in the criminal justice system, which you can do through continuing education courses.

Vocational Options

There are generally two paths for you to choose from in criminal justice administration. The first choice is to get involved in police work. You'll need to complete a police academy training program and then receive assignment to a particular police station for work. Police work has assigned rankings, allowing you opportunities to advance through promotions.

The second option focuses more on administrative duties. There is still a degree of danger in these occupations, due to working with dangerous offenders, but you aren't actively pursuing and arresting suspects. This part of criminal justice focuses on social work and correctional duties. For example, as a correctional treatment specialist, you'll be assigned criminal offenders who have been released from prison and work with them to ensure they don't break the law again. This can involve helping them find a place to live, helping them get a job and performing routine checkups on them.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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