Criminal Justice is delivering justice to those accused of committing or being involved in crimes. The term “criminal justice system” is a term used to describe a series of government agencies and institutions that governs the prosecution of criminal offenders. This includes the rehabilitation of offenders to prevent more crimes and provide moral support for victims. The primary members included in the criminal justice system are the police (enforcers), prosecution and defence lawyers(defendants), the courts and the prisons system(judges).
Criminal Justice covers and includes all parties involved during the making and breaking of the law, from crime offenders who allegedly committed, the law enforcement officers who arrested, the court system that prosecutes, defends and judges the case, and how the defendant is punished if convicted. All these institutions work together to maintain a society’s rule of law. The rule of law and offenders of the law has always existed in some form or other for centuries. Although it might have changed over the years, there have always been acts deemed by society to be unacceptable, and therefore the need for a system to checkmate it, hence the Criminal Justice System.
Criminal justice as a major gives students an understanding of the three main elements of the justice system, which includes; the Court System, Police Official and Correction System. Studying criminal justice and corrections includes topics and research assessment of criminology, criminological theories and the psychology behind criminal behavior. This gives students a better insight and understanding of the operation of crimes, the reason behind offences and persecution for each offence.
Why Study Criminal Justice?
A major in criminal justice exposes students to liberal arts and social sciences-driven education in addition to criminal justice and correctional prosecution training. The course covers juvenile justice, criminal law and corrections, judicial processes, administration theories and evaluations, and crime prevention. The major collects topics from history, political science, communications, psychology and sociology to build social science-related coursework for its students. To an extent, Criminal Justice is broad and has enough room for students to specialize in law enforcement, forensic science, security, crisis management, and case management.
Criminal Justice is a very important and vital part of our society, as it stands as a symbol of power and order, especially in one full of evil deeds and vices. It is also a way of checkmating crime and corruption at every level, from grass root to the top of the government leader, both in the private and public sectors.
Benefits of Studying Criminal Justice
Criminal Justice is an exciting course that, in many ways, would help both the students studying it by providing new skill sets and theories on crime-related topics and ways to handle it. At the same time, it is beneficial to society at large, as it provides able graduates with fresh mindsets and adequate knowledge to fight the corrupt system of today. It is also a channel/avenue into other career paths like law, sociology and psychology. As a major, Criminal Justice equips students with the following;
Excitement and New Challenges
For people with an eye for adventure, criminal justice is the perfect major to take on new and exciting challenges. The course often requires strong problem-solving skills and the ability to think fast in unexpected situations. During this adventure (while studying the course), you are likely to encounter intellectually demanding situations involving high stakes and are bound to be different almost every time. As a social science major, it will teach you the scientific approach and the role of empirical research during societal research studies. At the same time, the law and society aspect of the major will give you an insight into the role of race, class, and gender in the development and application of criminal law.
Ultimately, criminal justice is about building a safer and more cohesive community. This is more than just convicting and prosecuting criminals or studying their activities. As a criminal Justice graduate, you should be able to positively impact your immediate environment, whether in a private office, company, organization or even government; a sense of value through positive morals and promoted peace and order should always be an important aspect of your impact.
Career Opportunities in Criminal Justice
A career in criminal justice is a great way to give back to the community, both directly and indirectly (as the impact of a successful career would be felt for years even after you’re gone). There are many career fields in Criminal Justice, from law enforcement to working in the court system; either way, you will be protecting people from criminal activity while helping crime victims and ensuring justice for all in society. Some jobs are not so obvious in Criminal Justice but still play a major role, such as victim advocate, probation, and community control officer. Whether you take up the former or later, you’ll still be protecting and helping the general Justice system of the world. Some of the career opportunities in a criminal justice major include;
- Private Investigator
- Correctional Officer
- Forensic Scientists
- Court Reporter
- Social Worker
- Custom Officer
- Intelligence Analyst
- Homicide Detective
- FBI Agent
More than half of the careers listed above are not regular office or business-related jobs, but rather adventurous career paths that promise something new in everything, with that sense of adventure, discovering something new and at the same time helping people by doing the right thing makes criminal justice the most suitable major for any student with an itch for exploring.