Bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice teach students about the roles of courts, laws, and corrections, as well as how these legal institutions relate to the adult and juvenile justice systems. Students enrolled in these four-year programs wishing to focus on juveniles can learn about the theoretical aspects of our legal system and the practical skills needed to perform jobs within the broad fields of probation and corrections. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to apply to these programs.
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Bachelor's Degree in Juvenile Probation and Corrections
Bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice with a focus on juvenile probation and corrections typically require courses in legal systems, policing, and criminal justice. Bachelor's degree programs also allow students to take elective courses in the sciences and humanities. In these programs, students may take courses on the following topics:
- Ethical issues in criminal justice
- Corrections and rehabilitation
- Juvenile delinquency
Popular Career Options
Graduates can find entry-level employment in a number of positions related to law enforcement. Places of employment include sheriffs and state police departments, jails, rape crisis centers, courts, juvenile residential institutions and parole offices. Those interested in becoming probation officers may specialize in working with juveniles. Graduates can also qualify as correctional officers in federal prisons or juvenile correctional facilities. Here are a few examples of job titles that may be obtained by graduates:
- Probation officer
- Correctional officer
- Parole officer
- Correctional treatment specialist
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected 4% employment growth for probation officers, parole officers, and correctional treatment specialists between 2014 and 2024. During the same decade, the BLS predicts that employment of correctional officers will also rise by 4%. In 2015, the BLS reported an average annual salary of $54,080 for probation officers, parole officers and correctional treatment specialists, with the top 10% in the field earning $86,140 per year or more. The same year, correctional officers made a mean yearly wage of $45,320.
A bachelor's degree program in criminal justice can provide a foundation for a vast range of continuing education options. Those with bachelor's degrees can go on to earn graduate degrees in fields such as legal studies, public administration, or criminal justice. Graduate degrees may help individuals advance to senior or supervisory positions. Law school is another option.
A BS in juvenile probation and corrections teaches students about criminal justice principles related to the court and correctional institutions. Students have several career paths to pursue, as well as graduate programs and law school to consider.