Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, and Corrections

Individuals with careers in corrections often work with people who have committed crimes, while law enforcement officers, such as police officers, uphold the laws and catch people who violate them. Studies in criminal justice can be applied to either of these fields. Read on to learn about training and degree programs in law enforcement, corrections and criminal justice, and get career info for graduates.

Inside Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement and Corrections

Criminal justice encompasses both the corrections and law enforcement fields. In the corrections industry, probation officers monitor and supervise those who are put on probation, while parole officers perform similar duties and supervise offenders after they've been paroled from prison. Correctional treatment specialists typically work in correctional institutions and facilities to evaluate the progress of inmates, and they may develop rehab plans for inmates after prison and on parole. Detention officers work in correctional facilities, such as juvenile detention centers, jails and prisons, guarding individuals who've been convicted of crimes. Most institutions require correctional officers, or detention officers, to be at least 21 years of age, pass multiple examinations and have no felony convictions, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Law enforcement careers include such job titles as police officer, customs agent, Secret Service agent, park ranger or border patrol agent. Police officers may work in a variety of settings and perform such tasks as issuing tickets, responding to emergencies, writing incident reports, completing paperwork and testifying in court. Police officers, as well as state troopers, enforce vehicle and traffic laws and manage accident scenes. They may also patrol on horseback from time to time. Detectives actively investigate criminal activity by conducting interviews, making arrests or studying crime scenes.

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