There are several schools with criminal justice programs in this state. Although a degree is not a requirement for employment as a correction officer in Connecticut institutions, many schools offer corrections as a field of specialization for criminal justice majors, or they provide short-term certificate programs for those interested in this field. Minors in criminal justice are available.
A few schools also offer master's degree programs for those aiming toward high-level administration careers. Coursework in a criminal justice degree program typically covers ethics, self-defense, inmate care, and rehabilitation, substance abuse, record-keeping, and criminal law. Degree programs in this field may also include an internship in a local law enforcement agency.
Central Connecticut State University
Central Connecticut State University, in New Britain, is a 4-year public school offering the Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and the Master of Science in Criminal Justice. For students pursuing other related majors, there is also a criminal justice undergraduate minor at this school. Undergraduate students in these programs will take courses like law enforcement and society, criminal procedures and the courts, and criminology. The M.S. program includes a more comprehensive study of the nature of criminal behavior, administration of justice, management of law enforcement facilities, and program planning. A collaborative project and graduate thesis is also required for the program and serves as a capstone project, which is completed under the supervision of a faculty mentor.
Housatonic Community College
Bridgeport, a mid-sized city south of New Haven, is home to Housatonic Community College, where potential corrections officers have 2 program options. The criminal justice department at this 2-year college offers a certificate and an A.S. degree program. Both programs cover some basics like composition, introduction to psychology and sociology, and introduction to criminal justice. The corrections certificate also includes classes in public speaking and corrections. The certificate program covers 27 units of course-work overall, which may later be applied to the associate degree in criminal justice offered at this school. The A.S. includes more opportunities for students to take criminal justice electives, explore the workings of the justice system, and gain experience in writing and researching for law enforcement.
Manchester Community College
Located in Manchester, CT, Manchester Community College offers four different certificate programs in criminal justice, one of which focuses on corrections: also offered is the Associate of Science in Criminal Justice. MCC's Criminal Justice Certificate in Correction aims to prepare students for entry into the Connecticut Department of Corrections trainee program and requires 16-18 credits. However, the more comprehensive A.S. program requires that students complete 60 units, which typically can be accomplished in four semesters, if attending full-time. Students in the associate degree program will take courses like constitutional law and civil rights, criminal law I and II, U.S. history, forensic science, and evidence and courtroom procedure. General education courses are also required for this degree.
Naugatuck Valley Community College
Naugatuck Valley Community College is located in Waterbury, Connecticut. Students pursuing the Associate of Science in Criminal Justice/Public Safety program can choose to specialize in law enforcement, corrections, computer crime deterrence, security, or forensics. Intended program outcomes include students' ability to explain the development of the United States' justice and correctional systems and criminal behavior, and to demonstrate the skills necessary for employment in agencies within the criminal justice system. Courses like principles of sociology, victim, and offender mediation, and juvenile corrections are just a few of the classes that make up a total of 61 units required for this degree.
Norwalk Community College
Norwalk Community College gets its name from the small city in Southern Connecticut where it is located. The Associate of Science in Criminal Justice degree program has 3 options in which students can focus their studies: the investigative, science and Juvenile options for this degree allow students to focus on the area of criminal justice that is most relevant to a future career or educational goals. This program prepares students for entry-level work in law enforcement, courts, and corrections and may lead to careers in correctional facilities, law enforcement, or non-profit service organizations. The NCC criminal justice club is a student-run organization at this school for anyone interested in participating in some of the planned events for members: in the past, these have included tours of correctional facilities, book drives for incarcerated youth, and panel discussions on topics like underage drinking.
Quinnipiac University is a 4-year school offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees, and it is located in Hamden. Undergraduates at this school can choose to major or minor in criminal justice. These programs focus on providing degree-seekers with an understanding of criminal behavior in a wide sociological context and are designed to offer students a wide range of skills and experience to develop problem-solving skills, investigative techniques, policy analysis, and communication skills. The major requires 37 units in criminal justice, with the remainder of units required for a B.A. to be completed in general education courses: a community internship is also included in the curriculum for this degree. The minor in criminal justice includes 18 credits in criminal justice courses most closely related to one's major field of study.
Sacred Heart University
Fairfield, CT is home to Sacred Heart University where more than 6,400 students study to earn undergraduate and advanced degrees. The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, an undergraduate minor in Criminal Justice, and Master of Arts in Criminal Justice are three program options one can pursue when seeking correction officer training at this school. Goals of the criminal justice departments include providing students with the knowledge of criminal justice, ability to process information and clearly communicate ideas, understand ethical issues and leadership concerns, and provide students with practical experience through internship opportunities. Some subjects included in the courses that degree-seekers may take in this program include serial killers and profilers, capital punishment, organized crime, and crisis intervention. The graduate program in this field of study is a more advanced look at the issues surrounding criminology and justice with a focus on crime prevention. This M.S. degree may prepare students for career advancement or to obtain upper positions in law enforcement or related fields.
University of Hartford
The University of Hartford is located in the Connecticut state capital, which is a mid-sized city. More than 7,000 students are enrolled at this private university and can study to earn certificates, associate, bachelor, and master degrees as well as some doctoral degrees. The criminal justice department at UH offers the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, which is an interdisciplinary program offered for students enrolled in the schools of business, arts and sciences, or education, nursing and health. General education requirements for each department varies, but the criminal justice concentration will supplement these subjects with course-work that aims to prepare students for work in fields like human services, corrections, research, and planning, or law enforcement. Practical experience in a criminal justice agency is also required of graduates in this program, who complete an internship as an integral part of the criminal justice program.
University of New Haven
Located in West Haven, Connecticut, The University of New Haven enrolls more than 6,000 students each year and offers a variety of options in its Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, all of which incorporate classroom learning and fieldwork into their programs. There are 11 undergraduate certificate programs in concentrations including law enforcement science, crime analysis, and criminal justice management. Undergraduates seeking to pursue 4-year degrees in other fields at this school, but who also want to receive some training in this field, may choose the undergraduate minor, which requires the completion of 18 credits in courses related to criminal justice. Whereas, students wishing to focus more specifically in corrections have the option to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in corrections: there are 7 other criminal justice concentrations available for this B.S. as well. This 4-year degree program includes general education course-work as well as classes like criminology, correctional treatment programs, legal issues in corrections, and substance abuse and addiction.
Western Connecticut State University
Western Connecticut State University is located in Danbury, which is a small city in southwestern Connecticut. The two options for potential corrections officers at WCSU are the Bachelor of Science in Justice and Law Administration and the Master of Science in Justice Administration. The undergraduate program includes 125 semester hours of course-work. In addition to general education requirements, there are classes like introduction to criminal justice I and II, Constitutional law, and information systems concepts, which are required for this B.S. program. The M.S.J.A. program is designed for professionals already working in criminal justice agencies, or for those seeking advanced positions in this field. This program offers an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates theory and practice to educate students in budgetary practices, public management, political advocacy, and leadership in corrections, law enforcement, or related fields.
In Connecticut prisons, proof of high school education at minimum is required for prospective officers looking for work in an entry-level position; candidates must also be free from any prior felony convictions. This differs from federal prisons, which require corrections officer candidates to have a bachelor's degree and 3 years of experience in a related field. In the state of Connecticut, all correction officers, regardless of prior educational experience, receive a 10-week training course, which includes on-the-job training and results in a pay increase. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job duties for corrections officers typically include security, inmate control, administration, and communications. Furthermore, job-seekers in this field should be prepared to work long hours, experience potential hazards on the job, or to be assigned night and weekend shifts.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Correction Officer Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Central Connecticut State University||4-year, public; large suburb|| Bachelor of Arts in Criminology,
Minor in Criminal Justice,
Master of Science in Criminal Justice
| $10,616 in-state,
|Housatonic Community College||2-year, public; midsize city|| Criminal Justice Certificate in Corrections,
Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
| $4,404 in-state,
|Manchester Community College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Criminal Justice Certificate in Corrections,
Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
| $4,464 in-state,
|Naugatuck Valley Community College||2-year, public; midsize suburb|| Associate of Science in Criminal Justice/Public Safety: Corrections,
Certificate in Criminal Justice
| $4,424 in-state,
|Norwalk Community College||2-year, public; small city||Associate of Science in Criminal Justice|| $4,414 in-state,
|Quinnipiac University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb|| Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice,
Minor in Criminal Justice
|Sacred Heart University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb|| Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice,
Minor in Criminal Justice,
Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
|University of Hartford||4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city||Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice||$40,694*|
|University of New Haven||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb|| Criminal Justice Management Certificate,
Crime Analysis Certificate,
Law Enforcement Science Certificate
Minor in criminal justice,
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: Corrections
|Western Connecticut State University||4-year, public; small city|| Bachelor of Science in Justice and Law Administration,
Master of Science in Justice Administration
| $10,859 in-state,
Source: *NCES College Navigator