Criminal justice is one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. economy. It employs people to investigate, arrest, prosecute, defend, counsel, monitor and otherwise control persons suspected, accused or convicted of criminal behavior. Criminal justice is the way society manages deviance, maintains order and keeps society safe. It also insures domestic tranquility and protects individual rights.
The Criminal Justice Minor has broad scope and appeal to attract students with diverse interests in criminal justice and other human service professions. It balances theoretical knowledge, including current research, with applied aspects of criminal law, law enforcement, corrections, community-based systems, administration and policy. The program attracts students from sociology, psychology, social work, parks and recreation, political science, history and education.
Criminal justice professionals are found at all levels of society: international, federal, state, county and local. They are attorneys, judges, police officers, park rangers, corrections officers, security/program/administrative personnel, jailers, probation and parole officers, crime prevention specialists, advocates and treatment providers. They work on the streets, in offices and court rooms, on hospital wards and in treatment centers, in prisons, jails, and juvenile detention facilities, at work camps and recreational programs, in schools, in retail settings. Virtually anywhere that there are people there are also criminal justice professionals involved in prevention and protection.
The mission of the Criminal Justice Program is to prepare people for productive and exciting careers in criminal justice. Students in this program learn to outline the change in thinking about crime and delinquency, identify major shifts in criminal justice knowledge, and relate that knowledge to social control strategies. They learn to describe the typical components of the criminal justice process in the United States and explain the interactions among them. Students are guided as they evaluate theories of deviance and apply them to discussions about trends and risk factors for crime and delinquency. They assess the effectiveness of intervention strategies (past and present), begin to generate innovative solutions to criminal justice problems, and learn how to impact the future of crime prevention and criminal apprehension. Students are also able to apply their knowledge through a variety of internship possibilities including the law enforcement certification internship.