Criminal Justice Schools by State

Walden University Master of Public Administration: Terrorism, Mediation, Peace

The threat of terrorism in the United States has caused many Americans to make lifestyle changes in order to assist law enforcement officials identify terrorist behavior. Ordinary citizens are encouraged to report suspicious activity within neighborhoods, walk through metal detectors and airport scanners and remain aware of the national terror alert level. For those that embark on a career in counter-terrorism, the concern over protecting the innocent is key, involving various methods of detection, prevention and resolution of these threats. As such, a solid educational foundation is mandated for positions working within anti-terror organizations.

The Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Terrorism, Mediation and Peace from Walden University Online provides a full-spectrum education for those interested in working in the field of Public Administration with a special focus on how terrorist threats affect the security of the public. This program combines MPA curriculum, including theories of the development of American public administration and the development, approval, implementation, and evaluation of these policies with anti-terrorism legislation and policies, motivations of terrorist act and interventions that may be used during a terrorist crisis.

Over the next decade, the number of government and law enforcement positions is expected to increase, including jobs within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, an agency that is directly responsible for discovering and eliminating terrorist threats. These professionals are in demand, especially in the higher levels of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the experience in law enforcement, public policy and special insight into mediation and peaceful resolutions provided by the Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Terrorism, Mediation and Peace from Walden University.

This degree is offered in an online format and may be completed in less than two years, enabling a faster entrance into the Public Administration profession. The Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Terrorism, Mediation and Peace from Walden University includes classes that help prepare plans for emergency situations, understand the resources available and how to manage finances, personnel, and public demand or response helping to build a strong response in the face of terrorist threats.

The Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Terrorism, Mediation and Peace from Walden University Online provides graduate students with the education needed to fill an important need in the daily lives of those without the means to face these devastating threats.

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The Importance of Court Reporting

From lawyers to witnesses, plaintiffs and defendants, being in a court hearing or trial is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. Cases involving divorce, custody, domestic violence and criminal behavior will inevitably lead into the courtroom, and because of the nature of these cases, it is imperative that accurate court documents are produced in order to ensure the safety and protection of all parties involved. Court reporters are an important part of these legal proceedings, documenting the testimony within a courtroom and recording the details of evidence, rulings and all other legal considerations.

With the continual advances made in technology, many court reporters have found themselves competing with computers and recording devices that are used to record legal accounts in a courtroom or during depositions or other court and evidence-related meetings. This poses a problem for both the court reporter and the accuracy of the transcripts. Court reporting is more than the verbatim documentation of communication within the court, but also serves as a way to reduce the confusion of the courtroom testimony. Since witnesses may be unable to speak clearly due to emotional or language concerns, a Court Reporter can easily ask for the clarification of statements made by a witness on the stand. In addition, Court Reporters can ask lawyers to repeat questions or statements made, clarifying the language used and increasing the level of understanding within the courtroom, and after the legal hearing is over.

Devices that record the courtroom dialogue are subject to technological failure and many times, this may not be discovered until well after the trial, hearing or deposition has ended. Relying on computers and other devices to record and translate spoken word into text leaves a larger margin of error than the skills of a trained court reporter, especially since these instruments are unable to translate speech that is garbled, too fast or spoken by an emotional or hostile witness.

A court reporter’s job is to provide a legal document that details the testimony within a trial, hearing or deposition that details the testimony and case presented before the court. From the actual recording of testimony to the transcription of dialogue within the court, a court reporter cannot be replaced within the legal system by any number of computers or recording devices. These professionals remain a vital instrument in the legal system today, helping to provide the necessary documentation that forever defines the courtroom experience for witnesses, lawyers and all other concerned parties.

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George Washington University Master of Professional Studies in Paralegal Studies

Paralegals are typically thought of as the legal assistants that provide research and administrative services for an attorney or within a law firm. Jobs that involve filing documents, keeping client records in order, and researching specific legal information are those that fall into the hands of a paralegal with an undergraduate paralegal degree or paralegal certificate. As more law firms and attorneys begin hiring paralegals to offset costs while still providing top quality legal services, a graduate education in paralegal studies may become one way for potential employees to stand out among the competition.

A Master of Professional Studies from George Washington University provides the advanced education necessary to perform higher-level functions within a law firm, helping to bridge the gap between attorneys and legal assistants. This program is offered online, in an accelerated format, in order to help the busy professional achieve a higher level of education while still maintaining any current life or job obligations. The program combines ethics, professionalism, technology, and writing throughout its curriculum in order to impart the tools necessary to work within a legal environment. George Washington University’s Master of Professional Studies Online is based on the academic standards set forth by the world-renowned University, and its association with the George Washington University Law School, assuring students of a superior education.

CNN’s Money Magazine has stated that the paralegal field is one of the top 20 professions in the country, due, in part, to the need for legal professionals that specialize in areas such as corporate law, litigation, legal research and writing, as well as government law, intellectual property law, and international law. The Master of Professional Studies from George Washington University provides professional insight into these areas of law, and combines theory, philosophy, and historical perspectives with communication, analysis, ethics, and legal technology.

With the Master of Professional Studies from George Washington University, graduates are able to achieve educational and career goals as a paralegal, a field that is predicted to experience higher than average growth over the next decade. This program not only prepares graduates for an exciting career in a law firm, but also provides the necessary tools to compete in a career field with an abundance of opportunity.

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Types of Cyber Security Risks

Just when one virus, worm or Trojan has been eliminated through the use of security tools, another (or 10 more) is reported on the news or through various social media channels. Hackers continue to provide insecurity in the daily lives and business functions of some of the biggest corporations and agencies around. The risks involved in cyber security affect our governmental and financial infrastructure, as well as entertainment networks, like the PlayStation Network, or the home computer used for homework, budgeting or other household purposes. These threats are a constant warning to the public to keep apprised of the various ways in which cyber security can be compromised, and those with a degree in cyber security are often the best resource for information as to how to prevent hackers and other computer and network disasters.

Three of the most popular ways for hackers to infiltrate delicate information online are SQL Injection, Cross-site Scripting and PHP File Include attacks. All of these occur through web application gateways that introduce password systems to access network and server information. These attacks typically affect large networks attached to corporations, agencies and organizations that collect and store data for financial transactions. The risk to the end-user is great, even if a website is never accessed, as financial information can be used in cases of identity theft and unauthorized purchases.

Scareware, Trojans, keyloggers and viruses affect the home or small business computer user directly, creating situations in which home or business documents are compromised or destroyed. These programs and malware collect specific financial data that can be used in fraudulent transactions or even access private communication, family photos and other personal information. Trojans, viruses, keyloggers and scareware tend to be downloaded by end-users who can simply visit a website and click on a link or close a pop-up window.

The best prevention of a cyber security attack is to have the right security tools in place. Internet security suites can provide real-time download security, as well as eliminate or quarantine specific files that are downloaded. This software also provides a level of security from direct hacking attempts through firewall or other applications. Whether on a business, corporate or other network, or in the comfort of one’s living room, understanding the dangers of cyber security threats is imperative to the well-being of financial and other sensitive data, as well as the peace of mind of those most affected by the threats of hackers.

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George Washington University Master of Professional Studies in Paralegal Studies

As a recession-proof career, paralegals and legal assistants have the edge on many other lines of work due to the nature of the work in handling legal matters, contracts, depositions or other organizational or administrative functions within a law firm or attorney’s office. Paralegals, in fact, are in demand more now, because of the need for attorneys and law firms to cut costs while still providing high-quality legal services to clients. For the person who has a degree in paralegal studies, career opportunities are plentiful and the prospects of a flexible work-life balance are great.

Newsweek has reported that one of the best degrees or educational programs to pursue is paralegal degree. Paralegals do much of the research and administrative work within a law office, but are paid on a different scale than attorneys and lawyers. Firms are seeking out paralegals to hire in-house, as well as on a freelance or contract basis in order to fulfill the needs of the law office, while keeping costs down. George Washington University provides a Master of Professional Studies in Paralegal Studies online for students who wish to pursue a career in the paralegal field, especially on a managerial level within a law firm or attorney’s legal practice. This degree is offered online, giving the student flexibility and the ability to complete career and educational goals in the comfort of their own home.

Paralegals investigate facts, perform research, interview clients or witnesses, draft legal documents such as briefs, subpoenas, depositions and motions for discovery. These legal assistants also organize and maintain files and exhibits file documents with federal and state courts and assist during hearings, arbitrations, mediations, meetings, closings and trials. Those who possess a graduate-level education in paralegal studies, such as the a Master of Professional Studies in Paralegal Studies from George Washington University are also given managerial responsibilities and can direct other paralegals and legal assistants in the daily functions and roles of a law office.

Everest University's Bachelor of Science Degree in Legal Assistant/Paralegal prepares graduates and educates them on the processes of interviewing, gathering, reviewing and analyzing legal issues and cases. This program also provides experience in the research, preparation and interpretation of legal documents as well as various legal environments.

Beginning a career as a paralegal or legal assistant takes motivation, dedication and knowledge. By completing a graduate-level program like George Washington University’s Master of Professional Studies in Paralegal Studies, students will attain a top quality education to help achieve career goals.

Evidence Processing: Methods, Guidelines and Justice

Evidence collection is the responsibility of criminal justice, crime scene investigation and forensics professionals to help assure the legal system is able to properly discover the guilt or innocence of an accused criminal. Evidence can be physical evidence, such as in the case of murder or assault investigations, or may be electronic or computerized, such as in fraud or embezzlement cases, or a combination of different types of evidence. Regardless of the category of evidence, it is the processing of these pieces of information that may be more important than the evidence itself.

Prosecutors, especially, must be diligent and detail-oriented when it comes to evidence admitted during a trial, as even the smallest error in the processing of evidence can exonerate a criminal based on a technicality. On the other side of the court, if evidence processing is not done correctly, an innocent person may be convicted of a crime that was never committed, based on speculation and circumstantial evidence over catalogued evidence. Because of these two situations, the reality of the forensics professional is that the work performed in evidence processing can literally mean life and death for a person.

Evidence that is introduced during a court trial generally falls under four categories: real, demonstrative, documentary and testimonial. Real evidence is the type of evidence that is gathered from a crime scene and may include DNA, blood or weapons, as well as the results of toxicology or blood alcohol tests and even the data extracted from a suspect’s computer, mobile phone or other electronic device. It is this type of evidence that is hard to refute by defense attorneys that requires the careful processing and documentation, establishing the chain of handling or other information about where, when, and how the evidence was collected. With the proper measures taken in processing real evidence, the likelihood of a fair trial is more evident and helps keep criminals off the streets, and the innocent free. Academic programs that focus on the different means of procuring, analyzing and cataloguing evidence, such as a Crime Scene Investigator Certificate or Degree, can be beneficial to those within the field of criminal justice, forensics and legal studies.

Keeping evidence intact and using the correct tools and procedures as it is discovered and processed is one of the most important factors in the criminal justice system. Forensic professionals, crime scene technicians and law enforcement officers can be invaluable in the strict adherence to evidence processing methods and guidelines, creating a safe environment for those seeking justice within the criminal justice system.

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Kaplan University Online Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

The legal system is a complex arena that affects the daily lives of people, businesses and public policy. With the constant changes implemented by lawmakers and the understanding of laws as they apply to various industries, those with the knowledge and experience in legal studies have an advantage in the workforce, as well as students who are interested in pursuing a career as an attorney, lawyer or legal consultant.

A Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies from Kaplan University Online assists those who wish to enter into law school, or enhance a current career path with the understanding of the ways in which laws affect various industries and public policies. The program offers a comprehensive curriculum that focuses on the theory of law, legal research and ethics, technology and philosophy in addition to the ability to integrate specific areas of the law that benefit the student’s current or future career path. Not only does Kaplan University provide the instruction to achieve a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies, but the university also offers an accelerated Master’s option for students who wish to obtain a graduate-level degree, saving time and money.

With the Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies from Kaplan University Online, students can expect to enter the workforce as legal assistants, paralegals, contract writers, law clerks and adjusters or have specialized insight into the law and how it affects the student’s current industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a higher than average job growth for those in the legal studies fields, particularly legal assistants and paralegals. On average, these legal professionals earned between $36,080 and $59,310 annually.

Those who wish to pursue a career in the legal field, or enhance a current career path with the understanding of the legal system can benefit from the Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies from Kaplan University Online. The knowledge and education gained through this online degree program can benefit the student looking to begin an exciting career path, as well as the seasoned professional seeking a professional change or a way to benefit a current career path.

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Top Jobs in Criminal Justice

Criminal justice jobs fall under several different organizations, bringing a variety of positions within law enforcement, administration, corrections, investigations, public policy and more. As technology improves and laws evolve, these types of jobs contribute to one of the more stable career fields for those with a degree in criminal justice.

According to research from, the top jobs entered into by those possessing a degree in criminal justice are police or sheriff patrol officer, paralegal and legal assistants, probation officer, detective/criminal investigator, legal secretary, security officer, loss prevention manager or agent, security manager, and security director. These top criminal justice jobs offer a range of annual salaries based on the level of education achieved, as well as experience within the field.

In law enforcement, the opportunities for first-line supervisors or managers of police and detectives are plentiful, as well as positions for police detectives. While more competitive positions than a patrol officer, these law enforcement careers offer salaries that average around $70,000 annually. In the field of corrections, jobs for probation officers, correctional officer or corrections officers can be obtained with a degree in criminal justice and corrections. Average annual salaries for these positions within corrections are between $46,000 - $57,000.

Criminal justice graduates that specialize in loss prevention or security can find jobs as independent contractors or within a variety of corporate, retail or business settings. A security officer can make an average salary of almost $32,000, annually, while loss prevention agents and investigators are able to earn annual salaries between $28,000 - $37,000. Loss prevention managers can expect to earn even more, with an annual average salary of $47,300 while fraud investigators can receive around $63,000 annually.

Jobs within Homeland Security, the FBI or other federal agencies require not only a dedication to uphold the law and policies put into place by the legislature, but also the education to back up the skills needed within these positions. Federal law enforcement positions are highly competitive, especially within agencies like the FBI. An FBI agent can make anywhere from $39,000 - $119,000 annually, depending on location and the type of position. Positions within U.S. Customs range from $33,000 - $86,000 annually, while a TSA security screener within an airport makes an average of $35,000 per year.

The jobs available for criminal justice graduates are plenty and provide a challenging work environment as well as the satisfaction of serving the public. The field of criminal justice constantly changes in light of new policies, technology or even political ideals, and the jobs in this field are expected to continue to grow with these changes.

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