Criminal Justice Schools by State

Computers and Evidence Collection

A computer forensics specialist is a member of an important team of investigators that focus on the potential evidence found on computers, mobile phones and devices. Digital evidence has become increasingly important in the evidentiary procedures within law enforcement and judicial systems, with a wide range of applications that can be used to convict or exonerate accused criminals. The men and women who specialize in computer forensics are highly skilled, with a strong educational foundation based upon the curriculum provided through a local college, university or online criminal forensics degree program.

Much of the evidence collected from a computer or other technology-based device is admissible in court under very strict guidelines. Computer hard drives and memory cards can contain information that was thought deleted or erased, providing insight into a criminal’s motivation, crime details or even directly connecting the criminal to a crime. On a mobile phone, text messages and call logs can be used to produce evidence, and even on the Internet, social media websites and web browsing history may be able to find a place in the legal process.

Because of the reliance on computers and other technology at home or at work, the amount of incriminating evidence found on these devices is astounding. A properly trained computer forensics professional is not only able to safely retrieve the information, but can also interpret its nuances for police and law enforcement, as well as during criminal proceedings and trials. Additionally, with the increased availability of programs and devices that help secure computers and hide or completely erase information, computer forensics professionals can also act as consultants to help develop ways to stay ahead of criminal behavior and its presence on computers.

A digital trail of evidence can be one of the most effective ways to prove the guilt or innocence of an accused criminal. In order to properly process this information according to the guidelines of local, state and federal courts, a computer forensics specialist can be a valuable tool in the fight against crime.

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Criminal Justice Educators

With the field of criminal justice evolving and growing at a rapid rate, the ability to teach the various specializations within the field depends on its instructors and teachers, especially the number of educators available. Throughout the educational world of criminal justice, the right instructors and educators are in demand, especially on a college or graduate school level. Several areas across the country are actively seeking post-secondary criminal justice educators, providing a stable career that combines education and criminal justice, as well as competitive pay.

Most Criminal Justice instructors have a broad range of knowledge in the field. With the many specializations of a Criminal Justice professional, educators have the ability to teach law enforcement, cyber- and technology-related concentrations, forensics and crime scene investigation, criminology, rehabilitation, corrections or any number of disciplines. With the advances in online education, its even possible for a criminal justice instructor to work with students across the world, from an office or even the comfort of home, delivering the essentials of a degree in criminal justice or other related discipline.

Teaching Criminal Justice is more than classroom instruction. Since Criminal Justice professionals are usually found “in the field,” a laboratory, detention facility or law enforcement agency, the opportunities for enhanced learning are abundant. Criminal Justice educators can not only be inventive and engaging instructors, but also provide as many “real world” experiences to students through trips to local law enforcement establishments or corrections facilities, or by emulating the experience of a crime scene investigator, cyber security professional or any number of Criminal Justice specializations. The ultimate goal of a Criminal Justice educator is to impart the academic side of the discipline while creating an experience that can serve the student once working as a Criminal Justice professional.

Careers in Criminal Justice are as varied as the professionals who work in the field, and with each concentration, a qualified instructor can make a huge difference in the amount of knowledge gained while in school, as well as career performance once a student enters the work force. As a true multi-faceted study of Criminal Justice, the Criminal Justice Educator plays a vital role in the entire field of Criminal Justice.

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Penologist Criminal Justice Careers

Penologists are criminal justice professionals that have researched and studied issues within correctional institutes and rehabilitation programs. These women and men are well versed in the law and legal issues that surround prisons and corrections facilities, as well as the management of the prisons and rehabilitation of the criminals within.  Focusing directly on the prisoners, a penologist can work within all levels of government, including local, state and federal jurisdictions.

Throughout a prison’s rehabilitation policies and procedures, a penologist plays a critical role as a liaison between the prison population, corrections and probation professionals and sometimes as an advocate for prisoners. Understanding the nuances within prisons and correctional facilities requires an individual with a wide range of knowledge that includes law, criminal justice, sociology and psychology. A Penologist typically holds a degree in any of those concentrations, such as a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, but may also have experience in justice administration or criminology.

Penologists that work within prisons and correctional facilities can also have a role in the creation, implementation and management of new policies that affect prisoners. Through the study of the effectiveness of different programs that focus on drug, alcohol, or occupational rehabilitation, a Penologist can help define a set of programs that can assist in the overall recovery of those incarcerated.

With several factors increasing the overall population within prisons and correctional facilities, a career in penology can be one of the more stable career paths today. With its focus on prisoners and convict rehabilitation over just the management of the prison itself, penology gives criminal justice a more humane feel, especially when it comes to the lives of inmates. The field of criminal justice is considered to be a smart choice for those looking to make a difference in the world, while pursuing a career that is not only full of challenges but opportunities.

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Mediation in Divorce

The cost of divorce can, at times, be a deciding factor in the approach to the dissolution of a marriage. Lawyers and attorneys can charge daunting, prohibitive fees that discourage each party from entering into a legal battle over property, alimony, child support or custody, and many couples come to agreements that do not fully consider many of the legal rights afforded under the law of a state or local jurisdiction. Additionally, the court system is so flooded with these types of cases, it can take years for a divorce to be settled, causing additional debt to incur, not to mention frustration and resentment.

Mediation is a well-respected alternative to a typical courtroom battle. A mediator, arbitrator or mediation professional is a trusted, unbiased counselor with legal knowledge that can help define and explain the rights of each party within a divorce. A mediator not only attempts to protect the rights of those involved in a divorce, but also serves as a third party source of compromise. Stemming from a legal background, a mediator can be a retired lawyer or attorney, or have experience in counseling or other dispute arbitration. A well-rounded program that focuses on the skills and education needed within mediation can be found at many colleges, universities and online mediation training programs.

One of the more popular methods for reducing litigation costs, mediation also serves to help heal the hurt and emotions of the parties involved.   A mediator is seen as an ally to the parties involved, instead of as an adversary, like the opposing council can appear. By presenting an unbiased image, the mediator provides insight and information throughout the mediation process and can even help a divorced couple begin a new life on less emotional footing. Mediators are also more about the business of divorce, eliminating the need to hear the details of a marriage that is no longer working for the parties involved, instead of presenting those claims within a courtroom.

Keeping the courts clear of unnecessary litigation surrounding divorce saves the time and money of citizens and enourages a more well-balanced approach to marriage dissolution. Mediators provide services that help eliminate the high cost of divorce, and can even reduce the anger and resentment that occurs while couples face divorce.

Jobs for Corrections Professionals

Corrections Professionals are an invaluable force in the criminal justice system. These men and women provide a great deal of hands-on and administrative services within jails, prisons and courts, both through monitoring inmates and keeping them safe and secure within the prison community. In addition to the services provided within a prison system, many Corrections Professionals also fulfill similar duties within agencies and organizations through local, state and federal organizations. A criminal justice professional has many opportunities to succeed within this field, especially those with Correctional Officer training.

Corrections Officers not only ensure the safety of inmates within a prison, but also can act as escorts when an inmate must appear at court or leave the detention facility for other reasons. Within a prison, a Corrections Officer is able to intervene in disputes between inmates, inspect cells, and enforce all rules and regulations of the facility.

Corrections Treatment Professionals are liaisons between Corrections Officers and Probation and Parole officers.  These professionals work as case managers for prisoners and inmates, reporting information to legal agencies and within the court system, as well as initiating and evaluating programs to help prisoners rehabilitate.

Probation Officers handle much of the administration and paperwork involved regarding the disposition of an inmate within the prison system. As a primary contact for the court, a Probation Officer must be able to understand the law, sentencing and the ways that prisoners can benefit from medical, psychological and rehabilitative services.

With the prison population continuing to grow, the need for qualified Corrections Professionals is increasing, especially those that have the appropriate Correctional Officer training. Maintaining order in a detention facility while keeping the best interests of both inmates and the public in mind is an important job. For a Corrections Professional, the right training can make the difference in a stable career within the field of criminal justice.


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