Depending on the type of criminal justice school and program you enter, you may have the opportunity to select one or more specialized courses of study. Here are some of the top specializations available in criminal justice programs.
Corrections is the area of criminal justice that focuses on the jails and prisons, and on the rehabilitation of offenders. Students in all criminal justice programs will take courses in corrections, but those who choose to specialize in this area will pursue more in-depth studies of correctional administration and leadership, report writing, and contemporary issues in corrections.
Juvenile justice is the area that deals with criminals who are under the age of 18. This is a special field because different laws apply to these offenders than to those who are over 18. Students who choose to specialize in juvenile justice learn about the structure of the juvenile justice system and strategies for working with this special population. This is a great track for students interested in working in juvenile detention or rehabilitation facilities.
Crime Scene Investigation
If you want to work as a police officer or a private detective, you might want to consider specializing in crime scene investigation. Students in this program learn how to analyze a crime scene and collect evidence. There are many types of evidence and many technologies used to analyze it, for example, DNA evidence, fingerprinting, blood spatter analysis, and more. These are also excellent skills for anyone interested in becoming a police officer or working in the forensics department.
Over the past year, you’ve probably seen several major news stories about password leaks and other breaches of cybersecurity. With the world going digital, criminals don’t have to walk into a bank to rob it—they can literally do it from the comfort of their own homes. Students in cybercrime programs learn about the latest technologies used to gather and analyze digital evidence. As more and more data move online, professionals in this area will be increasingly in demand.
Terrorism and Homeland Security
Since 9/11, terrorism and homeland security have become some of our nation’s top priorities, and this is a popular degree specialization. Students in this concentration take courses in homeland and national security, terrorism and counterterrorism, covert action and intelligence, and more. This is an excellent program for students interested in working for a federal criminal justice agency, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Drug Enforcement Administration.
These are only some of the specializations available in criminal justice programs. Depending on your school, you may also have the choice of forensic science, criminology, federal law administration and more. Check the websites of several schools in your area to learn what programs are available to you.
University of Southern Mississippi. Criminal Justice – BA (Juvenile Justice).
Tiffin University. Homeland Security and Terrorism.