What Do Criminal Justice Professionals Do?
Depending on their specializations, criminal justice degree jobs have different duties and responsibilities. These professions can be found in most, if not all, levels of the federal, state, and private sectors.
Duties of Criminal Justice Professions
Criminal justice is a discipline that focuses on studying laws relative to criminal behavior and their corresponding applications. Various professionals work in this area, including police officers, detectives, lawyers, Supreme Court members, forensic scientists, court personnel, criminal investigators, and many more.
Given the numerous occupations in this field, each specialization also requires specific duties. However, criminal justice professionals’ tasks usually include the following:
- Carrying out the law
- Inspecting their corresponding district
- Managing files or records of cases
- Indicting persons accused of a crime
- Keeping safe suspects under supervision.
Different Types of Criminal Justice Careers
Like other fields, criminal justice explores concepts in different areas such as criminology, sociology, psychology, business, and science. Aside from criminology, its specialties include crime prevention and forensic investigation, among others. That said, criminal justice has plenty of options for individuals who want to work in this field.
Here are the ten best criminal justice job descriptions, including essential skills and qualities:
1. Intelligence Analyst
Intelligence analysts work closely with other criminal justice personnel in different institutions or agencies to help ensure national safety and security. Their principal task is to assess and interpret intelligence data and determine criminal activity patterns to prevent and reduce crimes. A successful intelligence analyst needs to be inquisitive, skillful in solving problems, and a team player with great attention to detail and good decision-making skills.
2. Corrections Officer
One of the most common criminal justice occupations is usually found in prisons overseeing inmates’ activities and behavior, maintaining peace and order, and implementing rules within the jail facility. An effective and efficient corrections officer must have good judgment and interpersonal skills, exemplary negotiation abilities, and physical vigor.
3. Behavioral Specialist
Behavioral specialists working within the criminal justice system typically deal with youths who have behavioral problems or are at risk of criminal activities. A behavioral specialist must be someone with a strong background in applied behavior analysis, an expert in handling emotionally charged situations with impeccable behavior management, interpersonal, and communication skills.
4. Criminal Psychologist
This is one of the most interesting jobs for criminal justice majors. The criminal psychologists’ primary task is profiling arrested criminals. They should be experts in psychology, criminal, and mental health laws. Their communication and organization skills must be exceptional and adept at building trust with their colleagues. They also need to be proficient in research work, have an eye for detail, and skilled in distinguishing behavior patterns.
People who perform paralegal jobs are also known as legal assistants. Paralegals usually provide legal services and assistance to attorneys. Besides education, training, and experience, paralegals need several vital traits to succeed in their jobs in the criminal justice field.
They must be excellent in research and writing, pay close attention to detail, be highly organized, work well under pressure and minimal supervision, able to multitask, and have superb communication skills.
Becoming a judge takes more than a degree and an interest in law. These professionals are elected or appointed to the position according to certain criteria and have desirable qualities that would make them honorable and fair.
Along with the essential skills, such as listening, reading, and writing, judges should be competent in critical reasoning and deciding.
When it comes to compensation, judges are among the highest-paying criminal justice jobs with a national average salary of $87,849 per year.
7. Law Enforcement Officer
As enforcers of the law, they ensure that the public and different properties are protected at all times. To execute their duties effectively and efficiently, they need to have qualities and skills, such as being assertive, resilient, open-minded, staying calm in challenging or dangerous situations, communicating well, and possessing outstanding interpersonal skills.
8. Forensic Scientist
The forensic scientist’s main responsibility is collecting and analyzing physical evidence from a crime scene. They usually conduct their duties using mobile tools and equipment to solve crimes in cooperation with law enforcement agencies.
Therefore, they should be highly analytical, accurate, and expertly communicate, especially when explaining their findings at courts.
9. Social Worker
Among the less-known criminal justice professions is one of a social worker. In fact, some social workers play a vital role in preventing crime by working closely with law enforcers, rehabilitation specialists, behavior specialists, and similar. Professional social workers tend to develop emotional and cognitive skills. However, continuously nurturing these skills throughout their career is also important.
10. Criminal Defense Attorney
Since their primary role is to defend anyone accused of a crime, criminal defense attorneys should know the law and possess different skills and other qualities to succeed in their job.
They must be skilled in communicating (both written and oral), well versed in research and investigation tasks, creative and analytical thinkers, and possess excellent interpersonal skills.