Are you asking yourself, what can I do with a criminal justice administration degree? You can seek entry-level employment as a corrections officer, court bailiff, court clerk, criminologist, police officer, US marshal, sheriff’s deputy or customs agent. Learn what each of these criminal justice administrators do and the skills needed to be successful.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, corrections officers are responsible for overseeing individuals who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or who have been sentenced to serve time in prison. Inside the prison, correctional officers enforce rules and regulations. They maintain security by preventing disturbances, assaults, and escapes. They must also ensure the whereabouts of all prisoners at all times. Correctional officers typically do the following:
• Enforce rules and keep order within jails or prisons
• Supervise activities and aid in rehabilitation of prisoners
• Inspect prison facilities to ensure that they meet security and safety standards
• Search inmates for contraband items
• Report on inmate conduct and behavior
Correctional officers search inmates for contraband, such as weapons and drugs, settle disputes between prisoners, and enforce discipline. Correctional officers enforce regulations through effective communication and the use of sanctions, which involve punishments such as loss of privileges. Correctional officers write reports and fill out daily logs detailing inmate behavior. Correctional officers may have to restrain inmates in handcuffs and leg irons to escort them safely to and from cells. They also escort prisoners between the institution where they are held and courtrooms and medical facilities. Correctional officers have no law enforcement responsibilities outside their place of work.
Court bailiffs are law enforcement officers who maintain safety and order in courtrooms. Court bailiffs work in local, state and federal courts. Along with guarding juries and enforcing rules of the courts, court bailiffs open court by announcing the judges' arrival and close court by announcing the judges' departure. They may call witnesses to the stand and present the oath before witnesses take the stand. Court bailiffs also provide administrative support to judges and jurors, deliver court documents and take custody of offenders. Court bailiffs typically do the following:
• Announce the judge’s entrance into court
• Assist with transporting the defendants to and from court
• Deliver documents in the court
• Enforce courtroom etiquette and the judge’s directions
• Escorting the jury out of the courtroom to ensure they do not have contact with anyone outside of the court
• Guarding the jury, in the courtroom and during sequestration
The clerk is an officer of the court who is responsible for maintaining records of a court. They may also administer oaths to witnesses, jurors and grand jurors. A court clerk can work in a district court, a court of appeals, a bankruptcy court, or the Supreme Court. Court clerks are either appointed to the court by a judge or elected at the county or district level. Court clerks typically do the following:
• Complete office and court tasks as necessary
• Document the receipt of legal documents
• Keep records of court appearances
• Perform accounting and bookkeeping duties for the court
• Prepare court meeting agendas
• Record licensing requests and collect fees of municipal, county, and other agencies
• Prepare draft agendas or bylaws for town or city councils
• Issue licenses or permits for the town or city
• Prepare dockets of cases to be called by a court
• Research and document information for judges
Criminologists analyze data to determine why the crime was committed and find ways to prevent further criminal behavior. The criminologist considers psychological and social concerns, researches crimes and arrests and studies the backgrounds of criminals to determine if any biological factors led them to commit their crimes. The majority of a criminologist’s time is spent in a laboratory or office, collecting and logging data to be used in criminal investigations and policymaking. Criminologists typically do the following:
• Conduct thorough research on crimes and why they happen
• Cultivate theories on why people commit crimes
• Look for patterns and trends in criminal behavior
• Investigate crime scenes to better understand what happened
• Compose reports that illustrate the nature of crimes
Police officers protect lives and property. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, police officers pursue and apprehend people who break the law. They then warn, cite, or arrest them. Most police officers patrol their jurisdictions and investigate suspicious activity. They also respond to calls, issue traffic tickets, and give first aid to accident victims. Police officers typically do the following:
• Enforce laws
• Respond to emergency and nonemergency calls
• Patrol assigned jurisdictions
• Conduct traffic stops and issue citations
• Search for vehicle records and warrants using in-car computers
• Obtain warrants and arrest suspects
• Collect and secure evidence from crime scenes
• Observe the activities of suspects
• Write detailed reports and fill out forms
• Prepare cases and testify in court
State police officers or highway patrol officers have many of the same duties as other police officers, but they may spend more time enforcing traffic laws and issuing traffic citations. State police officers have authority to work anywhere in the state and are frequently called on to help other law enforcement agencies.
US Marshals safeguard federal witnesses and transport federal inmates to and from court and prison. They also protect federal judges and oversee assets that are seized in criminal enterprises. US Marshals typically do the following:
• Capture fugitives
• Serve federal arrest warrants
• Transport prisoners to courtrooms, prison and medical facilities
• Oversee the witness protection program
Sheriff’s deputies enforce the law on the county level. Some sheriffs’ departments do the same work as officers in urban police departments, other sheriffs’ departments operate the county jails and provide services in local courts. Sheriff’s deputies typically do the following:
• Drive law enforcement vehicles to detect law violators, issue citations and make arrests
• Investigate illegal or suspicious activities
• Record daily activities and submit logs
• Serve claims, subpoenas, summonses and orders to pay alimony
• Execute arrest warrants, locating and taking persons into custody
• Control accident scenes, to maintain traffic flow and assist accident victims
• Transport defendants to courtrooms, prisons, attorneys’ offices and medical facilities.
Customs agents are a part of the CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency) and examine luggage and investigate shipments of goods, ships, aircraft, and other vehicles for contraband that criminals attempt to smuggle into the US. Sheriff’s deputies typically do the following:
• Enforce customs laws
• Keep criminals and weapons out of the United States
• Prevent illegal immigration and smuggling
• Sometimes work undercover to perform searches and seizures
Important Skills for Criminal Justice Administration Workers
Good judgment - Criminal Justice Administration workers must use both their training and common sense to quickly determine the best course of action and to take the necessary steps to achieve a desired outcome.
Interpersonal skills - Criminal Justice Administration workers must be able to interact and communicate effectively with inmates and others to maintain order in correctional facilities and courtrooms.
Negotiating skills - Criminal Justice Administration workers must be able to assist others in resolving differences in order to avoid conflict.
Physical strength - Criminal Justice Administration workers must have the strength to physically subdue inmates or others.
Physical stamina - Officers and detectives must be in good physical shape, both to pass required tests for entry into the field, and to keep up with the daily rigors of the job.
Self-discipline - Criminal Justice Administration workers must control their emotions when confronted with hostile situations.
Communication skills - Criminal Justice Administration workers must be able to speak with people when gathering facts and to express details about a given incident in writing.
Empathy - Criminal Justice Administration workers need to understand the perspectives of a wide variety of people in their jurisdiction and have a willingness to help the public.
Good judgment - Criminal Justice Administration workers must be able to determine the best way to solve a wide array of problems quickly.
Perceptiveness - Criminal Justice Administration workers must be able to anticipate a person’s reactions and understand why people act a certain way.
Ready to get in the exciting field of criminal justice administration? Upon completion of Daymar College’s online Criminal Justice Administration program, you can seek entry-level employment in the criminal justice field. For more information on becoming a Criminal Justice Administration program major, contact Daymar College today!