The criminal justice system offers many career opportunities. Many people who choose this field want to help people and want to pursue jobs in social service. Some are interested in law enforcement and policing and others pursue teaching, law and research.
Most corrections jobs provide direct service to people before or after they are in criminal justice agencies. Some of the positions include probation officers, correctional counselor, parole, and after care.
More than 500,000 people are employed in policing and law enforcement in the United States. Jobs may include municipal police officer, state and county law enforcement, federal law enforcement and private security.
Law and the Courts
Career paths may include law, the legal system, and the courts. In most cases these careers require postgraduate education such as a law degree or court management courses. Titles may include prosecutor, defense counsel, judge, and court manager.
Research, Administration, and Teaching
Opportunities may exist in private and public sector research, system administration, and college teaching.
The Youth Justice Project has a mentoring program called Reading for Life. They are looking for undergrad students who love working with teenagers and who enjoy reading.
Reading for Life is a narrative-based intervention program that uses novels to facilitate virtuous character development in first time juvenile offenders. During the course of 10 weeks, the students meet in small groups led by two trained mentors to select one or more books to read together. During the session students explore themes in these books related to the seven classic virtues - justice, prudence, temperance, fortitude, fidelity, hope, and charity. They journal on their own experiences, engage in a community service project and present their work to their parents at a final session.
Undergrad mentors are trained and always work with a "seasoned" mentor who has experience running previous mentoring groups. The mentors are truly the heart and soul of this program and many students develop great relationships with their mentor and maintain contact with their mentor after groups have ended. In the five years of the program, 93% of the students participating have not re-offended in the year after the program ended, which is much higher than most other programs working with a similar population.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor for this program which may also be considered as an internship, please contact Amy Jobst, Assistant Director of the Youth Justice Project at 574-235-5317. She can also be reached at The St. Joseph County Juvenile Justice Center, 1000 S. Michigan Street, South Bend, Indiana 46601.
Career Resource Websites
www.bop.gov - Bureau of Prison Careers
www.irs.gov - IRS Career info
www.ncjrs.gov - National Criminal Justice Reference Service
www.nw3c.org - The National White Collar Crime Center
www.cbp.gov - U.S. Border Customs and Protection