Will My Criminal Justice Degree Allow Me to Get a Job Working with Children?

The common perception of a criminal justice degree is that it allows graduates to deal almost exclusively with hardened criminals in prison settings, but this actually ignores a large number of occupations that work outside of maximum-security prisons and the more challenging environments in the criminal justice system. Indeed, occupations as diverse as a law clerk or a probation officer are available to those with a degree in criminal justice.  In some cases, criminal justice graduates might enter into more of a counseling or social work role, largely based on their interests, prior education, and other qualifications at the graduate level. In this role, their goal would be to address the causes of criminal behavior in detained youth and create a program for them to follow upon their release from juvenile detention.

Benefits of Juvenile Corrections

Perhaps one of the best fields to enter into with a degree in the field is work with children who have entered the criminal justice system. Troubled youth often find themselves facing charges as juveniles, and many of them are sent to correctional facilities where they’re required to meet certain metrics and adhere to certain behavioral standards as part of their overall punishment. Criminal justice workers are uniquely qualified to monitor this process, enforce it, and guide youth toward better decisions.Corrections and Counseling Services with a criminal justice degree, graduates with an interest in today’s youth can often find themselves working in juvenile corrections. They’ll use the skills they learned in the classroom to work with troubled youth in detention facilities, enforcing the law and guiding them toward better behaviors. They’ll enforce punishment when certain behavioral standards are not met, but they’ll also help guide youth toward better decisions and the type of positive behaviors that will allow them to leave the facility behind.

Advocacy Roles: Helping Children Through a Child Support Agency

Most criminal justice professionals who wish to help children typically seek work in a juvenile detention center, but many others are looking to use their education as a way to advocate for those children who can’t speak up for themselves. That’s where a child support job comes into play. These jobs often find a criminal justice graduate working within the legal system to enforce child support payments and agreements, making sure that support is paid on time and every time.

Child support payments often make it possible for children to enjoy better schools, more attentive parents, and other benefits that can reduce the likelihood of their entering into the juvenile detention system. In this way, a criminal justice degree can be put to work by leveraging the system in favor of kids early on, reducing their risk of participating in high-risk or even criminal behavior later in life.

Plenty of Ways to Help Today’s Youth

A criminal justice degree is one of the most adaptable and flexible degrees currently offered by colleges and university. It’s useful in law firms, prisons, public agencies, and even juvenile detention centers. Those with an interest in children can easily find jobs that prevent criminal behavior, help to correct risky behaviors, and address those who have already been detained for committing crimes as young adults. This is easily one of the most rewarding ways to use a degree in the field.