Abraham Lincoln University, an online distance learning institution, is a military-friendly school offering a number of programs that will be of interest to both active-duty military personnel and Armed Forces veterans. ALU has diploma, associate and bachelor’s degree programs in Criminal Justice, a natural fit for transitioning into a post-military career. Criminal justice degree programs offer students the opportunity to pursue careers in law enforcement, or to continue studies in graduate school or law school.
The Field of Criminal Justice
America’s dire economic situation and a country fraught with tension means that crime will continue to be a major issue in the United States. As the bulging prison population puts a burden on our economy, court dockets are stocked, probation and parole officers are overworked, and the burden falls to the police, also overworked, to do more. Street crime, property crime, and now terrorism are all worries. In this environment, there are many opportunities for employment in many of the broad areas of criminal justice. While a college degree in criminal justice is not a requirement for many police, parole, and probation officer jobs, it can provide a leg up on the competition, as can the discipline and experience provided by a military background.
In academic terms, Criminal Justice is the study of procedures and agencies established to manage both crime and the people accused of violating the law. One of the most popular undergraduate majors in the United States, it is a practical choice for those soldiers and veterans looking to transition into a post-military career.
Criminal Justice degree programs are structured around core courses on the following topics:
- Law enforcement
- The judicial process
- Juvenile justice
- Criminal law and procedure
Many programs also offer in-depth specialty courses in areas ranging from juvenile delinquency and criminal violence to forensic science. Criminal Justice is an interdisciplinary course of study in that it draws from a number of academic disciplines like psychology, political science, economics, history, anthropology and law.
The need for Criminal Justice programs came about in the 1960s, as the Supreme Court of the United States mandated a need for a more educated police force. Not all law enforcement jobs require a college degree, and most do not require criminal justice studies as a background, but the field is helpful and the course of study will benefit students as they transition into their careers.
Military discipline, a knowledge of the importance of chain of command, familiarity with weapons and physical combat, and the ability to command are all areas where military personnel will have a leg up when entering the criminal justice field.
For more information on the Criminal Justice program at Abraham Lincoln University, visit www.alu.edu.