Criminal Justice Programs in California

It may have one of the largest university networks in the nation, but surprisingly, criminal justice programs in California aren’t flooding the state. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t tons of potential employment opportunities in the criminal justice field, however. In addition to finding employment with local legislative offices, private legal firms, juvenile shelters and police departments, criminal justice graduates may just find themselves working for the Office of the Attorney General . The Attorney General represents the citizens of California with civil and criminal issues before the courts. The Attorney General also works closely with local law enforcement and federal agencies to implement programs and initiatives to provide a safer, crime-free environment. Like mentioned before, there aren’t many criminal justice schools in California, but listed below are the best three.

Criminal Justice Schools in California

University of California – Irvine:University of California – Irvine’s Department of Criminology, Law, and Society prides itself in offering programs that not only focus on the technical side of criminology such as policing and deviance, but also on the social, cultural, political, and economic forces that drive the law. That said, it offers a bachelor’s degree in criminology as well as an online master’s degree program. It’s Ph.D. program is currently ranked the 5th best criminal justice program in the nation by the U.S News & World Report.

California State University – Sacramento: California State University – Sacramento’s Department of Criminal Justice offers a traditional and an online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Both are designed to introduce students to the court system, corrections, investigative techniques, and policing. Unlike most criminal justice programs, these programs also heavily concentrate on public safety administration.

San Jose State University: San Jose State University’s Department of Justice Studies offers a variety of criminaljustice- related undergraduate and graduate degree programs to choose from including Justice Studies , Forensic Science, Human Rights, and Legal Studies. All undergraduates are required to earn real-life experience through completion of an internship before graduating.

California State University – Los Angeles: California State University – Los Angeles’ School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics offers a vast variety of programs, including a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with the option of concentrating in law-enforcement/policing. The department also offers several master’s degrees, including a master’s in criminal justice administration, forensic mental health, criminalistics, and forensic anthropology. The undergraduate degree focuses more on the basics of criminal behavior and the law, whereas the master’s degree programs prepare students for more leadership positions in the criminal justice field.

Criminal Justice Career Statistics in California

Employment opportunities with a criminal justice degree are theoretically endless. With a bachelor’s degree alone one can find placement within the police department, the public defenders’ office, or the District Attorney’s office for example. Some titles may include correctional officer, jailer, bailiff, court reporter, or paralegal, for example. Those with an advanced degree and experience can earn more leadership roles such as an administrative judge, Fish and Game Warden, lawyer, and Chief of Police, just to name a few possibilities. California may have an unemployment rate of 9.8%, according to the most recent datafrom the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, but as the economy begins to stabilize itself so will job outlook. In fact, for correctional officers, the Bureau predicts that employment opportunities will increase about 5%. On average, correctional officers in California earn about $20.49 an hour. However, this figure varies depending on education, experience, and area.

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