Criminal Justice Programs in West Virginia

West Virginia houses more than 20 criminal justice degree programs and a number of professional criminal justice groups and organizations. The West Virginia Division of Justice & Community Services, for example, serves as the state’s criminal justice planning agency. Many college students work internships with this department, helping to develop comprehensive plans that directly improve the state’s criminal justice system.├┐Furthermore, students also intern with the Justice Reinvestment program, a government project that seeks to reduce corrections spending and reinvest the savings generated into strategies and programs that can increase public safety. There are a handful of schools in the state that offer knowledgeable and thorough criminal justice degree programs as well.

Criminal Justice Schools in West Virginia

West Virginia State University: The criminal justice degree program at West Virginia State University is offered as a bachelor of science in criminal justice with concentrations in either law enforcement or courts and corrections. Some of the courses offered at the university include victimology, punishment and corrections, police and society, and a myriad of other intriguing courses. The criminal justice degree prepares students for careers in law enforcement, corrections, probation, parole, juvenile justice, social services, graduate school, and law school.

Marshall University: The Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology at Marshall University is offered in two forms: a undergraduate degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in criminal justice. The Department was among one of the first schools in the state to offer a criminal justice degree to students. Furthermore, through a partnership with the Department of Integrated Science and Technology, the university also offers students the opportunity to minor in Cybercrime and Digital Evidence Retrieval/Recovery. All these criminal justice-centric degrees help prepare students for a career in criminal justice.

West Virginia Wesleyan College: The criminal justice degree program at West Virginia Wesleyan College is unique because it provides students with an overview of the criminal justice system as a whole. In addition to taking criminal justice courses in topics like crime, policing, and criminal law, students are expected to pursue courses in political science, sociology, psychology, philosophy, and a handful of other important justice/social topics. Furthermore, students that select the bachelor’s degree in criminal justice are required to take on an internship or independent study in West Virginia during their college studies.

West Virginia Northern Community College: West Virginia Northern Community Colleges offers its students the opportunity to obtain an associate degree in criminal justice. Many of the graduates of the criminal justice program go on to become employees of the West Virginia State Police and Ohio State Highway Patrol agencies. Also, many of the criminal justice degree graduates work in the correctional field as correctional officers, adult and juvenile case workers, and treatment specialists in both the public and private sector.

Criminal Justice Career Statistics in West Virginia

Many students that graduate with a criminal justice degree in West Virginia end up working as criminal justice professionals in jobs like police officers, parole officers, correctional officers, and numerous others. The current job outlook for criminal justice workers in West Virginia is strong, with nearly 6,000 individuals already working in the criminal justice field. By 2020, that number is expected to increase by at least 5%. Those who work in criminal justice in West Virginia can expect to earn anywhere from about $16,500 a year to over $35,500 a year. The average salary for a criminal justice professional in West Virginia, however, is about $21,000 a year.

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