Criminal Justice Programs in Louisiana

According to the New Orleans Times Picayune, Louisiana is the world’s prison capital, with an incarceration rate higher than any other state and five times that of Iran, 13 times that of China, and 20 times that of Germany. In addition, Louisiana’s population continues to grow, especially in St. Bernard and Orleans counties, and companies continue to make significant investments in the state. With a swelling population, it is likely that more careers in the criminal justice field will be needed to keep the state’s residents safe. Unfortunately, state budget cuts are impacting job opportunities for skilled employees in a variety of criminal justice occupations, including detectives, forensic technicians, police and sheriff patrol, and paralegals, though employment opportunities should still be best in the Louisiana’s biggest cities.

Having a criminal justice degree will help you to compete in Louisiana’s job market. Louisiana is home to several on-campus and online colleges offering a variety of degrees in this growing field.

Criminal Justice Schools in Louisiana

Loyola University New Orleans: Loyola University offers both undergraduate and graduate criminal justice degrees, including a master of science in criminal justice administration, master of criminal justice, and a dual master’s degree in criminal justice and pastoral studies. More than 1,000 students have graduated from the program since 1960. Loyola’s state-of-the-art classrooms include ceiling-mounted projectors, laptop connections, DVD players, and a computer within each instructor podium. Loyola offers discounts to Louisiana State, Jefferson Parish, New Orleans Parish, and St. Tammany police officers to help encourage officers to continue their education and obtain a college degree.

Louisiana State University: Louisiana State University’s sociology department offers a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in criminology that addresses the underlying social causes and consequences of crime. The program also explores crime and criminal justice in a larger social context. A concentration in criminology is helpful for sociology majors who wish to pursue one of many careers in the field of criminal justice, social work, and corrections, including employment as a parole agent, U.S. customs service agent, industrial security investigator, or court paralegal.

Bossier Parish Community College: Recognizing the increasing demand for qualified candidates in the fields of criminal justice, Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) offers an associate of applied science in criminal justice degree with elective courses in corrections, law enforcement, legal systems, and a concentration in medico legal death investigation. The completed associate degree offers students a competitive and potential career advantages in the field. Courses taken at BPCC count toward a bachelor’s degree at four-year colleges and universities that accept transferred courses.

Strayer University: Strayer University offers an online associate and bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. For the online bachelor’s degree, students select a concentration in computer security and forensics, criminal justice administration, homeland security and emergency management, and homeland security technology. Through both the associate and bachelor program, students will develop analytical, critical, leadership, communication, and decision-making skills while exploring, among other topics, criminal theory, law, ethics and procedure.

Criminal Justice Career Statistics in Louisiana

A job as an officer at a Louisiana police department or correctional facility requires at least a high school diploma or the equivalent, some college, and some full-time work experience. Whether you want to pursue a master’s degree depends on what area of criminal justice you want to specialize in. For instance, master of science degrees are available in forensic science, cyber-crime, and behavioral analysis, while master of arts degrees are offered in legal studies, homeland security, terrorism and mediation, and public policy.

Salaries for jobs in Louisiana’s criminal justice system can vary greatly depending on what part of the state you work in and whether you work for a state or local agency. Education and level of experience will help determine your annual salary as well. In New Orleans, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage for Louisiana correctional officers is $34,240. The annual mean range for police and sheriff patrol officers is $39,030 and for detectives and criminal investigators, it’s $55,450.