The criminal justice field has evolved in recent years to include a number of agencies within its scope. Each of these agencies is operating towards upholding the rule of law, mitigating crime, and regulating criminal law. Law enforcement offers a wide range of changing career opportunities to those who wish to become a part of this sector. Thousands of criminals are brought to justice thanks to law enforcement officers. But have you ever wondered who manages the activities and parole of offenders after they have been convicted? Corrections officers are basically professionals who oversee individuals serving time in prison or a correctional facility.
This field of law enforcement has evolved into a separate academic principle over the years. Many institutes have started offering certificate and undergraduate programs in this particular area. Students who want to work in the corrections department can prepare for this career by acquiring formal education in corrections.
Associate in Corrections
An associate degree in corrections is the most basic undergraduate qualification one can aim for. This program usually has a duration of two years but will depend upon which institute you enroll in. the objective of an associate degree in corrections is to allow students to acquire a thorough understanding of correctional services, administrative procedures, and job requirements.
During the first phase of the program, introductory concepts are taught that include courses such as criminal justice, law enforcement, criminal profiling, community corrections, court systems, legal ethics and parole. These courses will allow students to understand how the criminal justice system operates.
Further in the program, more advanced and career oriented subjects are covered. Students will learn how correctional facilities operate and what treatment strategies can be used. Some institutes offering associate degrees in corrections also provide subjects that can be taken up for specialization. This helps students prepare for a specific path in corrections. A few of the specialization courses you can expect include:
Corrections and parole
The program will also emphasize practical skill development among students. Having certain skills is necessary for this career as the work environment can turn out to be challenging and dangerous at times. All students must have strong communication skills, judgment skills, analytical skills, and quick decision making skills.
It is not necessary for students to enroll at a campus based institute to acquire an education in this field. A number of online institutes have started offering Corrections Associate programs. The coursework of online degrees is more flexible and easy to cover. This mode of education is highly suitable for working individuals who are unable to attend campus-based classes.
The job positions you can pursue with a Corrections Associate program are usually entry level. You can qualify for assistant level jobs in correctional facilities. A lot of on-the-job training is required to understand the demands of the occupation. In some states, you may also receive training through a federal sponsored program or corrections academy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median income of correctional officers was $38,970 in 2012.