In the field of criminal justice, corrections is a term used to describe the functions carried out for treating offenders and convicts. While police officers play the role of catching criminals, correctional officers play the role of supervising these criminals after caught. This field in law enforcement is expected to grow in the coming years.
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Criminal Justice Programs
Corrections is basically a field that aims at keeping citizen safe from criminals, and helping such offenders change their lifestyles towards a more positive goal. Correctional officers basically help convicts who have been sentenced to community service or probation. If you are interested in helping your community, and bringing real life positive changes in the lives of many, this career can be suitable for you. Corrections has evolved as an academic field of study that covers the basic theories, policies, and functions of the practice. A number of renowned institutes are offering bachelor degrees and masters degrees in corrections to allow interested students to acquire specialized education for a career in this area.
Masters in corrections
Masters in corrections are basically graduate level degrees. This program can only be pursued after acquiring a bachelor level education. You can pursue this program online as well through traditional campus schools. With the increased integration of technology, online programs are gaining popularity fast. A masters degree in corrections will focus on the main theories that are related to the field. Students will spend a great deal of time developing basic fundamental concepts related to corrections and the current legal trends in the nation. This program is geared towards allowing students to learn about overall public safety, various criminal trial procedures, and management of convicted individuals.
The curriculum can be divided into two main areas: classroom learning and practical skill development. Most courses are geared towards developing a strong theoretical understanding among students. These courses typically include the following:
Law and government
Issues in corrections
Apart from theoretical development, students also enhance their practical skill set that is needed for a professional career in corrections. Usually a masters degree will take approximately 2 years to complete. But is it important to remember that the duration may vary and depend upon the institute you choose to enroll in.
Corrections masters programs will allow students to prep for a dynamic work environment. A job as a correctional officer can be demanding in many ways, but is also considered equally rewarding. You can start your career by acquiring formal training at a federally sponsored agency. It is important that you develop career oriented skills. The American Correctional Association is one of the leading organizations that develop the training guidelines for agencies to follow.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median wage of correctional officers has been estimated to be $38,970 in 2012. These officers perform a wide range of duties that include enforcing rules within prisons, supervising inmates, inspecting facilities, documenting inmate conduct, and assessing criminal behavior.