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Criminal Justice and Related Studies is a degree category that consists of the following common degrees:
- Read more about Criminal Justice
Degree programs in criminal justice teach students about the agencies and processes that governments have created to control crime and punish those who violate laws.
At the heart of this training are the five components that make up the criminal justice system:
Law enforcement officers – usually the police – arrest offenders, complete reports on the crimes that happen in their jurisdictions, investigate crimes, and gather and protect evidence. They may be required to give testimony in court or conduct follow-up investigations.
‘Prosecution’ refers to the legal proceedings in which a person accused of a criminal offense is tried in a court by the government appointed public prosecutor or district attorney. The prosecutor in a case is the legal representative of the government, whose job it is to review evidence received from law enforcement to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to file charges; and if there is, to present that evidence in court, question witnesses, and possibly negotiate plea bargains with defendants.
These are the attorneys who defend the accused against the case brought by the government. They are either hired by the defendant or, for defendants who cannot afford an attorney, they are assigned by the court.
Court is presided over by a judge. The judge’s primary responsibilities are to ensure that the law is followed and to oversee everything that happens in the courtroom.
This component of the criminal justice system is concerned with supervising convicted offenders when they are in prison or in the community on parole or probation, and with overseeing release processes for inmates.
- Read more about Law Enforcement
A degree in law enforcement prepares students to complete specific on-the-job training programs that are typically required for positions in fields such as policing, detective work, corrections, and probation.
The curriculum of degree programs commonly includes courses in:
- Criminal Justice
- Criminal Law
- Criminal Investigations
- Cyber Crime Investigations
- Evidence and Court Procedure
- Policing / Law Enforcement Operations
- Police Administration
- Police and Community Relations
- Ethical Issues in Law Enforcement
- Juvenile Justice
- Law History
- Media Relations
- English Composition