Degree in Criminal Justice

People who graduate with a degree in criminal justice are equipped to perform all sorts of public services. Many of these related careers are exciting and come with lots of responsibilities and rewards. At times, however, these jobs can be both dangerous and stressful. These degrees are classified as a major in the social sciences. This is because the nature of criminal justice is to explain the patterns of criminal behavior and to decipher society’s ability to control crime and criminals. It is all about choosing the correct steps to achieve justice and ensure the quality of life and safety of civilians. If you decide to earn a degree in this field you will be studying many different topics, including: sociology, legal studies, psychology, political science, forensic science, urban studies, public administration, and philosophy. A major or degree in criminal justice is designed to focus on the defining factors, causes, and preventative measures related to crime in modern society; it also focuses on practical legal measures needed.

These majors learn, in great detail, about the legal and correctional systems in the United States. They study the philosophy of punishment, and the ethical codes of behavior that are used by society in the application of this studiously gained knowledge. Graduates granted degrees are prepared for careers in law enforcement, victim services, court administration, corrections, and to begin furthering their degrees in law school or graduate programs.

Study programs for criminal behavior and law enforcement are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Professionals who work in modern police forces, correctional facilities, court systems, and related criminal justice agencies are expected to have a broad, well-rounded knowledge of the social sciences. As American law grows increasingly complex, society demands more from its criminal justice professionals (and students). The standard of education for these people is higher today than ever before and the bar is only going to become continually higher.

That being said, criminal justice is an important, meaningful, and exciting career and anyone interested in pursuing such a career should be encouraged to check out the many wonderful opportunities for study both in American universities and with more flexible online or community-based programs. There is so much a person can do with a criminal justice degree and it is a field will only continue to grow with technology and other modern advancements.

There are a wide variety of College Criminal Justice jobs available to those seeking them; this is a field with high job security and very high career advancement opportunity.

The Difference Between Court Reporting and Legal Transcription

Many people aren’t sure what the difference is between a court reporter and a legal transcriptionist and might believe the two to be pretty much the same. While similar in some ways, there are also some crucial differences. One major difference is that a court reporter transcribes speech in real time while a transcriptionist transcribes recordings and has the advantage of replaying quickly spoken dialog and difficult to understand speech. In addition, the two have very different educational requirements.

Court Reporters
While the primary duty of a court reporter is indeed the real time verbatim transcription of the dialog taking place in the court room, there are actually some additional duties that a he or she may handle depending on the court room and the judge he or she works with. Sometimes they may be looked to for additional tasks such as:

  • Additional research for items entered into record
  • Real time reporting on what has already been recorded
  • Providing notary public services
  • Administering oaths to witnesses
  • Preparing documents and other administrative duties prior to trial

Regardless of the method used for court reporting (stenotype reporting, voice writing) the academic background is essentially the same. Formal schooling and licensure or certification is required. Academic programs range from two to four years and classes include legal terminology and procedures, legal research, medical vocabulary, business law, and the English language, grammar and mechanics. Some states require a state license while others accept certifications granted by court reporter associations. These certifications require the passing of an exam or exams along with earning continuing education credits.

In addition to academics, college programs also teach the actual skills needed to do the real time verbatim transcription. Court reporters don’t use regular keyboards to record speech but rather stenotype machines. These machines have keys but don’t look like the keyboard you’re used to using. They have far fewer keys. Court reporters type a phonetic code instead of typing out entire words letter by letter. This enables them to type in the neighborhood of 250 – 300 words per minute.

Another type of court reporting involves a stenomask used by a voice writer. The reporter verbally repeats everything that is being spoken into the stenomask along with descriptions of emotional displays and other relevant events in the courtroom. The stenomask is placed on the face which prevents others from hearing the voice writer speak. Voice writing is less common than the stenotype method but takes less time to learn.

Legal Transcriptionists
Confusion sometimes arises with the job description of the legal transcriptionist. Many imagine the job to be a blending of numerous roles including those of a paralegal, legal secretary, court reporter and transcriptionist. While each of these areas can be important toward providing professional and quality legal transcription, they are not required backgrounds of the legal transcriptionist.

Although there is no formal certification or degree that is required in order for an individual to become a legal transcriptionist, the best level of service can be obtained from those who specialize in legal transcription. Likewise, transcriptionists who have a two or four year degree in criminal justice, legal or paralegal studies can often provide a greater level of service overall. In lieu of a degree, working as a legal secretary or assistant might give the individual some of the knowledge and skills necessary.

While the transcriptionist and the court reporter both should have an understanding of the legal system and its language, the transcriptionist does not typically work in a courtroom. A legal transcriptionist may work as a freelancer or in-house for a transcription company, law firm, government agency, or corporation. Legal transcriptionists transcribe recorded depositions, hearings, witness interviews, interrogations, 911 calls, dictation, and documents such as hand written letters and notes, affidavits, identification papers, pleadings, probates, and anything else legal or relating to a legal case.

Court Reporters Working Outside the Courtroom
Like legal transcriptionists, court reporters may also work as freelancers. In addition, they may also work for corporations, government agencies and others. While a transcriptionist will transcribe recorded depositions and hearings, a court reporter will attend the proceeding and transcribe it in real time.

Freelance court reporters or stenographers will also attend speeches, meetings, press conferences, seminars and anything else that requires a written record. In fact, court reporters are also finding a lot of work doing real time broadcast captioning. This is often used for live broadcasts of speeches, sports events, news programs, and legal or legislative proceedings – just to name a few. Think of the black boxes with white letters on the television screen. Captions aren’t always done in real time – but when necessary it’s a court reporter/stenographer that’s up for the task.

Your New Degree in Criminal Justice and the Job You Can Get With One

Law enforcement agencies all around America are changing and evolving. As contemporary criminals become more sophisticated in their activities, a better understanding of criminal conduct is necessary to help stop future crime. To do this, researching, understanding and anticipating current criminals and crimes is the core of what is taught in today’s criminal justice courses.

Criminal justice is now a social science that has three main levels of educational degrees that will offer work opportunities throughout all areas of law enforcement. There are distinct qualification stages in this discipline and the one you need depends upon what type of job you would like to have once your graduate. Degrees may be earned on the web or by attending a traditional campus. The three education levels are associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, and master’s degree, and each one takes you to a higher level of potential work opportunities.

Going after an associate degree takes about two years and is the primary qualification for the vast majority of community and state law enforcement positions. An associate’s degree is the entry-level degree the majority of employers really want to read on an applicants resume. This degree conveys to them that you have been coached and educated on the tasks that you will be in fact going to do. Jobs available on this level are often police officers, correctional facility workers, and airport and transportation security. Forensics specialists and cyber-crime analysts and private security officers are also popular options.

People may carry on their schooling with a bachelors degree program which makes them eligible for higher level employment and, in almost all instances, higher paying job opportunities. This four-year bachelor’s diploma gives graduates a wider variety of job opportunities, particularly in the government agencies such as the FBI and Secret Service. Prospective careers also will include criminologist, fraud investigator, CIA agent, DEA agent and Homeland Security officer. There are also options for less stressful positions as a FBI accountant, probation officer or legal assistant that are also obtainable with this level of degree.

A masters degree is the top level, opening up even higher positions with the best paying jobs. A master’s degree can really open up a number of new possibilities, particularly on the management level. Many law enforcement professionals accelerate their career with a master’s degree. This is how many get promoted faster into a management job and higher paying employment. A person can move from being a patrol officer to a supervisor to police chief with a masters degree in hand and some strong, solid work experience on their resume.

Criminal justice diplomas and careers in law enforcement go perfect together today. This industry presents some good opportunities for those who want to work either in the private or public parts of law enforcement. Given that there are lots of employment opportunities in this field, more and more young people are now contemplating pursuing a degree in criminal justice and getting themselves on an exciting new career route.

Two Popular Careers in Criminal Justice

There are a few careers that will forever have security in the job industry. Careers with solid job security are legal careers. Careers in criminal justice range from police officer, government agent, paralegal, forensics, crime scene investigator, private security, justice and corrections officer. These criminal justice degree jobs and careers require a bachelors degree in criminal justice. Some of them also require a doctorate degree.

Degrees often have a concentration in areas like criminology, sociology and political science. Depending on what specific career you are interested in, choosing a concentration will give you an advantage in those areas. To gain solid employment a concentration lets employers recognize your dedication to that specific field.

One of the most popular criminal justice careers is a paralegal. Overall, this career is the right hand assistant to an attorney. They can do everything that an attorney can do except give legal advice and represent a client in court. Other than that, it is often the responsibility of the paralegal to understand the law in the same comprehensive way that an attorney does except an attorney has had three years of Law School study. This position is great for those looking to eventually become an attorney. You can gain experience for your own practice and partake in a very steady employment opportunity.

Thanks to the popular television shows and series, crime scene investigation and forensics are up and coming careers in criminal justice. Although these careers are extremely time consuming and demanding, they are extremely rewarding. Not only are they rewarding in salary and benefits, they also give you a sense of success when your conclusions help close cases and save lives.

There are a number of ways to gain qualifications and education for this line of work. Some universities and college allow you to take a certification program on top of your bachelors degree, others require you to gain additional education in the form of a doctorate. This career is more of a scientific aspect to criminal justice.

These are just a two popular Careers In Criminal Justice. It’s also beneficial to attend schools who have a great Criminal Justice program that are noteworthy and respected in the industry. Choose a concentration that will give you very specific knowledge and experience in one area of the law. You will undoubtedly find wonderful employment opportunities with these qualifications.

Computer Forensics and Legal Aspects

The rate of crimes on internet and networks is increased to an alarming state by hackers, contractors, intruders and employees. Laws are enforced and computer forensics is practiced to avoid and prevent these crimes. Using computer forensics investigators use latest techniques of science and technology to find some evidence against crimes. The evidence will be collected for legal purposes when criminal matters are dealt. Investigation by using latest techniques of science and technology along with computer sciences to collect evidence in criminal and civil courts is called computer forensics. Experts use advanced tools to recover deleted, corrupted or damaged files from hard discs, flash drives and other storage media. A complete examination of windows registry, drives, cookies, deleted files, emails and all other relevant locations is done to find any clue to prosecute the case in law courts.

The first step in collecting evidence is to obtain warrant to search the suspected system. This warrant includes not only seizing and investigating the suspected computer but any devices connected with the crime are also included in it. A printer, scanner or any other device may be used with computer in making crime so these devices are also seized for investigation. Person who examines the computer system is not only an IT expert but a detective. He detects clues to find out the story or details of the crime. The main aim of an investigator or expert is to find out evidence not the culprit. Using computer forensics large amounts of money are recovered by following the law suits in civil and criminal courts.

Computer forensics specialist revealed frauds, crimes and corruptions in insurance companies, criminal prosecutors, large corporations and law enforcement office. The standards, methods and laws of computer forensics are different in different countries. Some evidence is acceptable in some countries but not in others while dealing with crimes at international levels. There is no boundary of internet so it is a problem while investigating and collecting evidences because different countries have different laws.

Personnel, Network administrators and security staff should have knowledge about computer forensics and its legal aspects. An expert should have authority to monitor and collect evidence related to intrusions and computer crimes. The use of security tools should be legal and according to the policies of the company and rules of the country. Computer forensics is a new discipline so the use of existing laws is instable while prosecuting computer crimes. Website of United States Department of Justice’s Cyber Crime is the reliable source of information and rules to apply it. Standards of computer forensics and list of recent cases which are in proceeding are given on the website. Evidences are collected in a way which is accepted by the court. Laws are being approved in the favor of personal data security in organizations.

Organizations have to prove that they have applied necessary securities. So when data is theft or affected then there will not be any lawsuit on the company if proper security applications and policies are installed and implemented.

Computer security law has three areas which one should know. First is in United States Constitution; it protects against unreasonable search, attacks and self-incrimination. These were written before problems occurred but tell how to practice them.

In the second area anyone practicing computer forensics should know the effect of three U.S. Statutory laws.

Wiretap Act

Pen Registers and Trap and Trace Devices Statute

Stored Wired and Electronic Communication Act

During the practice of computer forensics violations of any one of the above statutes lead to fine or imprisonment. If a company feels any doubt about that it has committed mistake it should consult with its attorney.

In third area U.S. Federal rules about computer crimes must be understood. There are two areas which affect cyber crimes

1. Authority to collect and monitor data

2. Admissibility of collection methods

If network or system administrators know about the legal and technical complexities of computer forensics or they are able to preserve critical data of the organization then it would be an asset of the organization.