Individuals who earn a degree in corrections and enter the workforce have a huge responsibility of ensuring the safety of citizens in their community. Although the field of corrections and law enforcement may seem daunting at first, the career can be a rewarding one when approached the right way and with the proper training.
Why Study Corrections?
A criminal justice degree with a concentration in corrections focuses on the rehabilitation of criminal offenders, juvenile services and community corrections. Those who work in the field of corrections have the possibility to make a long-term and positive impact of those who may have lost their way. They may be confronted with dangerous situations at times as well. The insight and invaluable knowledge gained through a degree program in corrections will aid in the preparation of any challenges that individuals could encounter in this field.
Corrections Associate’s Degrees
An Associate’s degree in Corrections is geared to help students learn the basic of the US correctional system while giving them the skills and knowledge of the internal working and how they operate in many different roles. Students will learn in detail the rules and regulations of the correctional system, as well as policies used within the correctional system.
These specific classes can be substituted with courses that are similar, as most correctional degrees are interdisciplinary. In addition, universities highly recommend students choose courses of a broader variety that are prerequisite to help them reach their future career goals.
Corrections Bachelor’s Degrees
A Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Corrections or a bachelor’s degree in corrections will prepare graduates to fill job positions available in the field of adult and juvenile corrections. Students will learn the regulations and institutional rules and policies and general safety measures. In addition, students will learn the proper techniques and protocol for handling social disturbances, inmate protection, hostage negotiation and how to disarm prisoners in possession of weapons.
Corrections Master’s Degrees
A Masters of Corrections degree is specifically designed for law enforcement officials who desire to advance in the careers and work on an administrative level in correctional facilities. The program usually can usually be completed online or on-campus with classes scheduled in the evening or on the weekend. Students will begin by attending courses in criminal justice, criminology, criminal law and crime data analysis. Following this, they will participate in specialized courses that provide detailed instruction on prison control, prisoner screening, prison security, crisis management and substance abuse prevention. Prior to graduation, seniors usually work as interns in a correctional facility so they have a better understanding of the position and gain experience they will be able to refer to when faced with future challenges on the job.
Corrections Doctorate Degrees
Graduates with a doctorate in corrections usually work as managers, supervisors, administrators or educators. They may also be called upon to testify as expert witnesses in their specific work sector. A major part of their responsibilities include preventing disturbances in correctional facilities and enforcing compliance of rules and regulations.
To enroll in a doctorate degree, you must have completed a master’s degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology. For individuals who have completed a master’s degree in another specialization must complete core courses in criminal justice, as well as criminology before entering a Ph.D program. In addition, individuals wanting to enter a doctorate program must pass the Graduate Record Examination to be admitted.
Applicants also need to take courses in Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation and Development. This specialization includes study of the Criminal Court System, The US Penal System, Corrections Management and Juvenile Detention and Corrections. With the increase in the number of illegal aliens and convicted criminals in the USA, the US Government has been forced to open new correctional facilities and prisons, and this signified a greater need for highly-skilled graduates to fill positions.
Career Outlook and Salary
The average annual wage for those wanting to work as correctional officers was $44,910 in 2014. Bailiffs received an average salary of $42,360 in 2014.
There is an expected increase in employment of correctional officer of five percent between 2012 and 2022. Even though there are budget restrictions, job availability will continue to increase largely due to the dangerous situations within this sector of employment.
The job outlook for those employed as sociologists is quite promising. The median salary for sociologists as of May 2014 was $78,810.