Published on June 7, 2024
Edited by Evelyn Keener
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University Headquarters (HQ) is an industry-leading, independent educational organization that provides independent college rankings using a proprietary formula to create first class unbiased rankings. The team at University HQ strives to provide accurate and trustworthy rankings that highlights the best programs for corrections and case management in Illinois.

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What is Corrections and Case Management?


In Illinois, the Department of Corrections oversees the state's correctional facilities and is responsible for the management of inmates. This includes ensuring that inmates are housed in a safe and secure environment, providing them with access to necessary services such as healthcare and counseling, and implementing programs to help prepare them for reentry into society upon release.

Case management involves working closely with individuals involved with criminal justice to help address any underlying issues that contributed to their involvement in criminal activity such as substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling services, job training, or any other support services they might need.

As of May 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there were approximately 11,140 individuals employed as correctional officers and jailers in Illinois; additionally, there were approximately 8,200 employed as probation officers or correctional treatment specialists. Employment in corrections and case management fields in Illinois is expected to increase over the coming years as demand for correctional services grows.

Individuals interested in entering this sector should pursue a degree in criminal justice or related fields, gain relevant work experience through internships or volunteerism opportunities, and acquire any licenses or certifications necessary for their desired role. Corrections and case management play a vital role in the criminal justice system in Illinois, and individuals employed in these fields help to ensure the safety and well-being of both inmates and the community.

Prospective criminal justice students can find a variety of criminal justice programs that can prepare them for Illinois law enforcement training for various law enforcement agencies, work in the Chicago Police Department and other police departments, forensic investigation, private security, the Illinois State Police, criminal justice administration, work in the court system, further criminal justice education, and many Illinois criminal justice careers. Schools in the state include Western Illinois University, Clark Community College, Illinois Eastern community colleges, Illinois Central College, Loyola University Chicago, Lewis University, City Colleges of Chicago, Northwestern University, Illinois State University, and others that have criminal justice majors and criminal justice degrees.

 

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Online Corrections and Case Management Education in Illinois


A corrections case manager is a professional who works within the justice system to assist in the rehabilitation and reintegration of individuals who have been incarcerated. They play a crucial role in helping individuals make positive changes in their lives and successfully transition back into society after serving time in prison. Corrections case managers' primary responsibility is assessing client needs and creating customized treatment plans to address those needs. This may involve providing counseling, connecting them with community resources, and coordinating services such as substance abuse treatment, job training or housing assistance.

Corrections case managers also serve as advocates for their clients, assisting them through the complex legal system and making sure they have access to resources and support needed to be successful. They may work alongside probation officers, social workers and other professionals in providing services coordinated around client progress monitoring.

In addition to providing direct services to clients, corrections case managers also play a crucial role in risk assessment and management. They must be able to accurately assess the risk of recidivism and develop strategies to reduce that risk through targeted interventions and support.

Online Associate Degree in Corrections and Case Management (AS)

An associate degree in corrections and case management typically takes two years to complete, providing fundamental knowledge of the criminal justice system. Your coursework will cover topics like juvenile justice, probation, parole, and rehabilitation strategies. Illinois community colleges may also offer this degree with options for concentration in case management - ideal preparation for entry-level positions or further study.

Furthermore, these degree programs emphasize the significance of effective communication and interpersonal skills when working with those incarcerated by criminal justice systems. Students learn how to assess individual needs, develop personalized rehabilitation plans for offenders, and facilitate community reintegration plans for them. By emphasizing holistic approaches to corrections and case administration, graduates emerge prepared to make meaningful contributions toward creating positive results both for offenders and society in general.

Online Bachelors Degree in Corrections and Case Management (BS)

A bachelor’s degree program extends over four years, deepening your understanding of corrections, criminology, and case management. You will study topics like criminal law, ethics in criminal justice, correctional administration, and case management techniques. Illinois houses a number of colleges and universities that offer this comprehensive degree, which can qualify you for roles that require greater responsibility within correctional institutions.

This degree is particularly valuable in Illinois, where there is a growing need for skilled professionals who can effectively manage cases and provide support to those transitioning out of incarceration. In addition to coursework on criminal law and corrections procedures, students develop critical thinking skills to assess individual needs and tailor interventions accordingly. As the field evolves to prioritize alternative sentencing approaches over traditional incarceration, a bachelor's degree in corrections and case management becomes increasingly vital for aspiring professionals seeking to make a positive impact on their communities.

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Online Masters Degree in Corrections and Case Management (MS)

Acquiring a master's of corrections and case management - typically a two-year program - provides advanced knowledge suitable for leadership or specialist roles. Your studies will center around concepts related to correctional techniques, policy implementation, and organizational management - skills which could open doors to influential positions at correctional facilities or government agencies across Illinois.

Moreover, pursuing this degree allows individuals to delve deeper into specialized areas such as mental health interventions, substance abuse treatment, and reentry programs. By combining theoretical knowledge with practical experience through internships and research projects, students can develop a comprehensive skill set needed to make meaningful contributions to the field. Ultimately, a master's degree in corrections and case management empowers individuals to become change agents within the criminal justice system by advocating for best practices and innovative solutions aimed at reducing recidivism rates.

Online PhD Degree in Corrections and Case Management (PhD)

A PhD in corrections and case management is the highest level of education in the field and is research-oriented, requiring several years to complete. You will engage in original research, advanced theoretical study, and contribute to the field through dissertations. These degrees are offered by universities in Illinois for those aspiring to become experts and thought leaders in the field of corrections, aimed at driving policy and reform at the highest levels.

Moreover, pursuing a PhD offers opportunities for groundbreaking research that can reshape current practices within the criminal justice system. By delving deep into topics such as restorative justice, mental health interventions, and reentry programs, students can contribute valuable insights that drive positive change at both the individual and systemic levels. The blend of academic rigor and real-world application in this field not only elevates one's expertise but also positions them as influential leaders advocating for more humane and effective approaches to rehabilitation.

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Online Corrections and Case Management Certifications

Obtaining certifications in corrections and case management can be a steppingstone toward a fulfilling career in the criminal justice field. These certifications provide specialized training and skills that are essential for professionals working in correctional facilities or with individuals involved in the criminal justice system. In Illinois, where job opportunities in this sector are diverse and dynamic, having these certifications can give individuals a competitive edge in securing employment and advancing their careers.

Moreover, earning certifications demonstrates a commitment to professional development and continuous learning in the field of corrections and case management. By staying up to date with industry trends, best practices, and evolving policies, certified professionals are better equipped to navigate complex challenges within the criminal justice system. This not only enhances their job performance but also allows them to make a positive impact on the lives of those they work with.

Become a Case Manager in Illinois


Case managers play a crucial role in advocating for clients and coordinating their care across various providers and services. Here are the steps you can take to become a case manager in Illinois.

  • Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree

    While not always necessary for case managers, possessing a background in social work, psychology, nursing or similar fields can prove useful when becoming case managers. Employers tend to prefer candidates who possess such degrees.

  • Step 2: Gain Experience

    Most employers prefer hiring case managers with prior healthcare or social service experience such as working as a social worker, nurse, or in a similar role that entails providing coordination of services for clients. You can gain this experience through work as either social work intern, nurse aide, or any related position that involves managing services for clients.

  • Step 3. Obtain Certification

    While certification may not always be mandatory, becoming a Certified Case Manager (CCM) can demonstrate your expertise and dedication to the field. The Commission for Case Manager Certification awards CCM credential to professionals who meet eligibility requirements and pass an exam.

  • Step 4: Network and Build Relationships

    Networking with other case managers, healthcare professionals, and social service providers can help you learn about job opportunities and advance your career. Building relationships with potential employers and colleagues can also help you stay informed about industry trends and best practices.

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What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in Corrections and Case Management?


A bachelor's degree in corrections and case management can open a world of possibilities for graduates. With this degree, individuals can pursue a variety of career paths such as becoming a probation officer, correctional treatment specialist, or case manager in the criminal justice system. These roles involve working with at-risk populations, helping to rehabilitate offenders, and ensuring they are following court-mandated guidelines.

Furthermore, graduates with this degree can also explore opportunities in social work agencies, juvenile detention centers, or halfway houses where they can make a meaningful impact on individuals' lives. The skills learned in one of these programs – such as conflict resolution, understanding legal procedures, and effective communication – are highly transferable and sought after in various settings within the criminal justice field. Overall, a bachelor's degree in this field equips individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to make a difference in society by helping those involved with the justice system navigate their way toward successful reintegration into society.

Potential Careers for Corrections and Case Management Graduates


Correctional Officers and Jailers

Correctional officers and jailers are responsible for ensuring the safety and security of inmates within a correctional facility. They enforce rules and regulations, maintain order, and monitor inmate activities to prevent disturbances.

Necessary Requirements:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Completion of a correctional officer training program
  • Ability to pass a background check and drug test
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Physical fitness and ability to handle confrontational situations
  • Knowledge of laws and regulations related to corrections

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for correctional officers and bailiffs in the US in 2022 was $49,610
  • The mean annual wage for correctional officers and jailers in Illinois is $64,840

Postsecondary Criminal Justice Teacher

Postsecondary criminal justice teachers are accountable for instructing their students in various aspects of criminal justice at postsecondary levels. To be an effective teacher in this area, they must possess extensive knowledge in terms of criminal justice theories, practices, and procedures while possessing effective communication skills to convey this information effectively to students.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Master's degree or higher in criminal justice or a related field
  • Previous teaching experience at the postsecondary level preferred
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Knowledge of criminal justice research methods and analysis
  • Ability to work effectively with diverse student populations

Estimated Salary

  • The mean annual wage for criminal justice and law enforcement teachers, postsecondary in the US in 2022 was $78,980
  • The median annual wage for criminal justice and law enforcement teachers, postsecondary in Illinois is $64,850

Security Guards

Security guards are responsible for creating and upholding a safe environment by patrolling and monitoring premises, enforcing regulations to restrict unauthorized access or activities, and patrolling to detect suspicious behavior. They may work in office buildings, retail stores, event venues, and residential complexes, among other settings.

Necessary Requirements:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Previous experience in security or related field preferred
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure and handle stressful situations effectively
  • Physical fitness to perform patrol duties and respond to emergencies
  • Knowledge of basic security procedures and protocols

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for security guards in the US in 2022 was $34,770
  • The median annual wage for security guards in Illinois is $37,160

Occupational Health and Safety Specialists

Occupational health and safety specialists are accountable for overseeing employee health and safety at work, working to prevent accidents, injuries, and occupational hazards through safety programs and policies.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in occupational health and safety, industrial hygiene, or a related field
  • Certification as a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) or Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) preferred
  • Knowledge of OSHA regulations and other relevant safety standards
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Attention to detail and problem-solving abilities

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for occupational health and safety specialists and technicians in the US in 2022 was $75,240
  • The average median annual wage for occupational health and safety technicians in Illinois was $69,750

First-Line Supervisors of Correctional Officers

First-line supervisors of correctional officers are charged with overseeing and managing daily operations of correctional facilities, providing leadership and guidance to their team of correctional officers to ensure inmates, staff, and visitors' safety and security. In addition, these supervisors enforce facility rules and regulations, handle disciplinary actions when needed and coordinating activities to maintain order within their facility.

Necessary Requirements:

  • High school diploma or equivalent; bachelor's degree in criminal justice or a related field preferred
  • Previous experience working as a correctional officer or in a related field
  • Strong leadership and communication skills
  • Knowledge of correctional procedures, policies, and laws
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure and make quick decisions in emergency situations

Estimated Salary

  • The mean annual wage for first-line supervisors of correctional officers in the US in 2022 was $70,190
  • The mean annual wage for first-line supervisors of correctional officers in Illinois is $82,600

Transportation Security Screeners

Transportation security screeners are responsible for protecting passengers, baggage, and cargo at airports and other transportation hubs using various screening technologies to detect prohibited items entering secure areas.

Necessary Requirements:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Ability to pass a background check and obtain security clearance
  • Strong attention to detail and ability to follow standard operating procedures
  • Good communication skills and customer service orientation
  • Physical ability to stand for long periods and lift heavy objects if needed

Estimated Salary

  • The mean annual wage for transportation security screeners in the US in 2022 was $48,520
  • The median annual wage for transportation security screeners in Illinois is $47,550

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