What is Criminal Justice?
Working in criminal justice can be highly rewarding as individuals in the field help to hold criminals accountable for their actions and protect communities. Individuals can work in the criminal justice field both in the private and public sectors. Both sides will focus on gathering evidence to effectively prosecute criminals and achieving justice for any community members who have been wronged or harmed by the actions of others.
Jobs that tend to fall under the criminal justice umbrella include those working for law enforcement including police officers, individuals working to prosecute crimes in court, social workers aiming to reduce crimes against children and others, and people who work in prison systems – also known as corrections officers. More importantly, criminal justice professionals not only hold important responsibilities in bringing criminals to justice, but they also help in reducing recidivism and rehabilitating individuals who are looking to grow from past mistakes. This helps increase the number of community members who are positively contributing to society. Therefore, the criminal justice system comprises a wide range of careers, which opens the possibility for students seeking to graduate from criminal justice programs and make contributions to their community.
Additionally, regional differences in state and local policies, crime, and employment opportunities are likely to change the crime composition, not to mention that laws are different in every state. In Nevada, the top business industry is arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services, which has an annual revenue of $27.9 billion and is the sixth largest such industry in the United States. Given that Las Vegas is a world-renowned center of hotels, casinos, and performers, criminal justice professionals in the area will need to build the communication skills necessary to communicate with visitors and tourists to the state, many of whom may not even speak English. Additionally, criminal justice professionals in Nevada may need to address potential violent altercations, fraud or theft, and to be ready to deal with drunken individuals as a result of the state’s largest employment industry.
Nevada’s second-largest industry is the real estate, rental, and leasing sector, which nets around $25.4 billion in revenue per year. In this arena, criminal justice professionals are likely to deal with a whole host of different issues, many of which may stem from legal or contractual obligations. For instance, criminal justice professionals may be called upon to help resolve disputes triggered by property lines, squatters, non-payment of rent or failing to uphold a lease, eviction disputes, and rental property defacement. On the other side, criminal justice professionals could be called upon to help protect home buyers, renters, and even investors from bad actors in the property management space. These types of issues require specialized knowledge of the law and can make for fulfilling careers for those in the criminal justice field.
The third-largest industry in Nevada is professional and business services, with $19 billion in revenue every year. Issues that criminal justice professionals might deal with in this area include harassment on-the-job, unsafe working conditions (mental and physical), union disputes, wage disputes, white-collar crime, as well as gender or age discrimination. Given the complexity of the problems that many white-collar professionals can face on the job, particularly over disputes that may not result in physical evidence, criminal justice professionals must learn how to tactfully handle every situation. As such, students looking to achieve their criminal justice degree in Nevada must learn a variety of criminological theories, criminal justice research methods, sociological paradigms, and theoretical studies to be prepared to handle the day-to-day tasks they will face while on the job.