This paper reflects about criminal justice careers that will help me get knowledge and get a better idea about the career that I choose. Components of criminal justice: law enforcement, courts, and corrections. A brief description about the career, the requirements, and the hiring criteria the career has. Tell why the position interest me, how does it relate to the career path that I want, and finally what I’m looking for in gaining from the career.
Keywords: Crime Scene Investigation (CSI), Parole Agent, and a Court Clerk.
Law enforcement: CSI
One component of the Criminal Justice career is law enforcement. There are many different kinds of jobs in law enforcement, but the career that got most of my attention was CSI. CSI stands for Crime Scene Investigation. The CSI job is to analyze crimes further. They get to take pictures of the crime scene; they collect evidence that will help them solve what happened on the crime. There job is to solve who committed the crime. The requirements to become a crime scene investigator are; 1. Have a H.S diploma (college degree preferred by some agencies) 2. Valid driver’s license 3. Successful completion of background investigation 4. Law enforcement experience possibly required for position of crime scene investigator (other agencies hire civilian crime scene investigators). (Goodman, & Grimming, 2007)
As I was saying before some agencies require that first you have to be a police officer to become a Crime Scene Investigator. When you are a new recruit you must successfully complete a hurdle process, meaning that you have to take different kinds of tests and background checks. For example the agencies will check your criminal record, investigate your background, driving record and credit history. There are also written examinations which show the reading skills and the understandings that you have. This will help the police agency predict and tell who will do well in the police academy. (Peak, 2006)
The hiring criteria that exist for this position are that you take a physical agility test, personal interview, character investigation, medical examination and drug screening. The physical agility test is important because you have to be healthy and most importantly you have to be in shape. The reason why the police academy does this is because when you are a police officer you never know what is going to happen. You are going to face a lot of different situations and you are going to have to be able to handle them. First you have to get out of the problem, meaning that you have to run, climb etc. Second resolving the problem, sometimes you are going to struggle with the offender so you probably need to fight. Lastly, you need to remove the problem meaning that it often requires that the officer can carry heavy weights. (Peak, 2006)
The personal interview evaluates how the new recruit explains how they will behave in a certain situation and what will they do to solve it. The character investigation involves talking to the applicants past and current friends, teachers, and neighbor just to investigate how they are. Polygraph examination tells whether the applicant is honest. Since the job is stressful the applicant needs to be healthy so they have to make a medical examination and a drug screening. The academy training shapes the officers attitudes. (Peak, 2006)
I find this position interesting because as a child, I always wanted to do something related to criminal justice. I didn’t really know what specifically I wanted to do, but I had an idea. Everything started when I was a senior in H.S I was taking a forensic science class and that really got my attention. It was really exciting class, we got to do a lot of projects and we actually dissected a frog and a baby pig. That’s when I started to think about being in the CSI. I love to solve mysteries, I like investigating things.
The skills that I have are that I like sketching. For example back when I was in H.S when we used to do crime labs I loved to draw what I saw. The reason why is because that helps me go back and analyze what happened. I also like investigating: I like to think beyond the things that actually happened. This will really help me in becoming a crime scene investigator because you have to record everything you see and you have to collect evidence. You have to think beyond what you see because you have to try to find the person that did it. The entry level salary range of $30,000- $40,000 depending on the agency. To be honest I don’t really look at it for the money, this is something that I want to do, it what I like. (Goodman, & Grimming, 2007)
Corrections: Parole Agent
Another component of the Criminal Justice system is corrections. One of the jobs that the correction has is a parole agent. The goal for a parole agent is to protect the public. The responsibility for a parole agent is to assist ex- offenders so that they can adjust to life in a save and free community. They are also responsible to prevent future criminal acts. They help the people become a better person so that they can have a productive and normal live. Parole agents supervise the offenders who had been released from prison. (Careers in criminal, 2006)
What the parole agent has to do is that they need to investigate the offender. For example the parole agent investigates the offender’s background so that they can gather information and write reports for the parole board hearings. Parole agents are able to issue arrest, hold, and release orders. They can photograph offender, crime victims or evidence. Parole agents also can perform alcohol and drug testing by observing, collecting and taking urine samples and testifying in courts. (Careers in criminal, 2006)
The working conditions for a parole agent are that it requires traveling. They have to provide their own transportation and have to be on 24 hour call. The situation may vary; sometimes the parole agent may be assigned to high crime areas. By being a parole agent you are risking your life because you never know how the people are. They risk violence, vicious animals, visiting unpleasant living conditions. (Careers in criminal, 2006)
The qualifications and the job training that you need to be a parole agent are 1. Bachelor’s or associates degree from accredited educational institution 2. Must be able to carry a firearm 3. Valid state driver’s license 4. One or more year experience in criminal justice, correction, law enforcement, social service, or a related field 5. Parole agents may have to acquire and maintain certification in unarmed self- defense, firearms, and pepper spay 6.Background check, drug screening, and or polygraph examination may be required. (Careers in criminal, 2006)
I find this position interesting because I like helping people. I think that everybody deserves a second change. People have to learn from there own mistakes so that they will not commit it again. Everybody can be successful in life the only thing is that we have to try. To be honest when I help someone I feel happy because I know I did the right thing. Sometimes you can’t do everything alone so you need a little push. I want to serve the community I want to help people to make the right decision and so that they can become better person. By doing this not only I ‘am helping a person, but I’m also helping the community become a safer place.
Court: Court Clerk
Court is another component of the criminal justice system. One of the jobs in the court is a court clerk. The court clerk maintains the case records, and prepares statistical reports (secure information for judges). Court clerks are responsible to contact witness, attorneys, and litigants to obtain information for the courts. There are many things that a court clerk has to do. A court clerk may prepare agendas for town or city councils; answer correspondence; keep fiscal records and accounts; record data; collect fees; file documents; retrieve and deliver files and documents to court or appropriate parties and much more. Court clerks are very important because they are responsible for handling the majority of the courts administrative activities. (Careers in criminal, 2006)
The qualifications to becoming a court clerk are 1. High school diploma or GED 2. One or more years of increasingly responsible experience in court administration or other legal field 3. Associate’s or bachelor’s degree in court administration, criminal justice, public administration, or a related field 4. Valid state driver’s license. In order to become a court clerk you are required to have a background check, fingerprinting, and physical examination. You are also required to reside in the jurisdiction of employment. (Careers in criminal, 2006)
I find this position interesting because in this career you learn how to be more responsible and organized. This position is very hard because you can’t make mistakes. Everything depends on you. As I always say not everything is easy in life you have to struggle to get what you want. This can relate to my career path because in a court clerk you are also responsible in contacting witness, and attorneys which means that it’s involving a crime or other situations.
I’ am never going to give up; I’m always going to give it my all. I know that there are going to be obstacles in life that not everything is going to be easy, but I have to overcome them. Nothing in this life is easy we have to work and struggle to get what we want. Nothing is going to be given to our hands. The best way to ensure my success and become who I want to be is to always keep going no matter what until I reach my goal.
Goodman, D.J, & Grimming, R. (2007). Work in criminal justice an a-z guide to careers. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall. Peak, K.J. (2006). Policing america challenges and best practices . Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall. Careers in criminal justice. (2006). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.