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If you have a passion for promoting justice, a strong ethical sensibility and a desire to contribute towards maintaining a fair, just and safe society, we invite you to learn more about Post University’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a Corrections concentration. Available both online and at our campus in Waterbury, Connecticut, this dynamic program will give you the tools you need to excel in the field of corrections.

Read on for more information on this undergraduate degree program, including input from Sandra Wilson, M.Ed., J.D. and Kevin D. Markey, co-Chairs for the Post University Criminal Justice program.

Who should consider this concentration?

The Corrections concentration is designed for students who are interested in careers in probation, parole, and correctional institutions. Characteristics that will help candidates in this field include:

  • A commitment to being honorable and fair in every aspect of your life
  • A high level of moral integrity
  • A desire to lead by example, using interpersonal skills to maintain order and safety

“For corrections,” says Wilson, “one thing you have to understand the population you’re dealing with. Prison. It’s a very different type of population. You have to be very fair and consistent.”

Markey adds, “Fair, firm and consistent. That’s the policy.”

What type of experiences do the Post University faculty members bring to this degree program?

Faculty who teach in the Corrections concentration are former wardens, parole and probation chief supervisors, and correctional officers.

“Among the five instructors that teach our courses for corrections,” says Markey, “we have 83 years of experience in the field. Our students are learning from instructors who have worked the field of corrections, probation, parole, which is community corrections, and institutional corrections – inside and out. The whole program of corrections.”

Unlike other online criminal justice schools, you’ll study in an interactive environment with faculty that is committed to constant communication and responsiveness. As soon as you enroll, you’ll receive one-on-one support from our experienced faculty and a dedicated academic advisor. They can answer your questions and help you tailor your degree to your criminal justice career goals.

Markey adds, “You’re getting first-hand knowledge of what it’s really like to work in corrections, not just textbook info.”

What is the coursework like?

The Corrections concentration focuses on the theories, history, functions, and management of correctional institutions and communities along with the study of prisoners’ rights as it relates to The Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution. All of which impacts the practices and procedures in the criminal justice system. Major core coursework includes:

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • Statistical Methods in Criminal Justice
  • Ethics & Discretion in Criminal Justice
  • Theoretical Criminology
  • Advanced Seminar in Criminal Justice

The concentration has five core courses that focus on case history, incarceration, community corrections, assessment of privileges and treatment of offenders, and the administrative functions of
prison management and staff. These classes are:

  • Introduction to Corrections
  • Institutional Corrections
  • Community Corrections
  • Prisoners’ Rights
  • Correctional Management

“It’s not just learning theory,” says Wilson. “It’s actually putting them into practice. We do a lot of scenario-based kinds of situations in our classes, a lot of case studies. And, with our on-campus program, we visit different prisons and jails and juvenile facilities and adult facilities to see the application of what they’re learning. On campus or online, they’re not only learning the laws, criminal procedures, and things of that nature, but they’re actually seeing it in action.”

And then there’s The Innocence Project.

“We actually, every year, have The Innocence Project here on campus,” says Markey. “So, we don’t look at it just from the point of view of ‘lock ‘em up in a cell,’ but the other side, the actual human side, of inmates actually inside the prison and what they go through, too.”

Wilson adds, “We’re working on implementing that into our online curriculum, having a livestream or recording it so that online students have access to it, too.”

What kinds of projects will you work on?

Though not required, we encourage and aid you in your search for internships that will grant you hands-on access to work in the field. Our students have found opportunities with the FBI, local and municipal police departments, forensic labs, courthouses, and nonprofit organizations that serve as diversionary programs through court support services.

What program outcomes can I expect?

Examples of what you can expect to gain from the BS in Criminal Justice program include:

  • You’ll become familiar with the structure of the American Criminal Justice System and
    be able to identify and demonstrate an understanding of the branches of
    government, their functions, and how they interrelate with juvenile and adult
    Proceedings.
  • You’ll be able to describe the nature of criminal law and its derivative in Common
    Law, analyze and apply the U.S. Constitution to contemporary issues in criminal
    Justice.
  • You will assess theories relating to the causation of crime and criminal activity
    and identify the categories of crimes, penalties, and their defenses.
  • You’ll develop and demonstrate leadership in analyzing vital issues of concern within
    your chosen field.
  • You’ll learn to distinguish and identify discretion in the context of a criminal
    justice professional and demonstrate an understanding of ethical and
    professional responsibility.
  • You will gain a full understanding of the purpose and function of probation, parole, and
    imprisonment.

How does the Corrections concentration add value to the criminal justice degree?

This concentration offers an inside look into prisons, jails, and community corrections. Not only are there many disciplines, but there are many opportunities for advancement in a career from entry-level positions in a secured corrections institution to a broader perspective of opportunities outside of an institutional setting.

What can I do with my BS in Criminal Justice with a Corrections concentration?

This degree program can prepare you for employment opportunities in juvenile and adult corrections, which include positions in parole, probation, institutions, or other areas of correctional treatment that are community based. Some possible careers include:

Correctional Officers

Correctional officers are responsible for overseeing individuals who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or who have been sentenced to serve time in jail or prison, explains the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They may guard inmates in penal or rehabilitative institutions as well as guard prisoners in transit between jail, courtroom, prison, or other point. Typical job duties include:

  • Enforce rules and keep order within jails or prisons.
  • Supervise activities of inmates.
  • Inspect facilities to ensure that they meet security and safety standards.
  • Search inmates for contraband items.
  • Report on inmate conduct.
  • Escort and transport inmates.

Correctional Treatment Specialists/Case Managers

Correctional case managers, or treatment specialists, provide a critical link between the prison system and social services. They act as advisors to convicted criminals to help rehabilitate and reintroduce them to the community. A correctional case manager develops an individual treatment plan for inmates to ease the transition to life outside prison once they are released.

Case managers work in a variety of settings, including local, state, and federal correctional facilities, such as the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Others work with probation and parole officers in independent offices located outside of correctional institutions. Typical duties of correctional case managers include:

  • Evaluate inmates using questionnaires and psychological tests to determine the best
    course of rehabilitation.
  • Work with inmates, parole officers, and staff of other agencies to develop parole
    and release plans.
  • Develop education and training programs to improve probationers’ job skills.
  • Aid in job placement and housing procurement.
  • Test offenders for drugs and offer substance-abuse counseling.
  • Interview probationers and parolees, their friends, and their relatives to assess progress.

Probation or Parole Officers

Probation and parole officers have similar roles and goals: They seek to prevent offenders from repeating their past mistakes or making new ones that violate the terms issued by the court. The main difference is:

  • Probation officers, sometimes called community supervision officers, work with those who
    are sentenced to serve probation instead of being incarcerated.
  • Parole officers work with offenders who have already served part of a prison sentence and must now integrate into society.

The BLS adds that probation officers work to ensure that the probationer is not a danger to the community and to help in their rehabilitation through frequent visits. Parole officers monitor post-release parolees and provide them with information on various resources, such as substance abuse counseling or job training, to aid in their rehabilitation and re-entry into society.

Many graduates of this program go on to pursue their master’s or law degree at Post University to advance their criminal justice career.

Turn your commitment to justice into a career. Contact us to enroll in Post University’s on-campus or online criminal justice degree program today. Explore our degree options and take a deeper look at the opportunities and education involved in the field of Corrections.