Criminology and Justice System

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Bakersfield College (BC) offers the degree options that prepare students for careers in the justice system. Whether you are looking to transfer to a university or more immediately enter the workforce, BC has a program to prepare you.

What are Administration of Justice, Criminal Justice, and Correctional Administration?

The Administration of Justice major at Bakersfield College studies a wide range of topics about the criminal justice system. This includes understanding criminal law, the justice system, procedures, and investigation.

Administration of Justice refers to the process of enforcing the laws and regulations that govern a society. It involves a range of activities, including the investigation of crimes, the arrest and prosecution of suspects, the adjudication of legal disputes, and the supervision of individuals who have been sentenced to prison or probation. The administration of justice is carried out by a variety of agencies, including law enforcement agencies, courts, and correctional institutions, and it is designed to ensure that the laws of a society are fairly and effectively enforced. The ultimate goal of the administration of justice is to maintain social order and to ensure that individuals have the ability to live in a safe and secure environment, protected from crime and other forms of harm.

The Criminal Justice and Correctional Administration majors at Bakersfield College focus on preparing students for careers in law enforcement, policing, courts of law, private, state, and local corrections.

The study of criminal justice is an interdisciplinary field that examines the various components of the criminal justice system and their interactions with each other. This includes the investigation and prosecution of crimes, the administration of criminal trials and appeals, and the management of correction and rehabilitation programs. The study of criminal justice also covers the broader social and political context in which the criminal justice system operates, including the development of laws and policies, the impact of crime on communities, and the relationships between the criminal justice system and other institutions. Students in this field are trained to analyze and understand the complexities of the criminal justice system and to develop the skills necessary to work in criminal justice-related professions. The ultimate goal of the study of criminal justice is to promote fairness, efficiency, and effectiveness in the administration of justice, and to contribute to the reduction of crime and the improvement of public safety.

The Correctional Administration major is a field of study that focuses on the management and administration of correction and rehabilitation programs, including prisons, jails, and other detention facilities. This major covers a range of topics related to the operations of correction facilities, including the management of staff, resources, and inmates; the administration of security and safety programs; and the development and implementation of rehabilitation and reentry programs.

Students in this major learn about the principles of corrections and the laws, policies, and procedures that govern correction facilities. They also study the social and political context in which the criminal justice system operates, and the impact of crime and punishment on individuals and communities. Additionally, students in this major gain hands-on experience through internships, fieldwork, and other opportunities to work in real-world settings.

Graduates of the Correctional Administration major can pursue careers in correction and rehabilitation agencies at the local, state, and federal levels, as well as in private sector organizations. Some common career paths include positions as corrections officers, supervisors, administrators, and program managers. Graduates can also work in areas such as policy analysis, program evaluation, and research.

An associate degree in one of these majors opens the door to a variety of entry-level jobs in law enforcement, courts of law, and security careers.

Is Studying Criminology and the Justice System Right for Me?

Personalities that excel in these majors and the justice system are patient as this career is rooted in government regulation and laws. They have high integrity, possess empathy, and courage. Discernment is an important requirement as many careers in this field require the ability to judge quickly while being aware of biases.

Individuals with a variety of personalities can be successful in the fields of Administration of Justice, Criminal Justice, and Correctional Administration. However, there are some traits and qualities that tend to be particularly advantageous for students and professionals in these fields. These include:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Analytical and problem-solving abilities
  • Attention to detail
  • Empathy and compassion
  • Physical and emotional toughness
  • Commitment to justice and fairness

Criminology and Justice System Degrees

Administration of Justice Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T)

Correctional Administration Associate of Arts (AA)

Criminal Justice Associate of Arts (AA)

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Criminology and Justice System Careers

Graduates with an Associate of Science (AS) in Administration of Justice, an Associate of Arts (AA) in Correctional Administration, or a Criminal Justice Associate of Arts (AA) degree can pursue a variety of careers in the criminal justice field. Some common career paths include:

  • Law Enforcement Officer: This includes positions such as police officer, sheriff's deputy, and federal agent.
  • Correction Officer: This involves supervising and managing inmates in jail or prison settings.
  • Probation and Parole Officer: This involves supervising and managing individuals who have been released from jail or prison and are under community supervision.
  • Security Specialist: This includes positions such as security guard, loss prevention specialist, and private investigator.
  • Court Clerk: This involves managing the administrative functions of a court, including maintaining records and scheduling court proceedings.
  • Juvenile Probation Officer: This involves supervising and managing minors who are under the jurisdiction of the juvenile justice system.
  • Criminal Investigator: This involves conducting investigations into criminal activity and preparing cases for prosecution.
  • Crime Scene Technician: This involves collecting and analyzing physical evidence at crime scenes.

In addition to these specific careers, graduates with an AS, AA, or AA degree in Administration of Justice, Correctional Administration, or Criminal Justice may also pursue careers in related fields, such as social work, legal services, and counseling. The specific careers available to graduates will depend on their level of education, experience, and other qualifications.

Transfer Pathways

Graduates with an Administration of Justice Associate in Science for Transfer from Bakersfield College may choose to continue their education at a university to earn a 4-year degree. As this is a Associate in Science for Transfer, students with this degree “are guaranteed admission with junior standing somewhere in the CSU system and given priority admission consideration to their local CSU campus or to a program that is deemed similar to their community major” (Bakersfield College Catalog, Educational Options). Graduates with a Criminal Justice or Correctional Administration Associate of Arts will need to look for an articulation agreement and may also transfer. Schools you might want to consider are:

  • California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) – Criminal Justice
  • California State University, Fresno (CSUFRES) – Criminology, Corrections, Law Enforcement, or Victimology Option
  • California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) – Criminology and Criminal Justice

See your Counselor and/or a Transfer Specialist for specific questions.

Academic Department: Public Safety Training

Career & Learning Pathway: Public Safety Training (PST) Pathway

Courses: Criminology (CRIM) and Administration of Justice (ADMJ)

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