When most people think of the tandem fields of criminal justice and law, the first jobs usually thought of are police officers and lawyers or judges. But, within this large professional field are numerous paths, and criminal justice is seeing a Renaissance, in regards to its community-focused offerings. As times change and awareness naturally grows, professional endeavors flex along with the times. New roles, and overlooked staple roles, are brought to the forefront. Positions in civil rights and social equity are evolving and expanding, and many people feel a calling towards this type of work. So, what kinds of jobs and career paths can you forge with a specialization in criminal justice and community services? Let’s find out…
The court reporter as a key player in legal proceedings
A court reporter is a trained professional who is employed to transcribe speech from legal proceedings, typically via stenography. This job is critical, but it may not be one that jumps immediately to mind. Court reporters can be found doing work inside of court rooms during case trails, but they also work in legal meetings and arbitrations. Court reporters are often called “guardians of the record,” because of their impartiality and role within the judicial processes, as they dutifully capture those words spoken by everyone during a court session or deposition proceeding. The official record they create, or transcribe, helps safeguard the legal process, overall. Imagine a legal world without impartial records, if you think this isn’t important work.
Investigating backgrounds in the field of criminal justice
Everyone has a past, and good background investigators gain a deeper understanding of human nature by looking into that past. Background investigators, also sometimes called field investigators, focus on performing background screenings on behalf of clients, such as private businesses or government agencies. If digging into the past and putting together puzzle pieces to help solve a case, or reach a goal, intrigues you, then this job may be just the ticket to starting your own career path within the criminal justice field.
Crime scene investigators in police work and forensic science
While shows like “CSI” and “NCIS” tend to sensationalize this role, it is an important job within criminal justice and community services. It is also a terrific position for those who love a somewhat flexible schedule and don’t mind being on-call. Documenting crime scenes and securing all evidence found at the location are the two biggest facets of work involved for crime scene investigators. Another title often found in relation to crime scene investigators are forensic science technicians. A forensic science technician is a person employed to collect, identify, classify, and even analyze physical evidence related to criminal investigations. This helps to better assure perpetrators are caught, justice is served, and the community is safe. If you lean a little more towards a science-focus, then concentrating on a forensic science technician role could give you a lot of personal fulfillment in your working life.
911 dispatchers for help when it is needed most
This role is the first point of contact for members in the community who need help… whether that help is from police, fire fighters, or an ambulance. 911 dispatchers are central and pivotal to community services and even criminal justice, but their jobs are often considered behind-the-scenes, so it may not be an option that springs instantly to mind. However, it is important to remember that 911 call recordings are often played in court rooms during legal trials. A 911 dispatcher processes incoming and outgoing emergency and even non-emergency telephone calls, ensuring people get the access to help they need when they most desperately need it. If you can keep your cool when people around you are upset and even potentially in danger, then this rewarding job can lead you down a promising career path.
With only a surface view, criminal justice careers may seem limited to what mainstream media shows as being the core jobs, but it is a truly diverse and evolving field. Criminal justice and community services career paths are those in which soft skills such as listening, relating, empathizing, and problem-solving are highly prized for the aid they bring to local communities… and to the individual members that comprise them.
To find out more about Stride Career Prep’s online programs in criminal justice and community services, be sure to visit the site: https://www.k12.com/stride-career-prep/career-fields/criminal-justice-and-community-services.html
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