“Being a criminal justice professional is an essential public service that contributes to foundational supports of a strong, just, and prosperous society,” said Dr. Denise Herz, a professor and director of the School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics at California State University, Los Angeles. An on-line search of new job postings within the criminal justice system reveals thousands, with many opportunities of viable employment throughout the greater L.A. region.

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Denise Herz)

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Denise Herz)

Experts say those now studying to enter the field are encouraged to comprehend the complex issues that impact the practice of criminal justice and the long-armed contributions of social science research.

“Additionally, future criminal justice professionals need to be interdisciplinary, drawing knowledge from a variety of disciplines and perspectives,” Herz said.

How will this field change by 2022?

“Crime and crime-solving will become increasingly complex, as technology evolves. Criminal justice professionals will need to be prepared for these challenges.”

What is your school doing to help make students employable?

“We are establishing direct relationships with a wide range of employers who need students with a criminal justice background, ranging from social service agencies that serve crime victims and criminal justice clients to law enforcement agencies, probation departments and the courts.”

What defines an accomplished criminal justice professional?

“Successful criminal justice professionals are mature, responsible, thoughtful and mindful when making decisions that impact individuals, families, and communities. They also understand the impact of micro and macro forces on justice policy and practice.”

How does one secure a viable vocation?

“The best way to prepare for a sustainable career as a criminal justice professional is to pursue higher education. Majoring in criminal justice exposes one to many social issues in the context of the criminal justice framework.”

What is your message to endeavoring criminal justice professionals?

“I advise them to develop their critical-thinking skills and always challenge themselves to understand how the material in the classroom matters in the real world. They must be well-rounded in their knowledge base and develop effective communication skills. These skills will be instrumentally important to their success not only in this field, but any opportunity they pursue.”

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.


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