Term Paper: Criminal Justice Associates Program

Pages: 3 (1192 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … Criminal Justice Associates Program

When I entered into the Criminal Justice associates program, I have to admit that my thoughts were not focused on what I would learn. Instead, in many ways I viewed the program as a means to an end, a necessary step that I had to take in order to get my desired job in law enforcement. I felt that it would provide me with the stepping stone that I needed to get a job in an administrative sector of law enforcement, and possibly help me get into a police academy and reduce my course requirements while there; if that is the route I chose to explore. However, once I began my coursework, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I was learning a substantial amount of helpful information from my coursework. My instructors and professors had a wide variety of real-life experience that provided me with an educational experience beyond what I would have received from a textbook or self-study. These experiences helped shape my perception of what it means to work in criminal justice.

One of the primary things I learned about criminal justice is that it is not a black and white field. While there are victims and perpetrators, there is also a tremendous overlap between the groups. For example, a woman may be a prostitute, who is a criminal, but she may be raped by one of her clients, which makes her a victim, or she may be the victim of human trafficking, which also makes her a victim. The idea that a person could simultaneously play two roles in the criminal justice system inspired me to really think about crimes, their detection, their solution, and their prosecution. In many ways, it appears that the easiest crimes to prove may not be the most serious crime involved in a situation. For example, a prostitute who is raped by a john should not be prosecuted for her prostitution if she comes to the police to report her rape; doing so ignores the magnitude of what occurred to her and penalizes her for seeking help from the police.

At the same time that I was learning that some aspects of the criminal justice system are not black-and-white, I was also learning that some rules are not meant to be broken or even bent. I learned a significant amount about the protections that the accused are afforded in our adversary criminal justice system. Prior to taking these courses, I believed the exclusion of evidence obtained in violation of a suspect's rights to be a way that criminals won over their victims. However, a more careful study of the ways that the law protects the rights of those accused of crimes helped me come to the realization that if the police do not protect a suspect's constitutional rights, the entire integrity of the criminal justice system is threatened. It is not enough to convict people; instead, it is essential to convict the right people. Ensuring that a defendant's constitutional rights are protected helps ensure that the right people are convicted.

At this time, I believe that I have a good foundational understanding of the field of criminal justice. In fact, I believe that I have the level of understanding that is implied by someone receiving an associate's degree. I believe this knowledge places me in good position for an entry-level job in criminal justice. I also believe that it has provided me with the foundation to understand many of the things that I will learn while employed in a criminal justice… [END OF PREVIEW]

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