Job Opportunities Thesis

Pages: 6 (1772 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice - Job Opportunities


Good morning and thank you for inviting me to your school today. I am very pleased to know that so many of you have expressed a potential interest in this presentation because that is a good thing for our criminal justice system. As you may already know, the criminal justice system includes a wide range of particular professional roles besides the one with which most people are familiar.

Let me ask you, what profession first comes to mind when someone mentions criminal justice? [Fielding answer from the audience] That's right, most people think of police officers first. What professions come to mind next do you think? [Fielding answer from the audience again] That's right, attorneys; and as you know, attorney's fill roles on both sides of the criminal justice system, as both prosecutors and defense attorneys.

Today, I would like to introduce you to some of the other important roles within the criminal justice system. They may not seem as important at first, but just ask yourselves, what would the use of police departments and criminal court systems - or, for that matter, of criminal laws - if corrections officers were not available to run prisons?

As many of you know, the modern penal system is designed to do much more than just punish offenders by incarcerating them.

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In principle, criminologists have figured out that if you keep just locking people up for their terms of incarceration and letting them out afterwards, all you're doing is returning them to the only lives they know: a life of crime. In fact, in many cases, they actually become better criminals in prison than they were before: street thugs spend time that they never had while they were out hustling pumping weights and getting stronger and more physically fit in prison; more sophisticated criminals hang out with more experienced criminals and learn to perfect all sorts of criminal schemes and scams while in prison.

TOPIC: Thesis on Job Opportunities Assignment

More importantly, modern criminologists now understand some of the underlying reasons for crime in society. They have figured out that just locking up criminals does not really decrease crime in society; it only temporarily removes specific criminals from the street temporarily. In most cases, they are replaced with others before they are even sentenced for their crimes. So, criminologists have suggested that the key to really reducing crime in society is by addressing the social influences that contribute to crime in the first place. Now, who would like to guess what some of the causes of crime are in society? [Fielding answers from the audience] That's right, poverty is certainly one factor. What else? [Fielding answers from the audience again] Yes, lack of education is certainly another factor. Anything else? [Fielding another answer] Right. Unemployment.

OK, now if we're interested in remedying some of those causal factors in crime in society, there are two general groups of individuals that, from the perspective of the criminal justice system, only one of which falls within our areas of responsibility. The criminal justice system cannot really do much to address the social factors in society that contribute to criminality in the first place, but once an offender is in the criminal justice system, he's ours to try to help.

Now, if lack of education and unemployment are two of the primary factors that contribute to crime in society and the criminal justice system is limited to helping those who are already within the system because of their criminal involvement, what do you suppose are ways that we in the criminal justice system can do to help reduce crime in society? [Fielding answers from the audience] That's right, we can provide education and vocational training for prisoners so that they have better options once they have served their criminal sentences upon their release from custody. Probation Officers: One of the ways we try to help criminals get the help they need and learn to live more socially productive lives is by not necessarily locking them up at every opportunity, especially when it comes to young first-time offenders. Sometimes, we sentence criminals to probation in lieu of actually sending them to prison for their crimes.

Whereas it is often extremely difficult to change hardened, so-called "career criminals," we have had much greater success with young offenders before they are too far gone.

Now, obviously, the type of crime involved plays an important role; we don't treat first- time murderers the same as first-time offenders who may have been arrested for smoking pot or even for possession of a small amount of other drugs, necessarily.

In the case of some offenders, we try to use their introduction, so to speak, into the criminal justice system to provide an incentive to do something productive with their lives other than crime. As you can imagine, the threat of going to prison really has a way of motivating some people to try a little harder than they may have before to stay out of legal trouble. When we sentence someone to probation, basically, what we're telling them is this: "You have been convicted of a crime that, by law, entitles us to lock you up in prison for a certain number of years. Now, if you're willing to try to do better and follow our suggestions during a specified period of time instead of serving your time in a correctional facility away from your home and family and without most of the privileges you enjoy in free society, we will allow you to remain free." To ensure that the probation system works, we need probation officers to maintain contact with the probationer - that's what we call offenders after they have been sentenced to probation - and to ensure that the conditions of probation are actually complied with. In most states, probation officers are peace officers, which means that, much like court officers and corrections officers, they are licensed to carry a concealed firearm and to make certain types of arrests, but not to serve warrants or to make other kinds of arrests that police officers are authorized to make. Of course, the most likely arrest scenario for probation officers is re-arresting probationer for various violations of their terms of probation. In that case, the probation officer takes the arrestee back into custody and the individual is usually remanded back into the custody of the criminal justice system to serve the original sentence.

Sometimes, probation officers have prior experience in law enforcement, but they may also go into probation work directly. The specific duties of probation officers include checking up on probationers by visiting them in their homes to make sure they are gainfully employed and not associating with known criminals, collecting samples for urinalysis to make sure they aren't taking drugs, and even helping them find jobs, educational opportunities, and vocational training.

Essentially, probation officers are the primary contact between the criminal justice system and probationers throughout their terms of probation. Their most important responsibility is simply to help probationers overcome some of the obstacles that may have contributed to their crimes.

Parole Officers:

Another mechanism we sometimes use to help convicted criminals become more productive members of society is called parole. Parole is quite similar to probation except for the fact that it isn't an option imposed instead of incarceration; rather, it is a mechanism used after incarceration. Generally, parole means a reduction in the term of criminal incarceration sentences with some of the same basic conditions of probation.

Essentially, the offer to convicted criminals goes like this: "You have been convicted of a crime for which you have been sentenced to [let's say] 8 years in prison. However, if you prove that you're committed to following the rules while you are in prison, and if you're willing to follow our suggestions and restrictions outside of prison, we might release you much earlier than the full term of your sentence."

As you can imagine, most prisoners would greatly prefer to leave prison early, even if it means regular meetings with a parole officer, working, and staying out of trouble. Of course, parole is more limiting than actual freedom after release because parolees cannot drink or spend their time exactly as they might wish. On the other hand, most prisoners who are eligible for parole eagerly jump at the chance. The specific duties and authorities of the parole officer are very similar to that of the probation officer, except that parole officers obviously deal exclusively with paroled prisoners instead of probationers.

Other Job Opportunities in the Criminal Justice System:

As you may recall from my opening comments, one of the goals of the modern criminal justice system is to help violators change their way of life. When that takes place instead of incarceration sentences it is called probation; when it takes place in conjunction with early release from incarceration, it is called parole. But what about prisoners who serve most of their terms of incarceration? Well,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Job Opportunities" Thesis in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Job Opportunities.  (2008, November 17).  Retrieved September 17, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Job Opportunities."  17 November 2008.  Web.  17 September 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Job Opportunities."  November 17, 2008.  Accessed September 17, 2021.