Online AS in Criminal Justice Degree - Corrections

According to an article in the New York Times, the U.S. has less than 5% of the world's population but holds more than 25% of the worlds prison population. As our prisons continue to become overcrowded and more are built to house prisoners, the need and demand for correction officers with an AS in Criminal Justice degree continues to grow. This position of authority requires educated and trained people to manage prisoners; however, the demand is growing at a faster rate than they are able to find qualified individuals to fill positions as Corrections officers.

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Corrections officers holding an AS in Criminal Justice degree can work with local jails, youth correctional facilities, county jails, state penitentiaries, and federal penitentiaries. Regardless of which institution they work in, correction officers are required to manage inmates, control conflicts, search prisoners and cells for contraband, enforce discipline, and often escort prisoners to and from court and medical treatment facilities. Most correction officers working within prisons work in a cell block that can house between 50 - 100 offenders in one large room. Officers, who are amongst the prison population, do not carry a firearm and remain in constant communication through radio contact. In a high security prison, correction officers spend more time monitoring prisoners via closed circuit television.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 500,000 corrections officers were employed in the United States in 2006. This number is expected to grow by 16% by 2016. About 60% of correctional officers in 2006 worked in state prisons with the remaining 40% working in federal penitentiaries, youth corrections, and county and local jails.

Corrections officers with an AS in Criminal Justice degree obtained online work with the criminals of our society. Because of their working environments, they have to meet certain guidelines to be able to work within a prison system. Corrections officers are required to have a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent, with some work history in law enforcement or a college education, but more qualified individuals can expect to find positions faster, as well as those postions offering higher salaries and higher levels. Once these basic requirements are met and a person is offered a position as a corrections officer, the new employee can expect to obtain on the job training for a period of time. This position requires highly trained individuals and it is for the safety of officers as well as prisoners that this additional training is a must. Different institutions have different management styles and each guard needs to be familiar with how their institution is run and what is expected of themselves as well as the inmate population.

Join a team of law enforcement professionals and put your AS in Criminal Justice degree to work for you! Online programs are available, so you can attend your courses at your own pace, and from the comfort of your own home.

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