Recommended Criminal Justice Professional Organizations
We’ve reached out to the leading criminal justice educators and industry experts in the fields of corrections, law enforcement, loss prevention, and court systems to compile a list of highly recommended criminal justice professional organizations. These organizations were selected based on the benefits they provide to members, the cost to join, and what sets them apart.
If you’re a professional in the criminal justice field, then look no further for an extensive list of organizations that can help you become a better leader and a more effective member of the criminal justice community. There are many benefits to joining a professional organization:
- Enhance your network
- Increase your knowledge
- Elevate your craft
- Stay updated on industry trends
- Stay informed on technology advancements
- Show commitment to your profession
- Gain leadership experience
- Have access to resources
The National Criminal Justice Association is a nonprofit organization that supports criminal justice agencies at every level and advocates for better federal policy in all areas of criminal justice. The organization also offers conferences, leadership committees, and an online community where members can connect with other industry professionals across various specialties. For only $95 per year, members have access to perks which include updates on federal policy, a library of funding solicitations, a discounted rate on the annual conference, and more members-only content available on their website.
Founded in 1978, the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data provides extensive data on crime which includes surveys, crime reports, and other studies. They also offer learning guides, data workshops, and user support on their website. There are over 2,700 studies available to explore and analyze, many of which can be downloaded for offline use. Some of the studies are restricted, but access can be granted by submitting a request through the site. This archive is an incredible resource that offers a high amount of useful information waiting to be read. The best part is the cost: free!
The APPA’s highest goal is to reduce the number of offenders who go on to reoffend, which is known as recidivism. To achieve this goal, the organization provides research reports, guides, and other services to educate workers in the field of corrections. They also offer training courses both onsite and online. For $50 per year, members can network with others, have access to research and policy trends, join committees, and learn from the organization’s newsletter.
The American Correctional Association strives to improve the justice system and shape the future of corrections through their advocacy efforts. Their website offers an extensive selection of resources that can help visitors become better leaders in the field. Their membership cost starts at only $35 per year and the benefits include access to members-only material, discounts with partners, and more.
The American Jail Association supports individuals who work in jails across the country. Their purpose is to enhance public safety through the education, training, and leadership they provide. Members have access to the organization’s magazine, newsletter, and blog, an online community called iConnect, and discounts on training events for only $60 per year.
The ICCA’s goal as professionals in the corrections system is to successfully reintegrate offenders back into society. To do so, they are dedicated to providing quality care to these individuals to enhance public safety. Memberships are offered for agencies for $500 per year, and for students, the cost is just $50. Members have access to podcasts, presentations, the organization’s journal, reference materials, videos, and other research documents.
Measures for Justice is a unique organization that collects data about each local criminal justice system in America. If possible, they recollect data every two years to compare to previous years’ and observe trends and changes. They believe in transparency and impartiality to maintain the integrity of the data. Their research is available for free for all visitors to their website, and they survive entirely on donations. Although they do not yet have information for every state, they are continuously adding data to their library.
As the only federal agency that provides direct service to this community through training, technical assistance, and information assistance, the goal of NIC is to advance correctional practice by improving all aspects of the corrections system, including the planning, design, and operations of facilities. Visitors to their site can connect with other professionals through the events, blogs, and forums offered – no membership necessary!
The NAVAC focuses on helping individuals who have been victims or survivors of crime. These victims experience challenges that can be physical, financial, and emotional, and the NAVAC wants to help them in each circumstance. They also advocate for the individuals working in the correction systems across America and host a conference each year. For $75 annually, members gain access to a variety of resources on their website.
The IALEIA strives to advance the understanding of criminal intelligence analysis as a profession. They provide networking opportunities through meetings, training, and events organized by local chapters. IALEIA offers certification through their esteemed and nationally recognized certification program. For $50 per year, members can access resources such as links, job postings, and publications. This organization offers the unique aspect of having local chapters all around the world that share a common goal: the improvement of the field of intelligence analysts.
The IADLEST is an organization that offers research data and other information to visitors of their site. Their focus is on helping each state in America establish higher standards for law enforcement officers. To achieve these standards, they offer training courses and events where participates can hone their skills. Members can network with others and have access to projects, policy updates, and industry trends. For general members, the cost is $125 per year.
The ILEETA was created to meet the needs of the people who educate and train individuals in law enforcement. It is a worldwide organization with members all over the planet. They organize and host an annual conference that is the biggest of its kind. Due to the selective application process, prospective members must provide proof of their certifications and licenses or include a letter of recommendation from a criminal justice agency. The cost for membership is $45 per year.
This organization is run entirely by dedicated volunteers who devote their time to the cause. Becoming a member of the organization costs only $25 per year, and the benefits include being able to connect with other members, participate in board meetings, find job listings and career tips, and gain access to past conference presentations. They are dedicated to providing training, networking, and professional opportunities to crime and intelligence analysts worldwide. This organization sets itself apart by advocating for the importance of crime analysis as a career and how it can help the greater criminal justice field.
The IALEFI is an exclusive organization made up of firearms instructors at every level – federal, state, and county. Their purpose is to modernize and improve the instruction and teaching techniques used to train law enforcement officers in the field. Membership, which costs $55, includes access to message boards and the organization’s magazine. To improve your skills in the field, consider attending the conferences and training events that the IALEFI organizes.
As the oldest and largest forensic association in the world, the IAI’s goal is to improve the methods of forensic science by providing information to their members and visitors to their site. The group boasts more than 7,000 members all around the world who are dedicated to the same thing: the advancement of forensic disciplines through education. Memberships start at $80 per year for individuals.
The NTOA has 40,000 members from many different specialties, such as protective operations, crisis negotiations, and explosives. The organization hosts an annual conference with educational seminars where professionals can network with one another. For $50 per year, members have access to useful content on their website and the organization’s publication, The Tactical Edge. The organization’s goal is to enhance the performance and status of law enforcement personnel by providing excellent training resources and a forum for information exchange.
COPS strives to advance community policing by agencies throughout the country by providing information and grant resources. As a federal organization, they are a component of the U.S. Department of Justice. Additionally, they award grants to recipient agencies who use the money to hire individuals, develop new strategies, and provide training to members and individuals in law enforcement.
The Loss Prevention Foundation is the premier certifying body for retail loss prevention professionals. In addition to offering the industry’s only internationally recognized certifications, they also provide educational resources and a membership program for $75. Members benefit by connecting, earning five continuing education credits (CEUs) each year, and having access to newsletters, wikis, and private groups.
Founded in 1937, this organization provides educational programs, technical assistance, research, and degree programs (through a partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno). Their membership costs $120 per year but the perks more than make up for the cost. As a member, you can connect with other professionals with similar goals and have access to training, education, publications, and data that can provide you with the information you need to make a difference in the family court system.
SEARCH offers solutions, resources, assistance, and training for visitors to their site; memberships are not necessary. The members of the organization are actually appointees from each state who are responsible for providing criminal justice information sharing. These members have been chosen for their knowledge and expertise to represent their state and to share their wisdom with visitors to the site and at the biannual conferences. At these conferences, visitors can watch the members debate topics to share information and improve the field of criminal justice.
The Federal Bar Association, founded in 1920, promotes the welfare and development of attorneys in federal law. These members come from different backgrounds – federal practice, private firms, corporations, and federal agencies. For their members, the FBA organizes events, delivers accredited continuing education through conference and webinars, provides leadership opportunities, and advocates for issues that impact the practice of their members. The cost for membership varies depending on factors such as working in the private or public sector and the length of time practicing, but rates start at $85.
The IIR is made up of an experienced team of professionals who are equipped with the knowledge and ability to respond to the needs of criminal justice agencies. This corporation specializes in criminal justice and homeland security issues, and its goal is to deliver solutions to criminal justice partners through professional development, data collection, and training opportunities. They do not offer memberships-visitors to their site have access to all the resources they provide.
This organization is dedicated to research and analysis to turn that data into federal policy. The group is made up of researchers and practitioners throughout government, academia, and the justice community, and their vision for the organization is to be the premier source for researchers and analysis centers to find quality data. For $75 annually, members have access to webinars and other online resources.