Why Should I Get a Criminal Justice Certificate in Florida?
As crime rates fluctuate across the United States, each state is left with the task of tackling its most pressing criminal justice concerns.
In Florida, the growing prison population is a significant issue. The cost of incarceration is extremely high, and it often leaves those who have committed minor crimes with very few future opportunities.
For that reason, Florida has implemented the Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion Program (Independent, 2016). This program hopes to help people who commit minor crimes avoid incarceration and turn their lives around. Some of the crimes targeted in this program include underage drinking, marijuana possession, and petty theft.
Since the landscape of criminal justice is always changing, the demand for highly trained professionals is on the rise.
Find out how you can earn a criminal justice certificate and pursue an exciting criminal justice career in Florida.
What Kind of Criminal Justice Certificates are Available in Florida?
As you explore Florida schools, you can find out which certificate programs match your intended career path and your long-term goals.
Most of the programs in Florida lead to a technical certificate. A technical certificate generally lasts between six months and two years, depending on the field you study. Unlike Associate's and Bachelor's degree programs, certificate options generally require very little in the way of general education.
The other option is a post-graduate certificate. This certificate requires a Master's degree in criminal justice or a similar field, and it tends to address high-level topics that require advanced knowledge of this field.
The specialty you choose determines how many credits you have to earn, whether or not you can earn your criminal justice certificate online, and which job openings you qualify for.
Court Reporting Technical Certificate Requirements 50 credits
- Courtroom Procedures
- Get a core understanding of how Florida courtrooms run and how you can keep up with the flow of activity in a courtroom.
- Legal Terminology
- Study the terminology used by lawyers, judges, and others in the legal profession. This course should help you use legal terms effectively and accurately in your writing.
- Realtime Technology
- Develop your ability to work with realtime reporting technology that allows you to provide immediate updates and keep meticulous records.
- Speed Development
- Improve your typing speed and your ability to accurately record the back-and-forth conversations that take place in courtrooms.
Corrections Officer Technical Certificate Requirements 30 hours
- Officer Safety
- Learn about the safety threats that correctional officers face and how you can minimize your exposure to these threats. You can also learn how to deescalate situations that run the risk of turning dangerous.
- Intake and Release
- Explore the procedures used during suspect intake and release.
- Supervising in a Correctional Facility
- This class looks at the role of supervisors in correctional facilities, how they can be effective leaders, and how they can ensure the safety of their staff members.
- Responding to Incidents and Emergencies
- Emergencies are bound to happen in this setting. This class gives you the tools you need to appropriately and safely respond to incidents in a calm manner.
Law Enforcement Technical Certificate Requirements 24 credits
- Crime Scene Investigations
- Find out what your priorities are when you investigate a crime scene, how you can collect evidence without contaminating it, and how you can preserve crime scenes for photography and analysis.
- Traffic Stops and DUI Traffic Stops
- Learn techniques that help you safely and fairly conduct traffic stops, including stops in which a driver is suspected to be under the influence.
- Criminal Justice Defensive Tactics
- This class explores ways to defend yourself without using deadly force when a suspect becomes aggressive. You may also learn how to use your judgment regarding escalation and force.
- Vehicle Operations
- Learn about the standards of police vehicle operation and how you can act ethically as a law enforcement officer.
Forensic Science Technical Certificate Requirements 40 credits
- Survey of Forensic Science
- Students in this course explore the field of forensic science as a whole and how it fits into the field of criminal justice.
- Forensic Evidence
- Delve into types of forensic evidence. You may also learn how to process evidence, store it safely, minimize the risk of evidence degradation, and use it in court cases.
- Forensic Toxicology
- This class covers toxicology reports and how blood samples can be used to determine intoxication, overdosing, and other factors that may affect a criminal case.
- Legal Psychology
- Students in this class learn about the psychological stresses of legal issues, what factors may determine a person's behavior and emotions, and how psychology can be used to gather evidence from suspects and victims.
What Can I Do With a Criminal Justice Certificate in Florida?
Colleges in Florida for criminal justice can pave the way for many exciting and challenging criminal justice careers. You may find that the job outlook is strong in Florida, a trend that is expected to continue through 2024 or beyond.
During this timeframe, job openings for court reporters may swell 10% (O*Net, 2016). Demand for police officers may jump 10% by 2024 (O*Net, 2016). Job openings for paralegals are expected to increase 18% between 2014 and 2024 (O*Net, 2016).
Salaries vary quite a bit between jurisdictions and work settings. On average, court reporters earn $42,190 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). The average salary for a police officer is $57,420 per year (BLS, 2016). Paralegals report an average income of $50,300 per year (BLS, 2016).
These careers obviously differ quite a bit in terms of schedules, work settings, and duties. While court reporters tend to keep standard courtroom hours, police officers often work nights and weekends. Paralegals may find that their schedules change to fit the needs of their employers.
With your career choice, you can influence the future of criminal justice in Florida.
Compare criminal justice certificate programs below and reach out to schools that catch your eye.
Online programs may not be available in all areas
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