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Criminal Justice Certification in Illinois

Why Should I Get a Criminal Justice Certificate in Illinois?

Criminal justice professionals in Illinois have a huge responsibility to accomplish. The state’s criminal justice needs run the full spectrum, from those of small rural communities to the more severe needs of large cities like Chicago.

The legislation and funding of the system must give adequate weight to each community’s needs. With a criminal justice certificate, you can contribute in law enforcement, the courtroom, the community, or the law office.

Recent changes in the Illinois criminal justice system make this an excellent time to get involved in the field. The governor of Illinois has taken significant measures to improve reform efforts (Positively Naperville, 2016).

Efforts focus on the development of a new minimum security facility that can help offenders prepare for transition back into society. This facility provides vocational training and life skills training that can help offenders avoid the recidivism risk.

Discover how you can get started in this field today.

Request information from colleges in Illinois for criminal justice below.

What Kind of Criminal Justice Certificates are Available in Illinois?

As a new student, you may be interested in earning a technical certificate. These programs are career-based, so they offer functional work skills that are applicable to specific career paths.

Depending on the certificate you choose, you may be able to earn your criminal justice certificate online. Online programs are optimal for students who work full-time or work irregular hours. If your program has practical experience or internship requirements, you may need to complete some in-person work to get the hours you need.

Law Enforcement Technical Certificate Requirements (30 credits)

  • Police Operations
    • Explore the layout of the policing system in Illinois and learn about the goals of this field.
  • Criminal Law
    • This course provides a broad overview of criminal law and what you may see as a law enforcement professional.
  • Court Procedures and Evidence
    • Learn about what happens after a suspect is charged. This class includes the use of evidence in the courtroom, plea deals, and testifying.
  • Police Organization and Administration
    • Find out how police departments are typically set up and what the chain of command is.

Homeland Security Technical Certificate Requirements (18 credits)

  • Introduction to Emergency Management
    • This class looks at the immediate priorities after an emergency occurs and what you, as a criminal justice professional, can do.
  • Basic Skills in Emergency Management
    • Find out how to restore order, get people the emergency services they need, and maintain a safe environment in the aftermath of an emergency.
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction
    • This course looks at the role of weapons of mass destruction in terrorism efforts and how the United States fights the creation and use of these weapons.
  • Terrorism Planning
    • Students in this class learn about how terrorists work, how they plan attacks, and how this information can be used to stop attacks preemptively.

Forensic Science Technical Certificate Requirements (32 credits)

  • Criminal Investigation
    • Discover how forensic evidence is used in the process of investigating and solving crimes.
  • Evidence and Criminal Procedures
    • This course delves further into the use of evidence, the preservation of evidence, and the reliability of evidence in a court of law.
  • Criminal Law
    • Learn about federal and Illinois criminal law. This class also explores how your work may be affected by the statutes in Illinois.
  • Trace Evidence
    • Learn techniques for collecting, processing, and analyzing trace amounts of evidence.

Corrections Technical Certificate Requirements (27 credits)

  • Introduction to Corrections
    • This overview course introduces students to corrections and shows them how it fits into the criminal justice industry.
  • Principles of Probation and Parole
    • Probation and parole are two of the long-term goals of correctional facilities. Find out how they work and how professionals use them to rehabilitate prisoners.
  • Correctional Counseling
    • Learn techniques for counseling prisoners and getting them on the path to rehabilitation.
  • Correctional Procedures
    • This course outlines the procedures used to keep correctional officers safe and protect the rights of prisoners.

What Can I Do With a Criminal Justice Certificate in Illinois?

One of the benefits of working in Illinois is the steady growth of the criminal justice industry. This growth includes many popular career paths, including those you may pursue with your certificate.

By 2024, job openings for police officers in Illinois may increase 1%, while job openings for correctional officers may swell 6% (O*Net, 2016). This time frame may see a 21% boost in demand for forensic science technicians (O*Net, 2016).

Salaries in Illinois are often slightly higher than they are in other Midwestern states. On average, police officers earn $69,910 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). The average annual income for a correctional officer is $57,990 per year (BLS, 2016). Forensic science technicians bring in a mean income of $72,680 per year (BLS, 2016).

Getting practical experience through an internship or externship can make your job search much more straightforward. By connecting with others in your intended career path and building relevant work skills, you may already know what is expected of you by the time you graduate.

You can begin the path to an exciting criminal justice career now.

Browse the list of criminal justice certificate programs below and contact those that interest you.

Online programs may not be available in all areas