Criminal Justice Programs in Jacksonville, FL
Regardless of how the economy changes and what growth a city goes through, criminal justice always plays a vital role in keeping the city safe. In Jacksonville, it’s no different—people rely on a fair group of police and justice professionals to keep themselves and their city safe.
There are lots of important justice institutions in the area, but perhaps one of the most important is the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. The office has five distinct departments outlined below:
- Department of Corrections: This department’s mission is “To operate facilities for secure, humane, corrective and productive detention of those awaiting trial as well as those already sentenced.” Their typical duties ensure that those charged with criminal activity are detained until proven that they are ready to re-enter society.
- Department of Investigations and Homeland Security: This department is responsible for “all domestic and/or foreign security initiatives as well as all invesitgations of crimes against persons and property.” Officers in this department are esnured with keeping the public safe with two different divisions: Invetigations (Detective) and Homeland Security and Narcotics/Vice.
- Department of Patrol and Enforcement: This department is responsilble for patrolling the city and responding to 911 emergency calls to help keep the community safe and secure. It has three primary divisions: An East and West patrol division and a Community Affiars/Special Events Division
- Department of Personnel and Professional Standards: This department is responsible with training and recruiting Jacksonville Sherrif’s Office’s personnel, as well as maintaining a certain level of integrity within the department with divisions such as Internal Affairs. It is also responsible for improving the efficiency of the Office through divisions related to Crime Analysis and Reseach, Information Systems, and Continuous Improvement.
- Department of Police Services: This division helps support the other divisions in their daily routines including budget management, assiting on warrants and fingerprint comparisons, as well as being the liason between other law enforcement agencies within the area.
If any of the above duties interest you, you might thinking that a career in Criminal Justice might be right for you. But don’t limit yourself to just police work. Criminal Justice is an all encompassing subject that covers a wide spectrum of areas such as paralegal, court reporters, homeland security officers, prison and security guards, and many more. If this sounds like you, it’s time to look into schools. There are a variety of schools in and around Jacksonville. Take a look at our schools list below. You can check out different schools and then contact them for more information!
Criminal Justice Schools in Other Major Florida Cities
Criminal Justice Education in Jacksonville
As you evaluate different Criminal Justice schools in Jacksonville, there are several factors to keep in mind. You’ll need to decide whether you want an Associate’s Degree at a technical/community college or a Bachelor’s Degree at a four-year college. It’s also important to compare tuition rates and financial aid. Tuition for the 2018-2019 school year at Jacksonville State University is $324 per credit hour for residents and $648 per credit hour for non-residents.
A Criminal Justice program involves a mix of hands-on learning and lecture learning. During your hands-on courses, you work with technology used in crime labs and police departments used all over the country. In your traditional lecture courses, you gain knowledge from the experience of your instructors. Your curriculum may include courses in fields like courtroom procedures, policing procedures, criminology, and victimology. You may get extra hands-on experience if you pursue an internship in your last year of school.
You may be able to get more internship and career options if you join local CJ organizations. Most of these organizations are career-specific, so it’s important to know what type of career you want. Organizations in Jacksonville include the Paralegal Association of Florida, the Fraternal Order of Police in Jacksonville, Florida, and the Florida Association of Licensed Investigators.
Job Outlook for Criminal Justice Graduates in Jacksonville
Your career options vary widely based on your experience, what educational path you took, and what connections you have in the community. Ideally, you should plan for your future career while in school; carefully selected courses and internship opportunities can go a long way.
With an Associate’s Degree, you may be able to pursue many different careers in the Criminal Justice industry. Consider some of these popular choices, listed here with their average Jacksonville salaries:
- Security Guard: $21,680 per year (BLS, 2012)
- Correctional Officer: $41,090 per year (BLS, 2012)
- Bailiff: $45,100 per year (BLS, 2012)
Do you have a Bachelor’s Degree? If you do, your options for careers in the industry increase over those available to students with just an Associate’s. If you want, you can choose from the careers listed above; however, you may be able to start at a higher level than graduates with an Associate’s Degree. You can also choose from these popular career choices:
- Correctional Officer Supervisor: $59,570 per year (BLS, 2012)
- Detective: $79,910 per year (BLS, 2012)
- FBI Agent: $43,441 per year (FBI, 2014)
If you do decide that you want to become a police officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office you can start at $38,592 per year. This increases to $66,528 after years of continuous service.
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