Hawaii does not nor has it ever had a state police force. The idea was once proposed, but failed to get legislative support. Even so, with a higher than average crime rate, there is always a need for qualified law enforcement officers. A criminal justice degree can open up many opportunities in Hawaii, from security guard to a variety of high-level management and administrative positions.
Criminal Justice Education in Hawaii
Hawaii has about 10 schools with criminal justice programs. You'll find a small selection of specializations like criminology, paralegal, and criminal justice administration. And if you're looking for a PhD in criminal justice education, you'll need to head to the mainland.
A four-year degree program in criminal justice usually includes a core curriculum, some electives and required courses in math, English and science. Some of the criminal justice courses frequently taken include:
- The U.S. Criminal Justice System: An Introduction
- Introduction to Criminal Law
- The Courts and the U.S. Legal System
- The History of Criminal Justice In America
- Research Methodologies in Criminal Justice
- Criminal Justice Ethics
- Research and Writing in the Law
- Race Relations in America
A semester of field work is a common experience during your third year of college studies. This field work will be in your chosen criminal justice specialty. The fourth and final year of a typical bachelor's program in criminal justice will usually include an off-site internship that will occupy much of that final year. Nowadays, it is often possible to complete some of your coursework online.
If you are concerned about paying for school, you may want to visit this page to learn more about criminal justice scholarships.
Outlook for Criminal Justice in Hawaii
With a crime rate higher than the national average, Hawaii keeps its law enforcement officers on their toes. Statistics compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggest that pay for a number of positions in the state is higher than national averages. Criminal justice jobs in Hawaii in general receive pay that is somewhat higher because the cost of living in the state is about 10 percent higher than on the mainland.
We've noted the annual mean salaries for several career paths in Hawaii below. Further statistics can be found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Other interesting career possibilities when you obtain a criminal justice degree in Hawaii include juvenile justice or forensics. There are also a large variety of private sector jobs in Hawaii because of the size of the tourist industry. Private security at well-known resorts is a field more unique to a tourist-friendly state like Hawaii.