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New York Criminal Justice Programs

Although many people still think of New York City as being a hotbed of crime, the truth is that in 2018 it wasn’t even in the top 50 metro areas with the most violent crime. Part of this is due to progressive changes in police academy training—which are being implemented not just in New York City, but all over the state. The effects of these changes ripples into every area of criminal justice. You can be part of it all by pursuing a criminal justice career in New York.

Criminal Justice Careers in New York

The broad field of criminal justice is comprised of three branches: law enforcement, the courts, and corrections. You can work on the front lines as a law enforcement officer, within the prison system as a corrections officer, or behind the scenes as a forensic scientist. Read on to learn about job outlook and salary in some of the more common careers in each branch of criminal justice.

Law Enforcement Careers in the State of New York

Law enforcement professionals investigate, prevent, and analyze crimes. You can work for government agencies, for companies that require investigative services, or on your own.

CareerCareer Outlook (2016- 26)Annual Median Salary
Police officers+9%$78,750
Private detectives and investigators+19%$59,780

All data from O*Net

Careers in the New York State Courts

The court system involves professionals within the legal field. While attorneys and judges are the most commonly known professions in the courts, there are others, such as paralegals and bailiffs, that don’t require a law degree.

CareerCareer Outlook (2016- 26)Annual Median Salary
Paralegals and legal assistants­+16%$54,400

All data from O*Net

Corrections Careers in New York State

The corrections branch jobs involve working in the prison and parole systems in the state. You might work with inmates within the prison system in a variety of capacities or with parolees who are out of prison.

CareerCareer Outlook (2016- 26)Annual Median Salary
Correctional officers and jailers­–6%$63,600
Probation officers+10%$70,620

All data from O*Net

Criminal Justice Education Resources in New York

A good place to start in looking for education information within criminal justice is to visit the website of the relevant state agency. We’ve listed some of these agencies, and the types of careers they oversee, below.

  • CorrectionsDepartment of Corrections and Community Supervision
    Careers include corrections officer, corrections counselor, parole officer
    Has information about what the different careers entail, training requirements, exams, and how to apply
  • Police officers: New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
    Careers include all type of police officers
    Provides steps for becoming a police officer in New York, training details and requirements, and a training calendar
  • Highway patrol officersNew York State Police
    Careers include police officers and highway patrol officers/state troopers
    Provides steps for becoming a police officer or highway patrol officer in the state of New York
  • Justice systemOffice of the Attorney General
    Careers include attorneys, investigators, legal support analysts
    Discusses how to apply for a job in New York’s Office of the Attorney General and lists job vacancies

Innovations in Criminal Justice in New York

New York state is continuously working to better its criminal justice processes. One general trend is to reduce the current prison population and keep more offenders out of prison—in particular, juveniles, those with mental health issues, and those who have committed minor crimes. This change has redirected the focus in corrections to providing rehabilitative services and monitoring criminals outside the prison system instead of within.

Police academy training is constantly evolving. Putting officers into simulated crisis situations helps train them to survive on the streets and make better judgments. Some areas of New York are now increasing training hours to 980 from the mandatory 647. And in these days of increasing terrorism, academies are also modernizing counterterrorism training.

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Main Criminal Justice Governmental Agencies and Entities in New York

  • Office of the Attorney General: The Attorney General is the top lawyer in the State of New York and is charged with defending the state’s citizens and natural environment. The office oversees a number of divisions and bureaus under the purviews of criminal justice, social justice, economic justice, and administration. The office and divisions within it hire attorneys, scientists, legal assistants, and investigators.
  • Department of Corrections and Community Supervision: This department oversees all those held in New York state detention facilities, as well as parolees. This department hires corrections officers, parole officers, and counselors.
  • New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services: This agency functions in a variety of capacities, including providing law enforcement professional development opportunities, collecting and managing state crime data, and managing criminal records data. The agency also houses and administers the Missing Persons Clearinghouse, Sex Offender Registry, and DNA databank. Because the agency oversees 12 program areas, there is a wide variety of job types within the division, including criminalists, criminal justice researchers, investigators, and data analysts.
  • New York State Police: This agency oversees state law enforcement, including state highways, crime prevention and investigation, and emergency response. Careers within this agency include police officers, highway patrol officers, criminal detectives, and forensic scientists.
  • Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement: Housed within the New York State Department of Health, the bureau works to enforce drug laws by investigating and preventing drug-related crimes and trafficking in the state. Positions within the bureau include investigators and forensic scientists.
  • New York State Unified Court System: This is the judicial branch for the state of New York, which oversees the New York Court of Appeals, the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, the state’s Supreme Court, and local courts around the state. Within the court system you will find attorneys, law clerks, court analysts, bailiffs, and court reporters.

Resources for Criminal Justice Students and Professionals in New York

You can find a host of resources through the numerous professional organizations in New York, each supporting a different community within criminal justice.