Ohio Criminal Justice Programs
Ohio is experiencing a downturn in criminal activity and incarceration, in no small part thanks to the state’s criminal justice professionals. However, like all states, Ohio still has a lot of work to do. This is where you come in: if you have a passion for protecting the people of Ohio and working with convicted or released people to help them turn their lives around, a career in criminal justice may be right for you. The state offers a variety of criminal justice educational programs so you can get your career off on the right foot.
Criminal Justice Careers in Ohio
Ohio offers a wide range of career opportunities in various criminal justice fields. The right option for you depends on your goals, interests, and aspirations. You can earn an education in any of the criminal justice system’s three main branches: law enforcement, the courts, and corrections.
In briefest terms, law enforcement involves preventing crimes and apprehending criminals. Following law enforcement comes the court system, which includes mediation, trials, and sentencing. Corrections, the final step, focuses on incarceration, probation and parole, and rehabilitation. All branches have positions requiring degrees from a high school diploma through a doctorate.
Law Enforcement Careers in Ohio
Law enforcement careers include police officers, sheriffs, detectives, investigators, and chiefs and other management positions. Jobs are often more widely available in metro areas with bigger agencies. However, according to O*Net, opportunities in many law enforcement careers in Ohio will grow in the coming years.
Here are some of the most common law enforcement jobs in Ohio:
|Career||Career Outlook||Annual Median Salary|
|Private Detectives and Investigators||+7%||$38,080|
All data from O*Net
Careers in the Ohio Courts
For a job involving the courts branch of criminal justice, you could become a lawyer or assist lawyers as a paralegal. Jobs in the courts involve either criminal or civil cases, and people in these roles tend to specialize in a specific type of law.
Some of the more common Ohio jobs in the courts include:
All data from O*Net
Corrections Careers in Ohio
Careers in corrections range from correctional officers who guard inmates in prison to probation officers and correctional treatment specialists who work to rehabilitate inmates after their sentence is over. According to O*Net, you may find correctional officer roles in Ohio with higher median wages than nationwide. However, job openings are highly competitive.
The common corrections jobs in Ohio include:
|Career||Career Outlook||Median Salary|
|Correctional Officers and Jailers||-12%||$46,770|
All data from O*Net
Criminal Justice Education Resources in Ohio
Criminal justice encompasses many types of careers and education programs. Although we can’t provide education resources for all potential careers, here are some resources for some of the more common options. Each resource below includes information on how to apply, training requirements, exams, etc.
Corrections: Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
Police officers: Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy
Highway patrol officers: Ohio State Highway Patrol
Justice system: Department of Justice—Office of the Attorney General
Innovations in Criminal Justice in Ohio
Recent policy reforms in Ohio have led to exciting innovations for professionals in criminal justice. The Ohio Justice and Policy Center states that sentencing reform comes down to reducing dangerous overcrowding in state prisons. Ohio policymakers are looking for new ways to shorten sentences and the overall number of people sent to prison each year without harming public safety.
The main changes the legislature is considering would place people with addictions in treatment centers instead of prison. This would provide earlier intervention and proper addiction services rather than jail time in addiction-motivated criminal behavior cases. Sentences for drug-related crimes may also be reduced from life-changing felony charges to misdemeanors.
The criminal justice reform laws concerning criminals after their release also are changing. Felons no longer must release information about their criminal records on job applications, helping them become more likely to find work. Policy change even extends to how police officers treat people with mental health or addiction issues and bail prices before the trial, with recommendations and recognition of challenges in the 2019 Criminal Justice Reform publication from the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission.
These potential policy innovations in Ohio may mean more criminal justice careers working with drug addictions or in rehabilitation and corrections roles. Students may find more programs and school funding in addiction services, rehabilitation and community treatments, and similar criminal justice educations.
Major Ohio Cities
Main Criminal Justice Governmental Agencies and Entities in Ohio
Governmental agencies and entities are an excellent place to look for grants for school and jobs after graduation. The main criminal justice agencies in Ohio include:
Resources for Criminal Justice Students and Professionals in Ohio
You can find more information about criminal justice schools in Ohio, learn how to pay for your education, or explore networking opportunities in your field through the following resources. Use them to find a criminal justice program or position that’s right for you.
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