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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
Police Officers +3% $60,980
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:

Career Career Outlook Median Salary
Paralegals and legal assistants +6% $45,320
Prosecutor 0% $98,530

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
Probation Officers +2% $49,160

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

  • Careers include all types of police officers, including peace officers, private security, canine officers, parole officers, bailiffs, and probation officers.
  • Maintains the certification standards for peace officers and offers a list of courses for becoming a police officer in Ohio

Highway patrol officers: Ohio State Highway Patrol

  • Careers include highway patrol officers, plainclothes investigators, traffic and drug interdiction teams, polygraph operators, and crash reconstructionists.
  • Provides steps and a full list of the requirements you must meet to become a highway patrol officer in Ohio and information about the application process

Justice system: Department of Justice—Office of the Attorney General

  • Careers in the justice system include deputy attorney generals, prosecutors, criminalists, and crime analysts.
  • Discusses how to apply for a job with the Ohio Department of Justice, contains forms for various licenses, and lists job vacancies, as well as additional information about law enforcement

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.

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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.

  • Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association: The BSSA is an association for sheriff’s office employees in Ohio. The Buckeye website offers updates on policy and methods, cooperation with peace officers, and a full list of the other sheriffs in each county.
  • Ohio.Gov: Search through a wide range of open positions in state government to find which criminal justice programs you may want to pursue.
  • HG.org: This website houses a complete list of all the state and local legal bar associations, which may offer where each option provides scholarship opportunities for attorneys and judicial officers as well as other legal resources.
  • The International Community Corrections Association (ICCA): Located in Columbus, Ohio, the ICCA offers students interested in a corrections program information about federal funding, multiple awards, leadership workshops, and job openings nationwide.
  • Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police: This association offers police chiefs educational opportunities, services, and other resources. The organization has an annual conference, and you can even search for employment opportunities on the website.
  • Ohio Council of Criminal Justice Education (OCCJE): The OCCJE promotes education initiatives and research in criminal justice. The council even also presents give out student awards to undergrad and graduate students in the state.
  • Ohio Identification Officers Association: An This is an Ohio association for forensic investigators and professionals involved in the scientific examination of physical evidence. The website provides resources for you to learn to better cope with job-related stress, support forensics initiatives, and even find training opportunities for crime scene investigators.
  • Ohio Judicial Conference (OJC): You can explore legislative enactments like drug reform, publications, and industry news on this website to stay up to date. Judges find jobs through the OJC.
  • Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA): The OSBA is the largest legal network in Ohio, you can sign up for free to find information on student loans, clerkships, events, careers, and more. The website includes information on even offer study tips, mentoring and networking opportunities, and free seminars for law students.

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