Wyoming residents tend to enjoy safety, regardless of where they live in the state. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that Wyoming has the 7th lowest rate of violent crime in the entire country.
While violent crime may be rare in Wyoming, Wyoming police expect an increase in drug crime in 2014. The Star Tribune claims that Wyoming law enforcement expects an increase in marijuana usage and transportation. This is because of the recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado, a state that borders Wyoming.
Sheriff Dave O'Malley claims that marijuana arrests significantly increased after Colorado approved the usage of medical marijuana in 2000. "I would be naive to believe that folks aren't going to travel from Wyoming to Colorado to purchase marijuana legally and then transport it back to Wyoming," he said.
Criminal Justice Education in Wyoming
A criminal justice degree can give you the skills and experience you need to start a new career while serving your community. After you learn more about this degree program, contact our featured schools at CriminalJusticePrograms.com to get started on your education.
A criminal justice degree is very flexible, since it can lead to many different career options. Because of this, you have to complete courses in many specific areas of study throughout your criminal justice education. An Associate's degree offers a more basic understanding of these different fields, while a Bachelor's degree delves more into each field. You may complete one or more courses in core subjects like criminology, criminal law and procedure, criminal justice ethics, and policing procedures.
As a student, you may want to set yourself apart from your peers by specializing in one area or completing a work experience course. Some schools give you the option to specialize in one field during your criminal justice education, while other schools require it. You may be able to select from the following fields and more:
- Internet Crime
- Juvenile Crime
- Forensic Science
- Law Enforcement
Work experiences include internships and practicum courses. Your school may provide you with a work site, where you can gain priceless work experience and connect with a potential future employer. This can have a huge impact on your future career, as a strong performance during your internship may lead to a job offer.
Scholarships available for students pursuing a criminal justice degree in Wyoming include the Wyoming Fraternal Order of Police Jim Lein Scholarship, the American Legion Wyoming E.A. Blackmore Memorial Scholarship and the Horatio Alger Wyoming Scholarship. A number of scholarships specific solely to criminal justice majors are offered by the state's colleges and universities.You can also find criminal justice scholarship opportunities by clicking here.
Outlook for Criminal Justice in Wyoming
One of the main benefits of earning a criminal justice degree is the variety of career choices it gives you. There are over 6,000 people working in criminal justice careers in Wyoming, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that they earn an average salary of $42,960 per year. Within this category, there are three main work locations: the community, the prison system, and the courtroom.
If you're willing to go out into the community, there are several career choices open to you. Police officers, criminal investigators, and detectives all respond to calls and crime scenes. You may have to work unusual hours for these positions. Average salaries range from $51,400 for police officers to $67,100 for detectives (O*Net, 2012).
The prison system requires physically and mentally strong graduates to maintain order and uphold procedures. You may be able to work as a correctional officer or as a correctional officer supervisor. Average salaries for these positions are $38,800 and $58,700, respectively (O*Net, 2012).
Many criminal justice graduates want to work in the courtroom, since you typically do not have to work unusual hours. Bailiffs and security guards may spend most of their days in the courtroom, maintaining order and ensuring that no illegal objects are brought into the courtroom. The average salary for these positions is about $28,800 per year (O*Net, 2012).
Are you ready to start a criminal justice career? If so, our featured schools are waiting to hear from you. Use our school directory to contact local schools.