Department of Criminal Justice, Legal Studies & Social Work

BS-CJ: Corrections

A Corrections Concentration in a B.S. in Criminal Justice opens up several opportunities upon graduation. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists work with and monitor offenders to prevent them from committing new crimes. Correctional officers are responsible for overseeing individuals who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or who have been sentenced to serve time in a jail or prison. Almost all the Criminal Justice/Legal Studies courses required for this degree are available online or face to face, depending on the semester.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook lists probation officers and correctional treatment specialists as typically engaging in the following activities:

  • Evaluate offenders to determine the best course of rehabilitation
  • Provide offenders with resources, such as job training
  • Test offenders for drugs and offer substance-abuse counseling
  • Monitor offenders and help with their progress
  • Conduct meetings with offenders and their family and friends
  • Write reports on the progress of offenders

Correctional officers are responsible for overseeing individuals who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or who have been sentenced to serve time in a jail or prison.

Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists usually need a bachelor’s degree. In addition, most employers require candidates to pass oral, written, and psychological exams. Some correction officer positions may need some college, although a high school diploma with training is often sufficient for entry level positions. Job openings in both fields should be plentiful because of turnover according to the Handbook.