When we were young, we often dreamed of becoming our favorite superheroes, fighting crime, bringing justice, and helping rescue people from perilous dangers. We had a very strong sense of wanting to make an impact on this world for the good.The world was black and white. Right was right. Wrong was wrong. Imagining ourselves as a superhero allowed us to put all those good traits to action.
As we grow up, things usually change.
But not for all of us.
There’s a certain groupof people who never really grow out of wanting to be a superhero! Their altruistic bent leads them to professions that allow them to use their special gifts to help others. They grow up to become policemen, teachers, healthcare providers, soldiers or what we’ll be discussing in this article, professionals in the criminal justice system.
Careers in criminal justiceare numerous but whether you want to be a judge in court or a prison guard, an emergency medical technician, or a juvenile corrections officer, there are certain qualities you must possess across the board. These qualities are vital for any criminal justice pro, and they are what set aside the wheat from the chaff.
The qualities that every modern day man (or woman) of justice should possess
- Honesty and punctuality. A criminal justice professional has to be honest. That’s definitely got to be the first rule. This means he has to stay away from corruption and bribery. Another important aspect is punctuality. Keeping time is a habit that is representative of focus and discipline. If you can’t be punctual, then you’re not cut out for a life in the world of criminal justice, because from a cop on his beats to a guard on his shift and a lawyer in court, everyone needs to function like clockwork or the whole system is thrown into a tizzy.
- Impartial and investigative nature. Criminal justice professionals have to be unbiased and have the ability to investigate all aspects of a case and bring every factor to bear on their decision-making powers. At times they will have to lay down the law; other times they may be called to exercise restraint and compassion in order to allow for rehabilitation of an individual.
- High tolerance for stress. Working in the criminal justice industry requires a high threshold for stress. Dealing with people in general requires a degree of stress, but when you continually deal with people who have a propensity towards crime it can be emotionally and physically demanding.
- Ability to make quick, sound decisions. Those in the criminal justice field are often called to make decisions on their feet. Those in the criminal justice field will need to make decisions that are best for all concerned—the criminal on trial, his/her family, and the society at large. They need to have good and sound judgment.
- Integrity. With all the aforementioned emotion, and considering the fact that the people you are dealing with are only human, It’s easy to get involved, and in a moment of sympathy, lose sight of whats important. The understanding of right and wrong must be remembered, and professional integrity must be maintained.
- An innate sense that you have a noble calling. The life of any public servant is a tireless effort that requires selfless sacrifice for the good of others and for the progress of society. Only those with a passionate dedication to make a difference and take pride in their role of being in a career of public service will last.
Do you feel you’ve got what it takes to make a career in criminal justice? Then it’s time to look at your study options. If you’re interested in full-fledged degree programs you can choose from a variety of fields like forensics, criminal law, federal agent, the prison system and more. The top 3 colleges for criminal justice according to U.S. News are the University of Maryland, University at Albany, University of Cincinnati. If you prefer to start your career early, the associate program offered by YTI can train in you just in 21 months.