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Careers in Criminal Justice

Careers in Criminal Justice

  • Coy H. Johnston - Arizona State University School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Other Titles in:
Criminal Justice

January 2018 | 248 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Careers in Criminal Justice, Second Edition prepares students to plan, pursue, and realize their career goals—from conception through the hiring process. Coy H. Johnston’s contemporary approach emphasizes student self-reflection and pragmatism in the pursuit of self-fulfillment and professionalism. With coverage of over forty careers in policing, courts, corrections, and victim services, students receive a comprehensive overview of the most popular and growing careers in the field. Self-assessment tools enhance the student’s self-awareness and steer them toward realistic and suitable careers in criminal justice. This easy-to-read guide is organized to prepare and encourage growth throughout the student’s career.

New to the Second Edition:

  • A new chapter titled “Volunteering and Internship” (Chapter 9) guides readers through the importance and process of early involvement in the field to create a more enticing resume.
  • Three new “Guest Speaker” profiles offer students new perspectives and practical advice for a variety of careers and geographical areas.
  • New career assessment tools are included to help students realize their compatibility with various careers in the criminal justice field.
  • Expanded coverage of information in critical areas such as private prisons, careers in the judiciary, and resume building ensure students are receiving a balanced introduction to criminal justice careers.

Free Poster: What can you do with a Criminal Justice degree?

About the Author
Chapter 1: Know Yourself
What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Guest Speaker: Steve Palmer, FBI Special Agent


Chapter 2. Setting Realistic Goals
Set Realistic Goals

Issues in Police Work

Issues in the Judicial System

Issues in Corrections

Guest Speaker: Brian Cole, Director of Corrections

The Realities of Working in Criminal Justice


The Search for Happiness

Chapter 3. Law Enforcement
Local Law Enforcement

Guest Speaker: Jan Strauss, Retired Police Chief

Federal Law Enforcement

Diversity in Law Enforcement


Chapter 4. Forensic Science
Crime Scene Technicians

Forensic Scientist

Medical Examiner

Investigative Technician


Forensic Nurse Examiner

Forensic Psychiatrist

Forensic Interviewer

Forensic Entomologist

Diversity in Forensic Science

Chapter 5. Victim Services
Domestic Violence Coalitions

Police Departments

Guest Speaker: Gina McAlister, Victim Services Specialist

Courts and Prosecutors’ Offices


Other Victim Service Programs

Diversity in Victim Services

Chapter 6. Courts
Law School

The Job Search

Law Careers

Careers that Do Not Require a Law Degree

Diversity in Law Careers

Chapter 7. Corrections
State Correctional Officer

County Detention Officer

City Jailer

Guest Speaker: Julie Glover, Sergeant, San Diego Sheriff’s Department

Parole and Probation Officers

Juvenile Rehabilitation Specialist

Home Detention Officer

Probation Aide

Parole Board Hearing Officer

Private Prisons

Diversity in Corrections

Chapter 8. Private Security and Investigations
Security Officer

Private Investigator

Loss Prevention

Armed Security Guard

Diversity Issues in Private Security

Chapter 9. Volunteering and Internships
Law Enforcement



Diversity in Volunteering and Internships

Chapter 10. Getting a Foot in the Door

Guest Speaker: Colton Johnston, Attorney and Law Clerk

Interview Preparation


Physical Fitness

Education and Grades


The Application Form

Written Tests

Psychological Tests

Chapter 11. The Interview


Body Language


Sample Oral Board Questions

Do’s and Don’ts

A Personal Note to Minorities, Women, and LGBTQ Individuals

A Note to Law Students



Student Study Site

The open-access Student Study Site includes content from the previous edition of the book, and some content may not be compatible with the new edition:

  • Carefully selected, video links feature relevant interviews, lectures, personal stories, inquiries, and other content for use in independent or classroom-based explorations of key topics.
  • Web resources are included for further research and insights.
  • Chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides that highlight essential content and  features from the book.

“This text is cover-to-cover great advice from someone who knows his way around the criminal justice job market.”

Kelley Christopher
University of West Georgia

“Engaging Writing Style: Personal touch—directed to reader”

Paul M. Lucko
Murray State University

I am using this text in conjunction with Grubb and Hemby, Effective Communication in Criminal Justice. This text has been very help in getting my students to focus more closely on their career choice and the skills and knowledge required to get there.

Professor Frank Plunkett
Criminal Justice, Peirce College
August 20, 2020

For instructors