Criminal Justice Schools in Alabama | AL
Sweet home Alabama’s economy and employment scene extends beyond its manufacturing, farming and forestry sectors. Its law enforcement and legal professionals are also an important element of its workforce. You have many criminal justice schools in Alabama to choose from if you want to pursue a career in law enforcement, corrections or justice with the option of completing your program online or on campus.
In the state where Dr. Martin Luther King Junior organized a bus boycott in the name of civil rights or where Morris Dees founded the Southern Poverty Law Center, opportunities for earning a criminal justice degree in Alabama and then pursuing a criminal justice career abound. In 2010, the CQ Press ranked Alabama as the 11th most crime-ridden state in the country; it ranked 4th place for cases of burglary and 5th for murder rates. This explains why the career outlook for police and sheriff’s officers continues to increase. If this career path interests you, it would be advantageous (and it is often times required by police forces) to complete at least a Law Enforcement Associate degree, offered by several of the campus and online schools listed below.
Alabama also offers promising career opportunities in Corrections, Court Reporting, Information Security and more. You can request information from the schools listed below to find out about corrections officer or probation training (i.e. a Criminal Justice or Law Enforcement degree), Court Reporting courses, Cyber Security programs, among other educational paths.
It cannot be forgotten that Alabama is home to several military training institutes. This form of education transitions nicely into potential careers with agencies like the state’s federal air force bases, the United States Army Material Command, the Department of Defense headquarters and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Centre.
Finally, FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness is located in Anniston, Alabama. It provides instruction to emergency first responders and is the only federal institute that offers training in weapons of mass destruction. This type of education would couple nicely with a Emergency Management Degree or a career in Homeland Security.
Alabama Criminal Justice Career Outlook
A range of criminal justice careers in Alabama are currently in high demand and are projected to hire more and more employees through to 2018.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2010), Alabama is currently among the top five states with the highest concentration and location quotient (as compared to the rest of the country) of Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officer jobs - vocations that offer an annual mean wage of approximately $39,000. Projections Central states that Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officer jobs will continue to increase in Alabama within the next decade with an average of 400 new jobs per year.
Alabama is also home to 135 jails and 29 prisons with an inmate population of over 45,000. The Alabama Department of Corrections is one of the state’s top 50 employers and as of 2011 employs over 4,000 officers and support personnel. Additionally the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles’ probation and parole officers supervise another 60,000 or more individuals, states the National Institute of Corrections. The career outlook for Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Experts will continue to grow, according to Projections Central.
Interestingly enough, Career One Stop reports that court reporting is among Alabama’s top-five-list of fastest growing occupations. The projected growth from 2008 to 2018 is expected to increase by 38%.Court reporters at the top of their profession can make a salary of $60,000 or more per year in Alabama, adds Career One Stop.
In order to be qualified and gain valuable experience to prepare you for these legal justice professions, request information from some of the criminal justice schools in Alabama to find out about Associate or Bachelor degrees or courses that would help you stand out from the pack of other career applicants. You can find a school, either online or that you attend in person, which is convenient for your lifestyle.
Top Criminal Justice Employers & Agencies
In addition to Alabama’s Corrections Department and law enforcement departments being major employers in the state, numerous agencies that specialize in information security are becoming major players as the digital age continues to evolve.
A branch of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information System - the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center (ACJIC) – is located in Montgomery, Alabama. The ACJIC assists state law enforcement agencies with accessing the national justice information system, provides vital data and information sharing resources to these agencies and maintains information security. In 2011, the Bureau of Justice Statistics awarded the ACJIC $375,000 through its National Criminal History Program. The Alabama center is using the funds to automate the transfer and accessibility of all state-wide court and arrest records, hire more staff to reduce the accumulation of fingerprint records by half and improve documentation of domestic violence and stalking crimes.
Agencies like the Defense Intelligence Agency (Department of Defense) and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Centre, both located in Huntsville AL, hire personnel such as Intelligence Officers/Operations Specialists. Part of the role of these professionals is to identify potential threats that come across information channels.
If an emerging career in law enforcement immersed within the technological world interests you, you can complete a criminal justice degree in Alabama, from several of the campus or online schools; you can choose to specialize in areas like Information Security, Cyber Security or Computer Forensics.
Alabama Criminal Justice & Legal Job Outlook & Alabama Criminal Justice Salary
|Career||Employment Growth through 2018||Current Average Salary|
|Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers||10%||$39,000-43,000|
|Correctional Officers and Jailers||18%||$33,000-39,000|
|Detectives and Criminal Investigators||21%||$57,000-63,000|
|Private Detectives and Investigators||18%||$55,000-66,000|
|Paralegals and Legal Assistants||20%||$45,000-49,000|
Sources: Growth Projections projectionscentral.com ~ Salary Range bls.gov
Alabama Crime Rate
Alabama’s crime rate is higher than the country’s average: in 2009, its property-related crimes were approximately 29% higher than the national average; violent crimes were 18% higher than other parts of the country, according to the National Institute of Corrections. For that same year, the FBI reports that there were approximately 244 cases per 100,000 people or more than 11,000 cases of aggravated assault alone. However grim they may be, these statistics equate to a high demand for criminal justice careers in Alabama.
According to the FBI, there were over 150,000 arrests made in Alabama in 2010. For each person arrested, many professions are included, from the police officer or sheriff’s deputy who makes the arrest to the judge presiding over the case and the corrections officer monitoring the suspect if convicted.
Criminal justice schools in Alabama offer several degree options so that you can be a part of this legal process. Some programs you may consider are a law enforcement degree, a paralegal degree, a criminal justice degree, a legal studies degree or a court reporting degree.
Alabama's Correctional System Stats
|Facility||Number of Facilities/Offices||Number of Inmates|
Article By Michelle Brunet