Degree Programs for Criminal Justice Jobs in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Uniform Crime Report for 2013 indicates that violent crimes in the state (including murder, rape, aggravated assault and robbery) rose by 1.2 percent that year. A total of 160,797 arrests occurred in Minnesota in 2013, with 134,017 of those arrests being adult offenders and being 26,780 juveniles.

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According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, as of 2008 there were 448 law enforcement agencies in Minnesota, serving a population of 5,310,584 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). All of Minnesota’s criminal justice professionals, including law enforcement, legal assistants, detectives, and correctional officers, are working together to try to reduce the incidence of crime in the state.

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Minnesota Law Enforcement and Detective Careers

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety creates regulations that must be met by all law enforcement professionals working across the state of Minnesota. The Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) program makes sure that all law enforcement officers in the state are properly qualified and trained before they are allowed to work in the field.

Prerequisites to Become a Minnesota Deputy Sheriff or Police Officer

The requirements to become a police officer in Minnesota vary from one city to the next. Generally, however, a prospective Minnesota police officer must be 21 years old and a U.S. citizen with a Minnesota driver’s license, clean criminal record, and high school diploma or GED. Two to four years of college education is preferred.

Deputy Sheriffs in Minnesota also must meet the same basic requirements, with the exception that they MUST have completed at least two years of criminal justice education at a college or university certified by the Minnesota Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST). A bachelor’s degree is preferred for deputy sheriff candidates in Minnesota.

Examples of agencies in Minnesota employing police officers and deputy sheriffs are:

  • Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department, Minneapolis
  • Dakota County Sheriff’s Office, Hastings
  • City of Duluth Police Department
  • City of St. Paul Police Department

Requirements to Become a Minnesota Detective

Detectives in Minnesota must also be POST-certified, meaning that they must have completed two to four years of education at a Minnesota POST-certified institution. Detectives may rise from the ranks of police officers and deputy sheriffs in local departments, or may work for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety at the state level.

Examples of employers of criminal detectives in Minnesota are:

  • Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Investigative Unit, statewide
  • Bloomington Police Department Investigations Division, Bloomington
  • Olmstead County Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division, Rochester
  • Stearns County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigative Division, St. Cloud

Requirements to Become a Minnesota State Trooper

Minnesota State Troopers work for the state’s Department of Public Safety. All prospective state troopers must have completed POST-certified training, consisting of an associate or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field. Occasionally, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety will take candidates with a two-to four-year degree in any field with no law enforcement experience and offer them paid training as a recruitment bonus.

Minnesota state troopers work out of the following areas of the state (along with many more):

  • St. Paul- headquarters
  • St Cloud
  • Detroit Lakes
  • Golden Valley
  • Thief River Falls

Forensics and Crime Scene Investigation Jobs in Minnesota

Minnesota’s forensic specialists and crime scene investigators work with evidence gathered from crime scenes across the state. Their jobs begin once evidence has been gathered, and they must analyze various types of evidence, including documents, photographs, DNA and more.

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Agencies such as the following typically employ forensic specialists and crime scene investigators in Minnesota:

  • Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Laboratory – St. Paul and Bemidji
  • City of St. Paul Police Department Division of Criminal Investigation
  • U.S. Navy – St. Paul
  • City of Crystal, Minnesota Police Department
  • Dakota County Sheriff’s Office – Hastings

Prerequisites for Minnesota Forensics Jobs

Forensic science jobs in Minnesota involve examining and analyzing all types of evidence, from paper to human. These jobs usually require at least an associate degree in forensic science, biology, chemistry or another science.

While professional certification is not mandatory for Minnesota’s forensic scientists, it isavailable through national agencies like the American College of Forensic Examiners institute . The certifications offered by agencies such as this can help a forensic scientist in career advancement.

Requirements for Crime Scene Investigation Jobs in Minnesota

Crime scene investigators in Minnesota usually have a minimum of an associate degree in criminal justice or forensic science. Some of the training they receive is gained on the job.

Again, certification is not mandatory for CSIs in Minnesota, but is available through agencies such as the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute.

Correctional Officer Jobs in Minnesota

As Minnesota houses both state-level and federal prisons, correctional officer jobs within the state may be available at both the state and federal levels.

Becoming a Correctional Officer with the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Minnesota

In order to become a federal correctional officer within Minnesota, one must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree (or three years of full-time, relevant work experience). Additionally, applicants must be U.S. citizens under the age of 37.

Four federal prison facilities exist within Minnesota:

  • Federal Correctional Institution – Waseca
  • Federal Medical Center – Rochester
  • Federal Correctional Institution – Sandstone
  • Federal Prison Camp – Duluth

Becoming a Correctional Officer with the Minnesota Department of Corrections

Those who wish to become a correctional officer with the Minnesota Department of Corrections must also have a minimum of an associate degree in criminal justice or a related field. One year of security experience in a correctional facility, or three years of full-time work experience in any field, may be substituted to fulfill the education requirement. Applicants must be U.S. citizens who are at least 18 years old.

Correctional officers work for the Minnesota Department of Corrections at the following Minnesota Correctional Facilities:

  • Red Wing
  • Togo
  • Stillwater
  • Willow River/Moose Lake
  • St. Cloud
  • Shakopee
  • Oak Park Heights
  • Rush City
  • Faribault
  • Lino Lakes

Paralegals and Legal Support Jobs in Minnesota

Legal support professionals in Minnesota assist lawyers in substantive legal work. They may be called legal assistants, legal support personnel or paralegals.

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It is highly unlikely that candidates will find a paralegal job without the proper education. Degrees and certificates earned by many Minnesota paralegals include:

  • Paralegal Certificate
  • Postgraduate Paralegal Certificate
  • Associate in Science- Paralegal
  • Associate of Applied Science-Paralegal
  • Bachelor of Science – Paralegal

Minnesota’s paralegals may seek certification as a Registered Paralegal (RP) or Certified Registered Paralegal (CRP) through the National Federation of Paralegal Associations. This certification can help paralegals to advance more quickly in the field.

Jobs for Paralegals and Legal Assistants in Minnesota

Businesses, law firms, and nonprofit organizations in Minnesota such as the following all employ paralegals and legal assistants:

  • Faegre Baker Daniels- Minneapolis
  • The Toro Company – Bloomington
  • Hoglund, Chwialkowski, Mrozik-Roseville
  • Terry, Slane & Ruohonen – Bloomington
  • Fafinski, Mark & Johnson, P.A. – Eden Prairie
  • LaBore, Giuliani & Viltoft, Ltd. – Minnetonka

Homeland Security and Emergency Management Careers in Minnesota

Homeland security and emergency management jobs involve the prevention of, or response to, emergency situations. Both types of jobs typically require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, homeland security, emergency management, public administration or a related field.

Examples of employers of these types of criminal justice professionals in the state of Minnesota include:

  • Mille Lace Health System – Onamia
  • Hennepin County Medical Center – Minneapolis
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection – Duluth
  • Farm Service Agency – St. Paul
  • City of Minneapolis – Minneapolis
  • General Dynamics- IT – Minneapolis and Eagan

Degrees by State