Degree Programs for Criminal Justice Jobs in New York

Research published by Pew Charitable Trusts in 2014 indicates that crime in New York State fell 62 percent between 1990 and 2012, with a 73 percent drop in crime in New York City alone. Statewide, homicides dropped by 82 percent, robberies fell by 84 percent, burglaries decreased by 86 percent, and auto theft dropped 94 percent. Furthermore, the state’s incarceration rate dropped by 20 percent between 1990 and 2007.

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The dedicated effort of those within New York’s criminal justice system has been key to reducing the state’s crime rate and prison population. Law enforcement officers, homeland security professionals, paralegals, correctional officers and others within New York’s criminal justice system work tirelessly to fight crime, prosecute criminals and rehabilitate offenders, and are rewarded well for their efforts:

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  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, New York has the third highest level of employment for police and sheriff’s officers (50,390); and pays them the fourth highest salary in the field, at $70,670 annually.
  • New York also has the third-highest level of employment across the nation for detectives and criminal investigators, employing 10,250 statewide in 2013.
  • New York boasts the fourth-highest employment level nationwide for correctional officers statewide, employing 32,430. They earned the third-highest salary in the field nationwide, at $63,840 per year.
  • The New York Department of Labor projects that jobs for paralegals statewide will increase by more than 15 percent during the ten-year period between 2012 and 2022.

Opportunities are expected to continue within almost every facet of New York’s criminal justice system. Professionals who have criminal justice degrees in New York are in demand to fill these jobs statewide.

Law Enforcement Jobs in New York

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 514 law enforcement agencies existed across the state of New York in 2008. New York State enjoys a ratio of 341 law enforcement officers for every 100,000 residents.

Qualifying for Police and Sheriff’s Officer Jobs in New York

New York is home to 96 municipal law enforcement agencies statewide in which police officers work. Each has its own standards of qualification. Additionally, sheriff’s offices are found in all 62 of New York’s counties. Each employs deputy sheriffs and sheriff’s officers and sets its own qualifications for hire. Usually, these qualifications include:

  • Must be between the ages of 20 and 35
  • Must hold a minimum of a high school diploma

Agencies in New York employing police officers and deputy sheriffs at the entry level include:

  • New York Police Department (precincts in Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn and Bronx)
  • City of Rochester Police Department (Rochester)
  • New York County Sheriff’s Office (Long Island City)
  • Erie County Sheriff’s Office (Buffalo)

Qualifying for Detective Jobs in New York

Criminal investigators n New York must first become police officers or state troopers, and then work their way up to detective after gaining on-the-job experience. Minimum requirements include:

  • Being between the ages of 21 and 36
  • Possessing New York residency
  • Completed at least 60 college credits

Detectives are employed in such New York law enforcement agencies as:

  • New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations (statewide)
  • Nassau County Police Department Detective Division (Mineola)
  • New Rochelle Police Department Criminal Investigation Division (New Rochelle)
  • Yonkers Police Department Detective Division (Yonkers)

Qualifying for New York State Trooper Jobs

Many police and sheriff’s officers aspire to become a state trooper in New York. Qualifications for these sought after jobs include:

  • Be between 20 and 30 years of age
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED
  • Be a US citizen
  • Have no visible tattoos or body art that can be seen while wearing a uniform

New York State Troopers are stationed at barracks across the state in locations that include:

  • New York City
  • Farmingdale
  • Poughkeepsie
  • Latham
  • Middletown
  • Canandaigua
  • Oneida
  • Sidney
  • Ray Brook
  • Batavia
  • Albany

Forensic Scientists and Crime Scene Investigation Jobs in New York

Crime scene investigators collect evidence at crime scenes across the state of New York. Forensic scientists typically work in laboratories where they analyze the evidence gathered by CSIs. Both types of criminal justice professionals play an important role in New York’s criminal justice system.

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New York’s CSIs and forensic scientists may work at agencies like:

  • Yonkers Police Department Crime Scene Unit and Forensic Laboratory (Yonkers)
  • New York City Police Department Laboratory and Forensic Investigations Division (Jamaica)
  • New York State Police Crime Laboratory System (Olean, Port Crane, Newburgh and Albany)
  • Onondaga County Forensic Laboratories (Syracuse)

Qualifying for CSI and Forensic Scientist Jobs in New York

A degree is necessary for all forensic science positions in New York and for many crime scene investigator (CSI) positions. Types of degrees commonly earned by these professionals in New York include:

  • Associate of Science– Forensic Science Studies
  • Associate of Science– Forensic Investigations
  • Bachelor of Science–Forensic Science/Crime Scene Investigation
  • Bachelor of Science– Forensic Chemistry
  • Master of Science–Forensic Science

Professional certification and training may be a requirement for some forensic scientist and CSI jobs in New York. While national certification organizations offer professional certification, state-run organizations such as the New York State Office of Forensic Services and the New York Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Forensic Sciences Training Program also offer classes and credentials for working CSIs and forensic scientists.

Correctional Officer Jobs in New York

Correctional officers in New York may work at one of the state’s five federal prison facilities or 54 state facilities.

Qualifying for Correctional Officer Jobs with the New York State Department of Corrections

Prospective New York state correctional officers must be at least 21 years old, very physically fit, and able to pass a civil service examination.
There are almost 60 state prison facilities run by the New York State Department of Corrections. A few of them include:

  • Attica Correctional Facility (Attica)
  • Eastern New York Correctional Facility (Napanoch)
  • Downstate Correctional Facility (Fishkill)
  • Upstate Correctional Facility (Malone)
  • Watertown Correctional Facility (Watertown)

Qualifying for Correctional Officer Jobs with the Federal Bureau of Prisons in New York

Qualifications one must meet in order to become a correctional officer at prisons run by the Federal Bureau of Prisons in New York include being a U.S. citizen between the ages of 20 to 37, having either a high school diploma and three years of related experience or a bachelor’s degree, and having no serious criminal convictions or financial obligations.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons in New York operates the following facilities:

  • Ray Brook Federal Correctional Institution (Ray Brook)
  • Otisville Federal Correctional Institution (Otisville)
  • New York Residential Reentry Management (Brooklyn)
  • New York Metropolitan Correctional Center (New York City)
  • Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center (Brooklyn)

Paralegals and Legal Support Jobs in New York

Paralegals in New York assist attorneys in substantive legal matters. Organizations employing New York paralegals include:

  • Garvey, Tirelli & Cushner, Ltd. (White Plains)
  • Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP (New York City)
  • M&T Bank Corporation (Buffalo)
  • American International Group (New York City)

Paralegal Job Qualifications in New York

The Empire State Alliance of Paralegal Associations (ESAPA) recommends that aspiring paralegals get a minimum of an associate degree in paralegal studies or criminal justice. Having a degree in another field, they say, does not prepare one to work in the state’s paralegal field.

National professional certification for New York’s paralegals is optional. The ESAPA recommends state certification. One must meet certain criteria to become a New York State Certified Paralegal under this program. Requirements include:

  • Graduating from a paralegal studies program
  • Having a high school diploma and eight years of paralegal experience
  • Earning the Certified Paralegal credential bestowed by the National Association of Legal Assistants

Homeland Security and Emergency Management Jobs in New York

Homeland security and emergency management are a big part of the criminal justice system in New York. These professionals help to protect the state’s borders against terrorist incursion and help New Yorkers respond to threats and real disaster situations when they do occur.

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Education is usually necessary for jobs in emergency management and homeland security. Examples of potential degrees and certificates available in New York include:

  • Homeland Security Certificate
  • Graduate certificate — Emergency Management
  • Bachelor of Science — Criminal Justice — Homeland Security Emphasis
  • Certificate — Security Management Studies
  • Associate of Science Degree — Emergency Management

There are many opportunities for homeland security and emergency management professionals seeking jobs in New York State through such organizations as:

  • New York State Office of Homeland Security (Albany)
  • FBI Field Intelligence Groups (Albany, Buffalo and New York City)
  • New York City Office of Emergency Management (New York City)
  • American Red Cross (New York City)

Degrees by State