Criminal Justice Schools in Mississippi | MS

Mississippi State Criminal Justice Degrees

One of the largest employers in Mississippi is the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). There are just over 2,000 employees working at the MDOC’s three state prisons alone. The Department also administers 20 additional regional and private prisons and 62 probation & parole offices. The career outlook for Mississippi’s correctional officers, jailers, probation officers and correctional treatment specialists is also favorable. If you would like to start one of these careers, look for information among the criminal justice schools in Mississippi for information on degrees in corrections, law enforcement, sociology, human services, criminology, criminal justice or other related degrees. You will notice that you often have the choice between an online or campus program to choose a course of study that is most convenient to you.

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Perhaps you are interested in other professions such as that of a police officer, paralegal or emergency management specialist. You can complete a criminal justice degree in Mississippi by selecting a major or concentration (such as law enforcement, paralegal or emergency management degrees) that fits your professional and personal goals.

Mississippi Criminal Justice Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Mississippi is one of five states with the highest level of employment for gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators. These officers ensure safety and security in casinos and other gaming environments by looking for theft, violence and other questionable activity through observation and surveillance equipment. With a 24% employment growth outlook (provided by Projections Central) and an average annual salary between $33,000 ‘ 37,000, a gaming surveillance position is an excellent starting point for a career in law enforcement or other related fields. Check the list of criminal justice schools in Mississippi for information on gaming surveillance or casino security certificate programs to become qualified.

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Mississippi is also one of five states with the highest concentration of police/sheriff’s patrol officers and correctional officers, adds the BLS. Each shows a positive employment growth outlook with approximately 300 and 260 new job openings a year respectively. Complete a criminal justice degree in Mississippi with a major in law enforcement or corrections to become an ideal candidate for these positions.

Additional criminal justice careers in Mississippi that show a positive employment outlook are:

  • Security Guards (510 openings/year)
  • Paralegals (80 openings/year)
  • Lawyers (150 openings/year)
  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators (30 openings/year)

[See Table below for more information on Employment Growth and Outlook].

Top Criminal Justice Employers & Agencies

One of Mississippi’s major employers is the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg. According to Career One Stop, the ERDC has at least 2,500 employees. The ERDC’s mission is “to provide science, technology, and expertise in engineering and environmental sciences in support of our Armed Forces and the Nation to make the world safer and better.” The Center offers a Student Career Experience Program, a valuable on-the-job form of education that could lead to future employment with the ERDC. If you are completing a criminal justice degree in Mississippi with a major in information security, computer forensics, cyber security or computer engineering, you could be eligible to participate in a student program with ERDC’s Information Technology Department.

It is no surprise, because Mississippi has such a high number of gaming surveillance officers, that there are many casinos that are top employers in the state. These include the Gold Strike Casino in Robinsonville (1,800 employees) and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Biloxi (1,400 employees).

Finally remember that the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) hires many employees; its three state prisons alone there are over 2,000. Check the list of criminal justice schools in Mississippi to find out about online or campus corrections, law enforcement, criminology or probations degrees to secure employment with the MDOC.

Mississippi Criminal Justice & Legal Job Outlook & Mississippi Criminal Justice Salary

CareerEmployment Growth through 2018Current Average Salary
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers11%$27,000 – 38,000
Correctional Officers and Jailers18%$23,000 – 29,000
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists25%$30,000 – 35,000
Detectives and Criminal Investigators10%$51,000 – 59,000
Paralegals and Legal Assistants28%$35,000 – 41,000
Security Guards24%$20,000 – 25,000
Lawyers9%$90,000 – $95,000
Emergency Management Specialists23%$36,000 – 42,000
Gaming Surveillance Officers and Gaming Investigators24%$33,000 – 37,000

Sources: Growth Projections ~ Salary Range

Mississippi Crime Rate

Mississippi’s crime rate is approximately 1% higher compared to the rest of the country, according to the National Institute of Corrections. Its property crime rate is 5% higher, but its violent crime rate is 26% lower than the national average.

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In 2010, the FBI reported approximately 8,000 cases of violent crime (269/100,000 people) which includes murder, rape, aggravated assault and robbery. In that same year, the FBI counted 88,850 cases of property crime (or 2,985/100,000 people) which includes larceny, burglary and motor vehicle theft.

Mississippi’s Correctional System Stats

FacilityNumber of Facilities & OfficesNumber of Inmates
Probation & Parole6235,249


Degrees by State