Corrections Programs

Corrections is one of the main branches of the criminal justice system, and a corrections degree is geared towards training and teaching individuals in overseeing and managing jails as well as parole systems. Corrections degree programs are available for individuals who wish to become corrections officers.

Types of Corrections Degree Programs Available:
Degree programs are available at the associate, bachelor, and master's degree level. Many accredited colleges and universities offer both full time on-campus programs as well as online degrees. The admission requirements usually vary from school to school, but generally, students need to have at least a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification. An associate's level corrections degree is usually be completed in two years. This degree program's main aim is to impart general knowledge in order for students to meet minimum requirements to get a job in the field of corrections. Students in an associate's degree program learn how to solve problems, file important information, establish and maintain decorum, advise others, and administer convicted criminals.

Bachelor's degree programs in corrections are usually four year programs. Individuals, who seek advanced positions in the field of corrections, such as in the federal bureau of prisons, are required to have a bachelor's degree. Bachelor's degrees combine lectures with practical assignments. Students are taught how to deal effectively with criminals, in a legal and ethical fashion. Master's degrees are usually required for executive positions within the field. Master's degree programs in corrections usually take up to two years to complete. Students gain advanced knowledge in various subjects pertaining to corrections, and are encouraged to think about and formulate new correctional practices.

While the specific curriculum varies from institution to institution, generally students in these programs usually study courses in:

  • Criminal Psychology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Population Management
  • Ethics
  • Information Systems
  • Legal and Safety Issues
  • Criminal Justice

Advantages of Online Education:
Online education offers numerous benefits for students seeking an alternative to attending classes on a campus. Students could study at their own convenience, so they may not have to disrupt their work routines. They are able to study whenever they want and wherever they want, and stay abreast with the latest information in the field of corrections. Moreover, online degrees may be more cost effective than on campus degrees as students get to save on commuting costs.

Career Prospects:
With a degree in corrections, individuals could work as corrections officers, probation officers, bailiffs, parole officers, detention officers, and administrators. Individuals with associate degrees could get entry level jobs for individuals, while advanced positions would require higher degrees such as bachelor or master's degrees. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, correctional officers held approximately 469,500 jobs in 2012. These jobs were at the federal or state level. Private companies also employed correctional officers to provide correctional services in jails and prisons. With regard to the pay, in May 2012, the median annual wage for correctional officers and jailers was $39,040.


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