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Difference Between Law Enforcement And Criminal Justice

Difference between Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice

This article is dedicated to giving you insights on the following subtopics:

  • Law enforcement

  • Criminal Justice

  • Difference between Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice

Law Enforcement

What is law enforcement? – Law enforcement is a system, by way of which authorized personnel are trained to enforce the law in an organized manner by identifying, deterring, punishing, or rehabilitating people who violate or break rules and regulations that govern the society.

Even though law enforcement could encompass prisons and courts, the term is more often used to those departments that are directly involved in surveillance, patrols, and other activities to discover, investigate, solve, and prevent criminal activity. Law enforcement officers include those who deal in forensic criminology and psychology too. These tasks are usually carried out by the police force and other law enforcement agencies.

How, where, and what to study to become a law enforcement officer? – Earlier, if you wanted to become a law enforcement officer, you would directly join the police academy after high school and get the necessary training to obtain a job in the law enforcement agencies in the federal and state levels.

However, the police work and law enforcement work are becoming more complex and layered and increasingly these departments are recruiting people with college education and other related degrees.

A greater focus has been placed on national security in the last few years and more funds have flowed into the law enforcement industry thereby leading to increased jobs, and using research to find innovative and modern methods to tackle and fight crime in the society and increase security in the country.

A law enforcement degree is more than training to join the police department. A criminal justice degree specializing in law enforcement can give students access to entry-level jobs as private bodyguards, security guards, and corrections officer. Nearly all organizations need a security department and hence, there is a flourishing job market for educated law enforcement professionals.

Most federal and state law enforcement agencies need at least an associate degree holder for entry level jobs. There are many universities, community colleges, and private colleges that offer law enforcement courses which students can opt for. On successful completion of these courses, you can formally apply and join the workforce. Additionally, many working professionals are taking evening or part-time courses to keep themselves abreast of the fast changing law enforcement environment.

What are the attributes of a good law enforcement officer? – While a career in law enforcement is quite rewarding, it is also quite stressful and dangerous. Students choosing this line must know and understand the risks involved. Moreover, they should meet the physical requirements. The importance of a physically fit law enforcement officer can never be underestimated considering the fact that more often than not their job involves chasing and restraining criminals.

People in this field should be able to handle high-pressure situations in a calm manner and have the temerity to take critical decisions in an instant. Other attributes that are needed include a clean record, the ability to work well in a team, and good written and oral communication skills.

People in the law enforcement workforce should show compassion for both the victims and their families and also sometimes to the criminal whose background may have been the cause for him or her to become a criminal in the first place. In such situations, a good policeman will help the criminal make right choices and try and get him or her back to mainstream life.

What is taught in a law enforcement degree course - A degree in law enforcement offers students extensive training and knowledge in all aspects of criminal justice. Students will learn about police policies and procedures and about judicial systems. Students will learn all the stages that a criminal will go through from the time he or she gets arrested until sentencing. Prison systems are also taught as people with a law enforcement degree could be posted in prisons too. The training includes punishing prisoners, counseling and rehabilitating prisoners too.

Sociology and psychology are two important subjects taught in law enforcement degree courses. Knowing the structure and the way society functions can help law enforcement officers manage and rehabilitate criminals and even prevent people in fragile environments from becoming criminals.

Other aspects that are taught in law enforcement courses include how to handle crime scenes, how to interrogate suspects, how to interview witnesses, how to keep the crime scene from becoming contaminated, how to prepare evidence, how to present evidence, and how to investigate a crime scene.

Careers in law enforcement include bailiff, border patrol agent, bounty hunter, corrections officer, crime scene investigator, criminal profiler, criminologist, customs agent, federal special agent, game warden, law enforcement officer, military officer, parole officer, police detective, private investigator, probation officer, security officer, sociologist, substance abuse counselor, transport security officer, and more.

Criminal Justice

Criminal justice system refers to a system of institutions and practices of governments that are directed at upholding keeping society under control, directed at mitigating and deterring crime, and punishing or rehabilitating criminals.

Criminal justice has two arms: law enforcement and legal. Law enforcement has been explained in detail above. The legal arm of criminal justice includes legal services offered to businesses and individuals as a legal representative in the courts or as public officials defending the government's stand.

Legal careers include the following:

Defense attorney – These are lawyers who represent the accused in court. They are hired by the individuals or businesses or by the government to work as public defenders. A degree in law requires a minimum of 7 years of study after high school. These seven years include four years of an undergraduate course followed by three years of law school. You have to be accredited by the American Bar Association after you finish your law school by passing a state bar exam will allow you to practice law in your state.

Prosecutors (are also attorneys) – You will have to clear the law exam and get accredited just like the defense attorneys. However, you will be representing the government whether local, federal or state. You will be working very closely with law enforcement agencies to decide how to take a criminal case forward.

Court Reporter – are the transcribers of the case hearings that take place in courts. As a court reporter, you will create accurate and verbatim transcripts of all speeches, legal proceedings, depositions, and meetings. Most court reporters are associate degree holders from community colleges.

Judge – Judges preside over hearings or trials. Their job is to ensure a free, fair, and orderly trial in the courtroom with an objective to safeguarding the interests of the defense and the prosecution. Nearly all judges need years of attorney experience before they can be appointed or elected as judges. All judges are required to get formal training or some kind of orientation.

Paralegal – A legal assistant is called as a paralegal and works either in government agencies or private firms. Paralegals help attorneys prepare for hearings, trials, meetings, and depositions. Paralegals may also investigate a case, draft motions and pleadings, and conduct legal research.

Many paralegal training and certification programs are available which will help you get an internship to pick up on-the-job skills. Paralegal internships usually last for many months and have a great chance of leading to a permanent position too.

Difference between Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice is the overall justice system created and maintained to uphold social harmony. Its two arms consist of law enforcement and legal. So, law enforcement is part of the criminal justice system. Law enforcement involves activities enforcing the law in society and is linked to people who are directly responsible for catching and arresting criminals. Criminal justice encompasses both the law enforcement and legal aspects.

Final Notes

Criminal justice and law enforcement jobs are both prestigious and satisfying. While the dangers are high, if you are made of the right mettle, you will have immense job satisfaction considering the fact that you will be directly involved in keeping your country safe from criminals.

Whether you choose to take a specialized law enforcement course or a law course to be part of the legal system, you will be involved in lots of academic writing. We, at Prescott Papers, would be happy to help you with all kinds of such academic writing. Do contact us for help.

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