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Chapter 6: Other Justice Careers

By now, the range of justice system career options should be obvious to readers of this text. It should also be clear that an exhaustive list of justice careers is not possible. In this section we look at a few other career categories. As in previous sections, you are encouraged to use the included links to learn more about each category and a few of the careers that are included.

This section includes information on careers in forensics, private security, and victim services. Each of these careers has connections to the justice system, but in most cases careers separate from the justice system are available in each of these categories.

Forensics Careers

Forensic scientists discover, document, and protect evidence that can be used to answer questions arising from crime or litigation. Forensic scientists photograph, draw, measure, reconstruct activities, and complete other tasks necessary to accurately record crime scenes. They are also responsible for the identification, classification, and recording of evidence discovered during the investigation of crime scenes. Forensic science technicians analyze crime scene evidence, prepare reports, and testify at trial. There are many different forensics jobs and each requires different, and often substantial, training. As a result, most forensic scientists specialize in one area. Many forensic scientists work for state, federal or private crime laboratories. They may also work for medical examiner or coroner offices, hospitals, universities, laboratories, or as independent consultants.

General Links

American Academy of Forensic Sciences

http://www.aafs.org/

American College of Forensic Examiners

http://www.acfei.com/

American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors

http://www.ascld.org/

American Society of Questioned Document Examiners

http://www.asqde.org/

Crime Scene Investigator

http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net/

FBI – Forensic Science Communications

http://www.fbi.gov/hq/lab/fsc/current/index.htm

FBI – Handbook of Forensic Services

http://www.fbi.gov/hq/lab/handbook/intro.htm

Forensics Curriculum – Court TV

http://www.courttv.com/forensics_curriculum/

International Association for Identification

http://www.theiai.org/

International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts

http://www.iabpa.org/

International Association of Crime Analysts

http://www.iaca.net/

International Association of Forensic Toxicologists

http://www.tiaft.org/

Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists

http://maafs.org/

National Association of Medical Examiners

http://www.thename.org/

National Center for Forensic Science

http://ncfs.ucf.edu/home.html

National Forensic Science Technology Center

http://www.nfstc.org/

United States Secret Service – Forensic Services Division

http://www.treas.gov/usss/forensics.shtml

Virtual Exhibit on Forensic Science

http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Myst/en/index.html

Forensic Career Information

Criminalist

Description and Duties

Criminalists identify, analyze, and interpret physical evidence. These professionals use scientific training, analytical skills, and practical experience to collect and analyze crime scenes and other evidence in an effort to identify information that will be useful in the investigation and/or trial. These experts typically have training in areas of biology, chemistry, anthropology, and other laboratory sciences.

Links

American Board of Criminalistics

http://www.criminalistics.com/abc/A.php

American Board of Forensic Anthropology

http://www.csuchico.edu/anth/ABFA/

American Board of Forensic Odontology

http://www.abfo.org/

Association of Firearms and Toolmark Examiners

http://www.afte.org/

Criminal Psychologist

Description and Duties

Criminal psychologists develop psychological profiles that can help the police identify and understand the behavior and actions of suspects. Criminal psychologists may also help police identify areas where the suspect lives, works, and chooses victims. These justice professionals have degrees in psychology and other social sciences.

Links

American Board of Professional Psychology

http://www.abpp.org/

American Psychological Association – Law and Psychology

http://www.apa.org/psyclaw/

American Psychology – Law Association

http://www.unl.edu/ap-ls/

Careers in Psychology and the Law

http://www.unl.edu/ap-ls/careers.htm

Society for Police and Criminal Psychology

http://cep.jmu.edu/spcp/

Forensic Psychiatrist

Description and Duties

Forensic psychologists offer expert professional opinions in a legal case or civil matter. They are often involved in decisions about whether a defendant is competent to stand trial. Forensic psychologists are also called upon to make determinations of competency for trial or testimony. These licensed psychiatrists or psychologists work in private practice, correctional facilities, and hospitals.

Links

American Academy of Forensic Psychology

http://www.abfp.com/

American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law

http://www.aapl.org/

False Memory Syndrome Foundation

http://www.fmsfonline.org/

Arson Specialist

Description and Duties

Arson specialists investigate the cause, origin, and circumstances of fires. They enforce laws related to the suppression of arson and may be responsible for removing suspected explosive devices, incendiary devises, explosives, and other threats to public safety. Arson specialists may also create and enforce guidelines for safe transportation, disposal, and storage of explosives. Arson Specialists work for governmental agencies and insurance companies.

Links

International Association of Arson Investigators

http://www.firearson.com/

Insurance Committee for Arson Control

InterFire Online

http://www.interfire.org/

National Association of Fire Investigators

http://www.nafi.org

Private Security

Private security employs more people than all governmental justice system agencies combined. Some may assume that private security is limited to loss management and security guards. While this assumption has never been accurate, it is even less accurate today. Advances in technology, when coupled with challenges related to fears of terrorism, have resulted in rapid change in this growing field.

Many of the careers listed in prior sections of this text are available in the private sector. Many social services have been privatized and the justice system is no exception. Careers are available in private prisons and in many areas of community corrections. Careers are also available in corporations, or security firms that serve these corporations, in the areas of fraud, theft, information security, personal security, and workplace violence. Many new positions have been created due to concerns about Internet security. Fear of terrorism has also lead to many changes in the way multi-national corporations look at security.

In some cases private security acts independent of other security operations. In other situations public and private organizations work together and in some cases government agencies transfer security responsibilities to private organizations. Due to the wide range of careers, a wide range of educational experiences is required for these careers. The following links provide examples of organizations and associations that are involved with private security. These organizations provide information about careers and training. They may also offer credentialing for careers in their area of interest.

Links

American Polygraph Association

http://www.polygraph.org/

American Society for Industrial Security

http://www.asisonline.org/

Association of Certified Fraud Examiners

http://www.cfenet.com/home.asp

International Association for Counterterrorism and Security Professionals

http://www.iacsp.com/index.html

International Association of Private Security Consultants

Loss Prevention Career Hunter

http://www.lpcareerhunter.com/

National Association of Legal Investigators

http://www.nalionline.org/index.html

National Security Institute

http://nsi.org/

Retail Loss Prevention Exchange

Securitas Security Services

http://www.pinkertons.com/

Security Magazine

http://www.secmag.com/

Security Management Online

http://www.securitymanagement.com/

Security Professional’s Site

http://www.securityprofessionalssite.com/

Victim Services

The experience of victimization can lead to physical and economic injury, stress, fear, and confusion for victims and those close to them. The justice system has responded to concerns about victims by providing a range of victim services. Victim services professionals advise victims of available resources, refer crime victims to appropriate resources, and help victims access these services.

General Links

American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children

Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists

http://www.atss-hq.com/

Bureau of Justice Statistics – Crime and Victims Statistics

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/cvict.htm

National Center for Victims of Crime

http://www.ncvc.org/ncvc/Main.aspx

NCJRS – Victims of Crime

http://virlib.ncjrs.org/VictimsOfCrime.asp

National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center

http://www.vawprevention.org/

RealJustice

http://www.realjustice.org/

Safer Child

http://www.saferchild.org/

United States Department of Justice – Office for Victims of Crime

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/

United States Department of Justice – Office on Violence Against Women

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/vawo/

Victim Services Careers

Crime Prevention Coordinator

Description and Duties

Crime Prevention Coordinators work with Neighborhood Watch groups, Business Watch groups, Neighborhood Associations, and similar organizations. These professionals may also be responsible developing crime prevention programs and for delivering various presentations, newsletters, and promotions to the community. In some cities the Crime Prevention Coordinator makes visits to homes and businesses to assess and make recommendations about lighting, landscaping, locks, alarms, and other factors that decrease the chance of victimization.

Links

Canada’s National Crime Prevention Strategy

http://www.prevention.gc.ca/index.html

Crime Prevention Association of Michigan

http://www.preventcrime.net/

Gang Resistance Education and Training

http://www.atf.gov/great/

International Society of Crime Prevention Practitioners

http://www.iscpp.net/

National Association of Town Watch

http://www.nationalnightout.org/

National Crime Prevention Council

http://www.crimedog.com/

Crisis Center Coordinator/Counselor

Description and Duties

Most communities provide crisis intervention services for crime victims and others who are in crisis. Rape crisis centers, shelters for women and children, drug abuse hotlines, and suicide hotlines are often available. These centers rely heavily on volunteer support and are also staffed by trained coordinators and/or counselors.

Links

American Association of Suicidology

http://www.suicidology.org/

Battered Women’s Justice Project

http://www.bwjp.org/

Family Violence Prevention Fund

http://endabuse.org/

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

http://www.ncadv.org/

National Domestic Violence Hotline

http://www.ndvh.org/

National Electronic Network on Violence Against Women

http://www.vawnet.org/

National Mental Health Association

http://www.nmha.org/

Suicide and Crisis Center

http://www.sccenter.org/about.html

Suicide Prevention Center

http://www.suicidepreventioncenter.org/

Texas Association Against Sexual Assault

http://www.taasa.org/victim_services/default.php

Violence Against Women Resources

http://www.vaw.umn.edu/about/

Victim Offender Mediator

Description and Duties

Victim-offender mediation, group conferencing, and other restorative justice approaches offer victims, offenders, and community members the opportunity to meet face to face to discuss the impacts of the crime on the victim and community. Mediation sessions allow dialogue leading to a mutually acceptable agreement that attempts to repair the harm done while illustrating the extent of damages caused by the offender’s behavior. Agreements include restitution, community service, working for the victim, apologies, or other creative, often intangible, responses. The mediation session offers victims a forum in which they may ask questions related to the crime. Mediation and group conferencing programs provide offenders an opportunity to take personal responsibility for their actions and to apologize to the victim and community. Victim Offender mediators are trained third party neutrals who facilitate the communication process between all parties. Victim offender mediation uses terminology not typical in other mediations since the parties have been defined as “victim” or “offender” through previous court action. Victim Offender Mediation is often used in juvenile courts. Mediation may be a pre-sentencing requirement and any agreement reached in the mediation is integrated into the judge’s final sentence.

Links

Victim Offender Mediation Association

Victim Offender Reconciliation Programs

http://www.vorp.com/

Association for Conflict Resolution

Mediate.com

Restorative Justice Online Network

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/rest-just/index.htm

Victim Services Coordinator

Description and Duties

Victim Services Coordinators provide assistance to crime victims, witnesses, survivors, and their significant others. These justice professionals review programs and resources available in the community and assure availability of services. They may provide information to police and other victim contact personnel to make them aware of victim needs and referral options. These justice professionals may also be responsible for the training and coordination of volunteers. In some jurisdictions the Victim Services Coordinator is responsible for “first response” contact that involves crisis intervention and counseling at crime scenes.

Links

Crime Victim’s Services (Ohio)

http://www.ag.state.oh.us/sections/crime_victims_services/

Department of Justice – Office for Victims of Crime

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/

Directory of Crime Victim Services

http://ovc.ncjrs.org/findvictimservices/

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