Reflection on Career
CRJ425 Criminal Law
Colorado State University Global
When I was hired on by the municipal court in 2018, I would definitely say that I had no idea what direction I wanted my life to go in. I had always worked low skill positions mostly in retail, customer service and hospitality but really didn’t have a goal. After working at the courts for a short time, I found that I was really excelling and I was genuinely loving my work. I had a real knack for law it turns out. My judge encouraged me to learn more and, since I was already taking classes at the local community college, I decided to enroll in a few legal courses. That really sealed the deal for me and I changed my major from Library Sciences to Paralegal Studies and then found myself here, wholeheartedly decided on completing my degree in Criminal Justice.
In early 2019, I was able to land a position with the state at the Colorado Department of Corrections as the administrative assistant for Case Management. Municipal Court and State Prison are two very different worlds but I’ve learned so much about offender management and being in the courses I have been over the last year have really cemented a lot of fundamentals of criminal justice. Additionally, over the last year I have been considering my career options after I finish my degree. Everyone tells me that corrections will just be a stepping stone to something greater and they may be right. So far all of my criminal justice classes have really helped with my position, but I would have to say that this course has really made me think about what I want to with my career.
Criminal law is definitely very applicable to my current career as I am now the litigation admin assistant for the youth prison in my town. Some may think that it doesn’t since youth don’t have the same rights and are charged differently but in the course we cover things such as approaches to sentencing and sentencing guidelines. Additionally, we learned about state criminal codes, the different categories of crime and this is important to know in my position because the facility is strictly guided by state statute. There is also the fact that youth offenders commit all of the crimes we have gone over and will eventually go over in this course and again, as the litigation admin, it really helps me with my job to understand their street charges and the decisions that happen in court, since a lot of them still have court hearings.
As much as I like working with youth offenders, I am not too sure that I will always want to. This course has really helped me understand a lot of different crimes, the way state and federal governments deal with them, the constitution and a lot of really important cases which has got me thinking about other criminal justice positions. I’ve become very interested in pursuing a federal position, working as a crime analyst or maybe even getting certified as a polygrapher.
Crime Analyst’s do research and analyze data to assist law enforcement (Roufa, 2019). Crime analysis is by no means a new field and has been growing since the 1970’s, largely due to the community oriented policing methods (Roufa, 2019). Also referred to as intelligence analysts, need to be able to think about and make sense of crime data so that it can be acted on. Intelligence work is very skilled and complex so it is important that those pursuing this path have the right kind of training and education (Evans & Kebbell, 2012). In a study conducted by Evans and Kebbell (2012), it was determined that some of the most important qualities of intel analysts are: thinking skills, problem solving skills and methodical approaches. This course has been eye opening to all of those concepts; presenting us with challenging cases and issues (Lippman, 2016), and gets us thinking about different concepts in criminal law at state and federal levels.
Criminal law has definitely piqued my interest in a federal position, possibly with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Justice, and even the military. Federal Statutes was one of the very first things that we covered in this course and throughout the course the importance of the Constitution and Amendments are. We have also reviewed many cases that have been addressed at the federal level. When I think about careers with the government, criminal law has helped me realize that a lot of federal work is not so much about the action that we often see on T.V. but about the leg work and how important it is to understand laws and how to apply them correctly.
When it comes to what else I would like to learn, when it comes to criminal law I don’t think that there is too much else that can be covered under this course and still have it called criminal law. In the coming weeks we will be addressing more crimes such as property crime, burglary and arson, white collar crime, and crimes against the state and I am really looking forward to those topics. Criminal law has been very eye opening and has been a real inspiration to my future career goals.
Evans, J., & Kebbell, M. (2012). The effective analyst: a study of what makes an effective crime and intelligence analyst. Policing & Society, 22(2), 204–219. https://doi.org/10.1080/10439463.2011.605130
Lippman, M. R. (2016). Contemporary criminal law concepts, cases, and controversies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Roufa, T. (2019, June 18). Crime Analyst Job Description: Salary, Skills, & More. Retrieved April 25, 2020, from https://www.thebalancecareers.com/crime-analyst-career-profile-974846