When someone talks about working in criminal justice, they tend to think about a career in law enforcement or law. However, there are many other careers in criminal justice. Here are four criminal justice careers you’ve probably never considered – but should. And note that some of them let you work in the private sector.
Polygraph exams are very difficult to falsify, hence the reliance on them to prove someone’s innocence. A polygraph will show that someone is telling the truth when they believe what they say, whether because they are acting on misinformation or mentally ill. However, that can be found out through the questions attorneys and polygraph examiners themselves may ask them as part of the exam. Polygraph examiners tend to work in criminal justice. However, they can work for the federal government as well. For example, someone who wants to work in human intelligence (spying) or handle codes will likely have to pass a polygraph exam to prove they are who they say they are and complete their background check before being considered for the job.
Forensic nursing may work with forensic examiners when dealing with a dead body. They also provide critical services to the living. For example, a forensic nurse qualified after earning an online doctor of nursing would work in the Emergency Room. When someone enters claiming rape, the forensic nurse collects evidence from the victim’s clothing using rape kits so that it is legally admissible in court. They may assess potential victims of child abuse in any form.
Forensic nurses start with a bachelor’s degree in nursing before earning additional certifications in forensic nursing. This certification can be earned through an online DNP program if there is not a forensic nursing program in your area.
Jury and trial consultants try to maximize the odds of the defendant being found innocent, though the prosecution may rely on a similar skillset to swing the jury the other way. They look at the backgrounds and behavior of the jury pool to determine who should stay and who should go in order to maximize the odds that the desired verdict will be reached. While demographics are a factor, there are also issues of expertise and beliefs.
Prosecutors look for people tough on crime to sit on the jury and throw out anyone who believes in jury nullification. Attorneys filing a lawsuit based on complex matters tend to want any subject matter expert thrown off the jury so that the jury only decides based on the explanations they are presented by the attorneys.
Digital Forensics Expert
A digital forensics expert is one who analyzes computers and other technology for evidence. They may analyze servers and devices for evidence others tried to erase to cover up their tracks whether it is intellectual property theft or fraud against an employer. Digital forensics experts may work in information security for a large company, determining if a data leak was due to hacking or an internal employee copying the information before giving it to someone else.
Criminal justice is a wide field and offers tons of opportunities for those who are ready to take them. Make sure you weigh all your options so you can see if a career in criminal justice is for you.