Within the criminal justice system, all prisoners should receive equal treatment, but that is not always the case. Gang members, sex offenders, or individuals with mental or chronic physical health issues may create special challenges for correctional officers. These challenges can make rehabilitation in the criminal justice system more challenging for individuals with special needs. A special populations degree examines the needs of these individuals and considers how they can be more effectively rehabilitated in the future.
Online Degrees in Criminal Justice for Special Populations
The special populations degree is a highly focused segment of criminal justice. It is most often available as a criminal justice degree specialization, or even simply as an individual course or special seminar within a criminal justice degree plan. There are, however, a select few programs that offer an online degree in special populations. This degree is a good choice for students who are specifically interested in understanding and improving the treatment of special populations within the criminal justice system.
Career Paths in Special Populations
Graduates with a degree in special populations often follow careers in corrections or social work. Though the specialization may be highly focused, it offers a good background in criminal justice, allowing professionals with this degree to work in a variety of areas within the criminal justice system to better serve individuals in special populations.
Special populations degrees most often lead to a career as a probation or correctional treatment officer. In this career, you’ll have the opportunity to work directly with individuals in special populations and consider how they can be better served by the criminal justice system. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a career as a probation or correctional treatment officer offers a stable job outlook and above average pay: typically $48,190 per year. Nearly all corrections or probation officers work for state or local governments.
Special Populations Degree Curriculum
Understanding special populations within the criminal justice systems means that first, you’ll need to understand the criminal justice system itself. Your special populations degree curriculum is likely to include the foundations of criminal justice with a special focus on minority populations, social work, and counseling. Courses may include:
- Corrections and incarceration
- Social work
Start Serving Special Populations in Criminal Justice
Begin your career in special populations with an online degree in criminal justice. Search our schools to find the right online special populations degree for your future — and the future of specially challenged individuals in criminal justice.