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Criminal justice 

Criminal justice refers to the system used by government to maintain social control, enforce laws, and administer justice. Police, courts, and corrections are the primary agencies charged with these responsibilities. Criminal justice is distinct from the field of criminology, which involves the study of crime as a social phenomena, causes of crime, criminal behavior, and other aspects of crime.

 The pursuit of criminal justice is, like all forms of "justice" or "fairness" or "process", essentially the pursuit of an ideal. Thus, this field has many relations to anthropology, criminology, economics, history, law, political science, psychology, sociology, theology, and ethics.


One question which is presented by the idea of creating justice involves the rights of victims and the rights of accused criminals, and how these individual rights are related to one another and to social control. It is generally argued that victim's and defendant's rights are inversely related, and individual rights, as a whole, are likewise viewed as inversely related to social control.

 Rights, of course, imply responsibilities or duties, and this in turn requires a great deal of consensus in the community regarding the appropriate definitions for many of these legal terms.


There are several basic theories regarding criminal justice and its relation to individual rights and social control.

 Restorative justice assumes that the victim or their heirs or neighbors can be in some way restored to a condition "just as good as" before the criminal incident. Substantially it builds on traditions in common law and tort law that requires all who commit wrong to be penalized. In recent time these penalties that restorative justice advocates have included community service, restitution, and alternatives to imprisonment that keep the offender active in the community, and re-socialized him into society. Some suggest that it is a weak way to punish criminals who must be deterred. These critics are often proponents of retributive justice.

 Retributive justice or the "eye for an eye" approach. Assuming that the victim or their heirs or neighbors have the right to do to the offender what was done to the victim. These ideas fuel support for capital punishment for murder, amputation for theft (as in some versions of the sharia).

 Psychiatric imprisonment treats crime nominally as illness, and assumes that it can be treated by psychoanalysis, drugs, and other techniques associated with psychiatry and medicine, but in forcible confinement. It is more commonly associated with crime that does not appear to have animal emotion or human economic motives, nor even any clear benefit to the offender, but has idiosyncratic characteristics that make it hard for society to comprehend, thus hard to trust the individual if released into society.

 Transformative justice does not assume that there is any reasonable comparison between the lives of victims nor offenders before and after the incident. It discourages such comparisons and measurements, and emphasizes the trust of the society in each member, including trust in the offender not to re-offend, and of the victim (or heirs) not to avenge.

In addition, there are models of criminal justice systems which try to explain how these institutions achieve justice.

The Consensus Model argues that the organizations of a criminal justice system do, or should, cooperate.

The Conflict Model assumes that the organizations of a criminal justice system do, or should, compete.

Criminal justice system

The criminal justice system consists of law enforcement (police), courts, and corrections.

Law enforcement

While the police work towards crime prevention, they are also involved with crime control, and handle cases initially when crime occurs. The police will conduct a crime investigation, gather evidence, and identifying suspect(s). The first contact the offender has with the criminal justice system is with the police who make the arrest. Probable cause is necessary for the police to make an arrest, and take the suspect into custody. The suspect undergoes booking, a process which may involve fingerprinting, taking mugshots, and interrogation.


Given sufficient evidence, the case will be handed over to the prosecutor who may then file a complaint. The case will then go before a grand jury in a preliminary hearing. If the grand jury finds probable cause, the suspect will be arraigned with formal charges filed, and bail set. Following the arraignment, plea bargaining may occur with the suspect pleading guilty in exchange for a more lenient sentence. Otherwise, the case will move forward to trial. If the defendant is found guilty, disposition is the next step with the sentencing determined. The case may then be appealed at higher courts.


Offenders are then turned over to the correctional authorities. The offender may be sentenced to prison, jail, or community supervision. Upon serving the sentence or through parole, the offender is then released into the community.

 Educational programs

 The establishment of criminal justice as an academic field during the 1920s is generally credited to Berkeley police chief August Vollmer. By 1950, approximately 1,000 students were in the field, 100,000 students by 1975, and approximately 350,000 by 1998. Today, you can visit criminal justice to get started on your path to a criminal justice degree.


Criminal Justice: Mainstream and Crosscurrents. John Randolph Fuller. 2005. Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Crime and Punishment in America. Volume 1. Richard C. Hanes and Sharon M. Hanes. 2005. Thomas Gale. Farmington Hills, MI

Popular Justice: A History of American Criminal Justice. Samuel Walker. 1980. Oxford University Press, Inc. New York, NY.

Crime and Punishment in American History. Lawrence M. Friedman. 1993. Basic Books. New York, NY.

The Emerging System of International Criminal Law: Developments in Codification and Implementation, Lyal S. Sunga. 1997. Kluwer Law International. The Hague, The Netherlands.

The above is derived from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here is a broad selection of different colleges and universities and the types of criminal justice related degree programs they offer.

American InterContinental University

Bachelor (Criminal Justice)

Bellevue University-

Bachelor  *Corrections Administration and Management, Criminal Justice, and Security Management)

Boston University

Master (Criminal Justice)

Capella University

Master (Criminal Justice)

Champlain College

Bachelor (Computer & Digital Forensics, information Security)

Colorado Technical University

Bachelor (Criminal Justice)

Crown College

Associate and Bachelor (Criminal Justice, Paralegal and Public Administration)

 Eastern Kentucky University

Associate and Bachelor (Corrections and Juvenile Justice Studies)

Indiana Business College 

Associate (Criminal Justice)

 Kaplan University  

Associate, Bachelor and Master (Criminal Justice, Global Issues in Criminal Justice and Policing)

Union Institute and University

Bachelor (Criminal Justice Management)

 Keiser College 

Associate and Bachelor (Criminal Justice and Homeland Security)

Mountain State University

Bachelor (Criminal Justice Administration)

Norwich University

Master (Criminal Justice Administration)

Portland State University

Bachelor (Criminology & Criminal Justice)

Saint Leo University

Master (Criminal Justice)

San Joaquin Valley College

Associate (Criminal Justice Administration)

South University

Bachelor and Master (Criminal Justice)

University of Cincinnati 

Master (Criminal Justice)

University of Phoenix 

Associate, Bachelor and Master (Administration of Justice and Security and Criminal Justice Administration)

Utica College

Certificate, Bachelor and Master (Economic Crime Investigation, Economic Crime Management)

Villanova University 

Certificate (Information Systems Management, Advanced Security Management)

Virginia College

Associate, Bachelor and Master (Criminal Justice)

Walden University

Master and PhD (Criminal Justice and Public Administration)

Westwood College  

Bachelor (Criminal Justice)

DeVry University

Bachelor and Master (Criminal Justice)

Everest College

Associate and Bachelor (Criminal Justice and Criminal Investigations)

Remington College

Bachelor and Master (Criminal Justice)

Argosy University

Associate (Criminal Justice)

Chapman University

Bachelor and Master (Criminal Justice and, Administration and Leadership of Criminal Justice Organizations, Criminal Justice Policy)




University of Alabama Criminal Justice Department

University of Alabama Birmingham Department of Justice Sciences

Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage

School of Criminal Justice University at Albany

Appalachian State Criminal Justice Studies

Arizona State University School of Justice Studies

Criminal Justice Institute at University of Arkansas, Little Rock

California Lutheran University Sociology and Criminal Justice Department

Metropolitan State College of Denver Department Of Criminal Justice

East Tennessee State University Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology

Fayetteville State University Criminal Justice

Florida Atlantic University Department of Criminal Justice

Administration of Justice George Mason University-Price William

IUP Department of Criminology

Jacksonville State University Criminal Justice Department

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Marymount University Criminal Justice Page

University of Missouri - St. Louis Criminology and Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice - University of Nebraska at Omaha

University of North Las Vegas  Criminal Justice

North Carolina Wesleyan College Justice Studies

University of North Carolina at Wilmington's Criminal Justice Internship

Department of Public Service Rio Hondo College

Rutgers School of Criminal Justice

Sonoma State University Department of Criminal Justice Administration

Saint Mary's College of Minnesota Criminal Justice Department

George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center at Sam Houston State University

Criminal Justice Studies at the University of South Dakota

University of South Florida Department of Criminology

Southeastern Louisiana University Program in Criminal Justice

Criminology at Southern Oregon University

West Los Angeles College- Administration of Justice

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Criminal Justice Program

Xavier University Department of Criminal Justice

Associate's degrees (U.S.)
Foundation degrees (U.K.)
FdA, FdEd, FdEng, FdMus, FdBus, FdSc, FdTech
Bachelor's degrees
AB or BA, BSc or SB, BBus, BCom or BComm, BCS, BEng or BE, BS or BSc, BFA, BHE, BJ, BPE, BHK, BCL, LL.B., MB ChB or MB BS or BM BS or MB BChir or MB BCh BAO, BMus, B.Math, BBA, BAdm, MA (Oxon.), MA (Cantab.), MA (Dubl.), MA (Hons)
Master's degrees
MA, MS or MSc, MSt, MALD, MApol, MPhil, MRes, MFA, MTh, MTS, M.Div., MBA, MPA, MJ, MSW, MPAff, MLIS, MLitt, MPH, MPM, MPP, MPT, MRE, MTheol, LLM, MEng, MSci, MBio, MChem, MPhys, MMath, MMus, MESci, MGeol, MTCM, MSSc, BCL (Oxon), BPhil (Oxon)
Specialist degree
EdS, B.Acc., C.A.S.
Engineer's degree
Ch.E., B.E., C.E., C.E., E.E., E.A.A., E.C.S., Env.E., Mat.E., Mech.E., Nav.E., Nucl.E., Ocean E., Sys.E.
Doctorate degree
PhD, EdD, EngD, DNursSci, DBA, DC, DD, DSc, DLitt, DA, MD, DDS, DMD, DMA, DMus, DCL, ThD, JD, OD, DO, PharmD, DrPH, DPT, DPhil, DOM, OMD, DPM, PsyD, DSW, LL.D., J.S.D., S.J.D.
Law degree
B.A. Law, J.D., D.Jur., LL.B., B.C.L., LL.L., LL.M., LL.D., J.S.D., S.J.D., Ph.D.


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