What Types of Skills are Required to be Successful in the Criminal Justice Field?

The criminal justice field offers a wide range of career possibilities, and the number of skills required to be successful in the criminal justice are almost as numerous. Although hundreds of abilities and traits are helpful when beginning a career in the criminal justice field, there are skills that are the most beneficial for anyone interested in pursuing all types of criminal justice positions.

Careers in Criminal Justice

Many people think of law enforcement careers when considering options for criminal justice positions after training or completion of an education program, including local city police officer positions to federal investigative positions with organizations such as the FBI or DEA. Other possibilities include child protective services worker, services investigator, contracts administrator, community services coordinator, park ranger, paralegal, educator, juvenile counselor, non-profit advocate, substance or other abuse counselor, and employment coordinator.
Additional information on possible positions in the criminal justice field can be review at the National Criminal Justice Association job board at http://careers.ncja.org.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

Criminal justice professionals work closely with team members, clients, partners, and other individuals every day. In order to be successful, it is necessary to have a solid foundation in interpersonal skills such as listening, empathy, conflict resolution, and flexibility.

Additionally, a large part of any position in the criminal justice field will require the completion of reports. Reports might be written for the court, for records, for approval for such things as warrants and grant funding, or for collaborative plans with clients. This will require for professionals in the criminal justice field to have strong written and oral communication skills to present findings, recommendations, and conclusions.

Ethics and Honesty

Much of what a professional in any career in the criminal justice handles requires following the legal, ethical, and moral standards of society. Criminal justice professionals work to help individuals and communities avoid abuse, fraud, criminal activity, and prejudice. To be effective in doing so, it is essential for every individual working in criminal justice to have a high standard of ethics and be honest in all aspects of the workplace.

Knowledge of Topics in Criminal Justice Fields

With such a wide range of possibilities for working in criminal justice, it is vital for professionals in this industry to have a well-rounded understanding of everything from legal issues to the history of criminology and criminal behavior, including juvenile justice, criminal investigations, delinquency prevention, and psychology of criminal behavior.

In addition to knowledge specific to the criminal justice field, professionals in all areas of the field should have a solid understanding of mathematical concepts in probability and statistics as well as knowledge in social issues and psychology.

Other Professional Skills

Assessment, service orientation, coordination, decision making, persuasion, and leadership are also skills that are helpful to have in any type of criminal justice position.

Whether interested in a career in law enforcement or rehabilitation or counseling, criminal justice provides future professionals with many professionally and personally rewarding benefits. Many types of skills are required to be successful in the criminal justice field, particularly those in understanding the law, ethical responsibility, and communication.