Criminal Justice Colleges in California
California is known for its mild climate and quality of living. This West coast state is also home to several excellent criminal justice programs. Criminal justice colleges in California play a significant role in putting graduates on the front lines of combating crime. In addition to traditional campus-based schools, there are California criminal justice schools that allow students to earn associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees online.
Criminal Justice Schools in California
Criminal justice careers involve demanding work, often on the front lines of law enforcement, so individuals interested in police jobs in California can benefit from the training offered at one of the state's criminal justice colleges. Required studies assist students in developing expertise in the following areas:
- Firearms and the use of force
- Investigation techniques, including evidence collection and interviewing
Legal issues related to search and seizure, interrogation, and arrests The major types of law enforcement jobs in California provide both street-level experience and the opportunity for advancement. These include:
- Police officers and sheriff's deputies
- Security officers
- Investigators and evidence technicians
- Parole, probation, and court officers
- Corrections officers
Hiring for law enforcement jobs in California is expected to continue throughout the state as vacancies occur.
Careers in Criminal Justice in California
California is home to 127 jails and 99 prison facilities with a combined inmate capacity of over 250,000 prisoners. Additionally over 325,000 individuals are on probation and nearly 121,000 are on parole. Although the crime rate in the state is actually about 6 percent lower than the national average, according to the National Institute of Corrections, the state's large population ensures that there are plenty of job opportunities for law enforcement personnel. In 2008, the population of the Golden State was estimated to be 37,756,666. According to the California Attorney General's office, there was a significant drop in property crimes in 2009 from 2008 and a slight decrease in violent crimes during the same time frame. Most serious crimes occur in the state's urban centers that include San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Nationally there were an estimated 3,172,420 people employed in the protective service occupations in 2009. In California there were 369,500 people employed in criminal justice, many being graduates of California criminal justice colleges. The mean national wage for those employed in protective services was $41,740 in 2009, while those employed in California that same year took home $52,120, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.