Friday 25 March 2016

5 Rewarding Careers in The Criminal Justice System

My dad was a policeman and my step mum and sister in law are also part of the police force so it is a career that I am quite familiar with. My partner actually considered joining some time ago too.

There are actually a variety of careers in the criminal justice system, from police and prison officers to those giving support to victims.

Most of the roles can be extremely challenging, and come with unsociable hours. However, they're based on helping other people, and they are rewarding jobs. Here are five criminal justice jobs you could consider:

Police officer
The job involves maintaining public order, helping to prevent and investigate crime, gathering evidence, writing detailed reports, and giving evidence in court. Officers need to be fit, have an excellent knowledge of the law, good interpersonal skills and the ability to work calmly under pressure, often in difficult situations.

You have to be 18 to apply, and, although there is no upper age limit, the normal retirement age for police constables and sergeants is 60. Find out if you are eligible here

Starting salary: around £23,000 per annum, differs between constabularies.

Crown prosecutor
You must be qualified and certified to practise in England and Wales or a qualified barrister who has completed their pupilage. Crown prosecutors need to be organised, should be able to work well within a team, and should be excellent advocates. 

They evaluate and prepare cases, and senior crown prosecutors will present cases in court. Cases range from motoring offences to murder. Find out more here.

Starting salary: around £27,700 per annum.

You will need an honours degree in biology, chemistry, or a related subject. Forensic scientists need to be able to work accurately, show great attention to detail, and have an inquiring mind.

They gather evidence at crime scenes, process DNA and blood evidence, analyse handwriting, provide expert advice on ballistics and explosives, and give evidence in court.

Starting salary: around £20,000 per annum.

Forensic psychologist
You'll need a British Psychological Society accredited degree to apply for the role of Forensic Psychologist. You'll need to want to help and support offenders, be a good listener and have great communication skills, and have an interest in why people commit crimes.

Starting salary: around £20,000 per annum.

Prison officer
Prison officers supervise and manage prisoners, perform security checks, supervise visits, and carry out patrols. They also counsel prisoners, take part in rehabilitation programmes, assess prisoners, maintain records, and write reports.

In England and Wales, to become a prison officer within Her Majesty's Prison Service you need to be over 18, have been a UK resident for the last three years, have the right to work in the UK, and pass security and identity checks.

In Scotland, there are four tests to pass. Find out about your eligibility to work for the Scottish Prion Service here.

For information about joining the Northern Ireland Prison Service visit

Starting salary: Non-graduates around £20,545 per annum (England and Wales); £16.171 per annum rising to £21,400 per annum after a probationary year (Scotland); graduates on the National Offender Management Service graduate programme - £26,450 per annum (England and Wales, outside London).
I think if I were to start looking for a new career again I'd definitely be looking into one of these jobs more, always nice at the end of the day coming home feeling like you've help somebody in some way or another. Would any of these jobs be something you'd be interested in finding out more about?

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