Criminal justice encompasses policies and procedures that aim to punish criminal behavior while also affording the accused person certain rights. Several goals of the criminal justice system include deterring crime through penalties, rehabilitating criminals, and delivering justice to victims. Institutions, including prisons and courts, are part of the criminal justice system. Courts work to determine if a person is guilty of crime, while prisons remove convicted individuals from society for a certain length of time.
Learning about criminal justice allows you to protect innocent people and find ways to ensure victims of crimes receive justice. However, the criminal justice system is also imperfect, and knowledge of the system gives you an opportunity to help others who feel the system is treating them unfairly. You can also use your knowledge to help criminals change their ways through a rehabilitation process.
Learning about criminal justice can prepare you for a range of careers, ranging from law enforcement to prosecution and defense roles. Law enforcement jobs involve investigating wrongdoings and arresting offenders. Prosecutors and defense lawyers either attempt to prove wrongdoing or defend the accused. Other positions in the court include clerks, witness coordinators, and judges.
Online courses can introduce you to various systems of laws, such as international law and American law. Some lessons focus on behavioral theories that explain criminal behavior, providing insight into what motivates people to break the law. You'll also learn about problematic aspects of the justice system, such as police brutality, and how reform is possible.
Online courses are ideal for people who want flexible educational opportunities. You can access the lessons from anywhere with an internet connection and work at your own pace.