Criminal Justice Degrees Guide

The Heartbreak of Criminal Justice Degrees

Criminal justice degrees typically teach students how to uphold notions of justice in a world that is quickly losing sight of what is ethical.  However, recent years have indicated that our views of what justice means are quickly becoming warped with new ideals in a modern age.  The criminal justice system we now know has quickly become intertwined with corruption and new types of career offerings, leading to an uncertain future for many students.  However, some realms of the degree do still exist which allow forthright students to continue to parade their beliefs and fight to keep criminal justice intact.

Criminal justice degrees are typically earned in order to go into law enforcement or criminal law in general.  With this degree comes insight into the criminal mindset and a thorough understanding of what crime and justice are.  However, there have been many times that our notions of crime and criminal justice have failed, as has been demonstrated in many unfortunate death penalty cases in recent years.  New technological advances have allowed courts to view new evidence on cases that were considered closed many years ago, as the result of new DNA analysis measures and criminal defense teams who work tirelessly for their clients. 

Todd Willingham in Texas has made major headlines around the nation because of the evidence that has recently emerged to indicate that Texas may have executed an innocent man because of poor forensics analysis only a decade ago.  Tracing death penalty cases even further back, there are a slew of similar cases in which seemingly innocent people are executed because courts have refused to hear their appeals or DNA evidence emerged too late that could have pardoned them.  With the numbers of innocent convictions rapidly increasing, it has become critical to take a new look at the criminal justice system and determine what type of justice is prevailing. 

Criminal justice degrees do not teach the intricacies of ethics and morality, but they have recently required students to read various articles concerning the Guantanamo detainees and death penalty cases.  Many of these have inspired many students to go into legislative work to enact change in the justice system or become part of a criminal defense team that can work to prove the innocence of their clients.  Whatever path you take with a criminal justice degree, it is clear that the principles of the degree are changing and a new structure will be in its place. 


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