Magazine article Corrections Forum

Marrying Criminal Justice & Administration

Magazine article Corrections Forum

Marrying Criminal Justice & Administration

Article excerpt

The field of contemporary corrections is larger and more complex than ever in the history of the criminal justice system. Moreover, corrections professionals are faced with a number of significant challenges, including managing, supervising and training correctional staff, delivering services to those under correctional supervision, maintaining public safety, managing the legal environment of corrections, and organizational planning. On top of that, corrections employees must consider their own professional and career development.

The Master of justice Administration program at Norwich University, Northfield, Vermont, was designed to help justice professionals develop the approach and skills necessary for effective management in the evolving public sector world, in all facets of criminal justice, including corrections. The program was constructed to develop skills necessary for movement into progressively responsible management and supervisory positions that simply aren't part of the usual training an agency can provide. Management and administration are also not a large part of the typical master's program in criminal justice. The MJA program seeks students with a working knowledge of and experience in criminal justice and doesn't attempt to teach this again. The goal of the program is to provide students with a solid foundation from which they can become effective managers and leaders in corrections.

All jurisdictions require some form of training and academy experience for corrections employees, and continue the development of technical skills through in-service training. Technical training is extremely important, especially in this field. However, a complementary set of educational and analytical skills is needed to provide leadership and assume progressively responsible supervisory positions in corrections.

The MJA degree provides a blend of study in justice and public administration. Included are: law and ethics; human resource management and organizational development; administration techniques and issues; policy and planning; research methodology; and individualized seminar projects.

Focus on Communications

A major strength of this program is that it is writing based, primarily because the ability to translate ideas and vision into clear and effective communication is perhaps the most important skill any professional should possess. Leaders and administrators in the correctional system are called upon to do this daily as they carry out their work or represent the agency before legislatures, city councils, the public, the media and other governmental or private organizations. …

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