11 Feb 2023


How to Choose a Career Path: 10 Steps to Success

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One of the essential decisions that one can make in their life is choosing a career. Career selection does not only involve basing on how much you expect to earn in the future. One should also focus on the amount of time that the career will require daily. In most cases, a majority of people already know what career they would want to take in the future. However, this is not the case for everyone else. If you select a wrong career choice, it is an indication you willed n up unhappy for the rest of your life. Career planning requires you to take a series of various steps, whether you are a school, college, or university. Career planning should always remain in a continuous process until you come to the best choice. The criminal justice field spans an extensive range of interests and jobs. These can revolve around arresting a criminal, carrying out investigations, crime scene analysis, and gathering evidence. You can either choose to work for the private sector or federal, state, and local government agencies. However, despite there being many career options for one to choose from the criminal justice field, communication and collaboration are fundamental. There is a need to ensure that there is a functional communication channel between the various jobs. Moreover, technology is a useful element for criminal justice. Through technology, criminal justice specialists can quickly solve any issues within the shortest time possible. However, just like any other occupation, criminal justice professionals must adhere to a set code of ethics that determines their behavior and actions. Therefore, this essay will examine the importance of communication and collaboration when carrying out a legal search, formulating a pre-sentence report, managing a court case, and which career goes in line with effective communication and collaboration. Moreover, the essay shall highlight the role of technology in criminal justice and how ethical and professional practice is marinated in criminal justice careers. Finally, the essay shall focus on, which is the best career choice to undertake under the criminal justice field. Different agencies within criminal justice have various means through which they carry out legal searches. A correctional officer, probation officers, and police officer have different ways through which they can carry out a legal search. According to the Fourth Amendment, it requires a police officer to have a warrant from a judge before carrying out a legal search. However, in case a victim appears suspicious, evidence of a probable cause for search after a legal arrest, a police officer, does not require a search warrant (Fagin, 2018). In the case of the probation officers, the law only allows them to search the people serving a suspended sentence without needing a warrant (Fagin, 2018). Likewise, a probation officer does not have the legal right to searching for other people's properties. However, they can search for the prisoner, their cells, and their properties. The police officer, probation officer, and correctional officer have a collaborative relationship, as seen in the case whereby a probation officer and police officer can both search a parolee when investigating crime conducted by the parole. There is a need for collaboration between the correctional facility staff or officer and law enforcement when an investigation involving a prisoner is being carried out. A correctional officer can provide the law enforcement official with information regarding a prisoner’s visitors by presenting any visitation and phone call records. Before preceding a criminal sentence, convicts presentence reports must be presented before the court. According to Fagin (2018), this report can either be presented by the federal state officer or state probation officer. There is a need for a collaborative effort between the court, police officer, and probation officer when drafting the report. This indicates that for the convict’s full life history to be filled there is a need for interagency collaboration between the police officer, correction officer, and courts.

According to Rold (2008), a case involving a prisoner and a chief police officer (Gamble vs Estelle) was presented before the USA Supreme Court in 1976. Gamble claimed that he was medically unfit and was punished for not being able to work as required. As he was working at the facility's farm, Gamble sustained various injuries, and he was denied aces to medical care. The judge ruled that the prisoner has a right to medical care and thus favored gamble. According to Nowotny (2016), the judge’s ruling brought about three fundamental prisoner rights; the right to access care, the right to orderly care, and the right to specialized care. This landmark ruling significantly changed the prison systems and gave the medical professionals within the facilities an active role in determining prisoner health decisions.

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From the above analysis, a career in the court systems will match my future occupation prospects concerning communication and collaboration practices. I like ensuring that I use all pieces of evidence in making crucial decisions, and this qualifies me as a fact-based individual. Likewise, before making any decisions, all the facts and evidence must be brought forward. My communication and collaborative practices would, therefore, allow me to seek a career as a probation officer within the court system.

Communication and collaboration within the criminal justice field are very vital. There is a need for inter-agency communication and collaboration if justice is to be attained. As indicated above, a police officer, probation officer, and correctional officer must work as a team despite playing different roles within the criminal justice field. Technology is an essential facet in almost every aspect of modern life. Through technology, there has been an improvement in the quality of life and even work productivity. Criminal justice heavily relies on various technologies to ensure that law, order, and justice is maintained. The multiple stakeholders within the criminal justice system use numerous technologies to carry out their duties. Criminals have also begun using technology to carry out unlawful activities and within the criminal justice systems; the use of technology is warranted. In order to match the offenders' tricks and strategies, correctional officers, courts, and police have acknowledged that there is a need for using technology. A police officer tasked with carrying out burglary investigation encounters a hammer, handprint, shoeprints, and blood at the crime scene. One of the core goals of such an encounter is ensuring that there is a preservation of the evidence. The use of digital cameras is one of the means through which police officers use technology at crime scenes. According to NIJ (2007), digital cameras have revolutionized evidence preservation as they have become vital investigative tools. This is through taking photographs of the handprints, shoeprints, blood, and hammers, and this adds credibility to the investigations. Correctional officers must ensure that no contrabands are smuggled within the prison system. This is enabled through using various technologies such as non-permitted devices and weapons detectors at visitor entrances. Bulman (n.d) states that this is a handheld device held by a correctional officer and used in searching for visitors before entering the prison. Another vital contraband searching technology is the millimeter-wave imaging system. According to Bulman (n.d), this technology work using radio energy that creates images of any contraband detected from visitors. Additionally, technologies that help correctional officers include canners used at airports. The advantage of these technologies is that they do not infringe on the prison visitors’ privacy rights during the identification of contraband. According to Reinhart (2014), an essential technology used by probation officers is the global positioning systems and ankle bracelets. This enables the monitoring of the movements of the probationers. In case probationer geo beyond the recommended limit, it sends an alarm signal to the officer. The technologies are vital as they will help a probation officer in knowing the whereabouts of the probationer at every time. Various cases have highlighted the importance of technology within the criminal justice process. One such case involved the United States vs Jones (2012). The court used a GPS to determine the admissibility of evidence. At the time, a warrant had not yet been obtained. The judge ruled that the evidence was inadmissible as the use of GPS violated the accused’s Fourth Amendment rights. According to the case, it aimed at ensuring that despite technology laying a vital role in criminal justice, it should be restricted, and in case it is going to be used in carrying out searches, there is a need for seeking a warrant. Technology has played a crucial role in improving the correctional, law enforcement, and judicial branches of the criminal justice system. However, the branch that has tremendously benefited from these technologies is law enforcement. There is a use of thermal imaging, gunshot detection system, drones, and robotic cameras within this branch. These technologies are exciting, and this makes me want to use them. Moreover, the law enforcement branch provides many opportunities to use different technologies, and this makes me want to pursue a career in this branch.

Technology has played a vital role in improving criminal justice field careers. The apprehension of criminals has been made much more manageable. Moreover, preservation of evidence and the detection of harmful contraband from prison visitors is made much more manageable. Correctional officers, probation officers, and law enforcement officials have continued to use technology within their respective fields to ensure that criminals are brought to justice. Ethics are essential in any profession as they lay a foundation for determining which action or behavior is right or wrong. The law enforcement officials have a code of ethics outlined by the International Association of Police Chiefs (IAPC). There is a need to ensure that bribery and obtaining gifts from the public are viewed as being unethical. Once a police officer accepts gifts from the people, it amounts to favoritism, and this can make them indebted to the public (Homeland Security, Federal Law Enforcement, & Chief Counsel, 2015). The IAPCX requires all police officers not to engage in practices that taint the integrity and public trust in the law enforcement department. Factors such as promises, presents, and gifts will make the public to have negative perfections about the law enforcement agency, and this leads to an erosion of respect in the department. This indicates there is a need for ensuring there is in place an effective and functioning code of ethics. There is a need for having in place policies that will make sure the police officers not to mix personal binds with their duties. This is by making sure that there are clear guidelines on how a relationship between an inmate and guards should be built. Guards should not allow inmates to engage in activities such as smoking, as it can negatively affect the entire correctional facility. This will bring about the formulation of personal relationships between inmates and guards and thus affect their ability to discharge their duties. Likewise, before carrying out any form of legal and ethical search, a warrant is a must requirement for any police officer. However, this is different from probation officers who do not require such a warrant. Moreover, before carrying out any form of research, the officer must ensure there is probable cause. In 2009, a case involving Ashcroft vs. Igbal ruled that the First and Fifth Amendments of the accused were violated. According to Perry (2013), the judgments from the case laid down a foundation for the introduction of plausibility standards. This indicated that a judge could use their educational backgrounds and opinions when providing judgments with regards to whether there were enough facts presented before the court, which would warrant the movement of claims from conceivable to plausible levels. Ethical beliefs are more evident in the law enforcement department. In order to ensure there is order on the streets, I believe that one must be on the ground instead of sitting behind a desk. The arrests, presentation of testimonies, and emergency response duties of law enforcement officials make them play a substantial role within the criminal justice department. These officers put their lives on the line to ensure that all other citizens are safe. In my case, I believe that faster and swifter response to any issues allows one in solving any problem lawfully. The criminal justice system is an essential component of the society as it ensures that there are law and order maintained. Moreover, the field ensures the public is safe, and criminals are taken through correctional systems that make them better individuals. From an assessment of the career options, the best option is an occupation within the law enforcement department. This department plays a vital role in ensuring the bat victims of crimes get justice. Moreover, being a fact-based individual, this career choice shall help me in playing a significant role in carrying out investigations on how various crimes were committed. Furthermore, the career option uses some of the latest and sophisticated technologies, including drones, gunshot detection systems. The only way I can interact with these technologies is by taking a career in the field. Moreover, I believe that for the streets to be safe, one must always be on the ground. As a law enforcement official, I will always be on the ground, ensuring that I keep the public safe from criminals.


Bulman, P. (n.d.). Using technology to make prisons and jails safer. NIJ Journal. Retrieved February 1, 2020, from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/225764.pdf 

Fagin, J. A. (2018). CJ2017. Pearson. 

Homeland Security, Federal Law Enforcement, & Chief Counsel. (2015). Legal Division Reference Book . Scotts Valley, California: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 

National Institute of Justice (NIJ). (2007). Investigative uses of technology: devices, tools, and techniques. U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved February 1, 2020, from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/213030.pdf 

Nowotny K. M. (2016). Social Factors Related to the Utilization of Health Care Among Prison Inmates. Journal of Correctional Health Care, 22 (2), 129-138.

Perry, W. (2013). Predictive Policing: The Role of Crime Forecasting in Law Enforcement Operations . Santa Monica, California: Rand Corporation. 

Reinhart, C. (2014). Electronic monitoring of offenders. OLR Research Report. Retrieved February 1, 2020, from https://www.cga.ct.gov/2014/rpt/2014-R-0065.htm 

Rold W. J. (2008). Thirty years after Estelle v. gamble: A legal retrospective. Journal of Correctional Health Care, 14 (1). Doi: 10.1177/1078345807309616

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