25 Sep 2022


The Future of the Criminal Justice Workforce

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Academic level: Master’s

Paper type: Assignment

Words: 390

Pages: 1

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In the past, line level criminal justice workforce such as the police were recruited with just a high school diploma. The need for advancement in the education of line-level officers has been a subject of debates in criminal justice system since the beginning of 20 th century. Advocates for improvements in training for police officers beyond high school diploma argued that higher education would result in better police performance (Paoline & Terrill, 2007). Over the years, the number of line level recruits with college degrees and the number of officers pursuing degrees have increased notably. Therefore, an analysis of the impact of an increasingly educated workforce sheds light on the impact on the criminal justice system.

Higher education for officers has resulted in less use of force in arrests. The use of force has remained a significant issue in the criminal justice system for years. In the course of growth and reform, the system objectives include the reduction of force used by officers on suspects as evident in modern-day campaigns for better policing. Research has shown a significant difference in the application of force whereby statistics show that officers with higher education apply less force compared to those without higher education (Rydberg & Terrill, 2010). Therefore, higher education enables the criminal justice system to achieve its goal of controlling the amount of force used by officers on criminals.

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Another impact of a more educated workforce in the criminal justice system is it enables advancement and innovation in policing. Modern day policing is more about social work than law enforcement. Essential skills such as conflict resolution techniques, psychology, and sociology among others come in handy in the modern day approach to policing. Higher education presents police with debating skills and problem resolution skills that are essential for administration in the criminal justice system (Michigan State University, 2015). On the other side, officers with higher education challenge the criminal justice system by expressing dissatisfaction with their jobs and receive miserable reviews from supervisors.

In conclusion, education is essential for reform and growth in the criminal justice system. Although experience is also vital in policing, it produces better results when coupled up with higher education. Higher education creates an open indeed approach to the situation which would be quite beneficial for the criminal justice system in resolving its inefficiencies. Hence, higher education pushes the criminal justice system towards efficiency.


Michigan State University. (2015). Cops and college: Researchers look at the impact of higher education on policing. Science Daily . Retrieved on 3 May 2018, from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150205111619.htm.

Paoline, E & Terrill, W. (2007). Police education, experience and the use of force. Criminal justice and behavior , 34(2), 179-196. doi: 10.1177/0093854806290239.

Rydberg, J. & Terrill, W. (2010). The effect of higher education on police behavior. Police Quarterly, 13 (1), 92-120. doi: 10.1177/1098611109357325.

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