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Criminal Justice

Career Outlook:

Earning Potential:

Median: $47,920/year

* Based on a Career as a Correctional Officer


  • Introduction to security and law enforcement
  • Public safety and emergency response procedures
  • Physical security measures and access control
  • Security equipment and technology
  • Legal and ethical issues in security operations
  • Incident reporting and record-keeping
  • Communication and interpersonal skills for security officers
  • Threat assessment and risk management
  • Workplace safety and hazardous materials handling
  • Career exploration and job readiness
  • And more!

The Criminal Justice program at Collins Career Technical Center is designed for high school students interested in careers in the public safety field. This program offers hands-on training and classroom instruction in Forensic investigations and corrections.

The program is taught by experienced instructors who have worked in various public safety professions. Students can earn industry certifications, participate in job shadowing experiences, and attend field trips to public safety agencies.

The program also emphasizes leadership, teamwork, and communication skills essential for public safety. The goal of the program is to prepare students for careers in the public safety field, as well as to prepare them for further education at the college level.

Upon completing the program, students will have a solid foundation of knowledge and skills to help them pursue careers in fields such as Corrections, Private security, and forensic Investigations. They will also be well-prepared to pursue further education in related fields at the college level.

What do Public Safety Workers Do?

Correctional Officers

Correctional officers typically do the following:

  • Enforce rules and keep order within jails or prisons
  • Supervise activities of inmates
  • Inspect facilities to ensure that they meet security and safety standards
  • Search inmates for contraband items
  • Report on inmate conduct
  • Escort and transport inmates

Inside the prison or jail, correctional officers enforce rules and regulations. They maintain security by preventing disturbances, assaults, and escapes, and by inspecting facilities. They check cells and other areas for unsanitary conditions, contraband, signs of a security breach (such as tampering with window bars and doors), and other rule violations. Officers also inspect mail and visitors for prohibited items. They write reports and fill out daily logs detailing inmate behavior and anything else of note that occurred during their shift.

Correctional officers may have to restrain inmates in handcuffs and leg irons to escort them safely to and from cells and to see authorized visitors. Officers also escort prisoners to courtrooms, medical facilities, and other destinations.

Security Guards

  • Patrol property
  • Enforce rules and regulations of an employer's property
  • Monitor alarms and video-surveillance systems
  • Respond to emergencies
  • Deter criminal activity
  • Control building access by employees and visitors
  • Conduct security checks over a specified area
  • Write reports on what they observed while on duty

Guards and officers must stay alert, watching for anything unusual. In an emergency, they are required to contact police, fire, or ambulance services. Some security guards carry firearms.

Security guards work wherever people and assets need to be protected. Responsibilities vary by employer. In offices and factories, for example, security guards protect workers and equipment and check the credentials of people and vehicles entering and leaving the premises. In retail stores, guards protect people, merchandise, money, and equipment. They may work with undercover store detectives to prevent theft by customers and employees, detain shoplifting suspects until the police arrive, and patrol parking lots.

Careers in this Field

Immediate Careers:

  • Correctional Officer
  • Security Officer
  • 911 Dispatcher
  • Campus Security Officer
  • Loss Prevention Officer

Careers with an Associate's Degree:

  • Police Officer
  • Park Ranger
  • Animal Control Officer
  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • Emergency Management Specialist
  • Private Detective
  • Security Manager
  • Loss Prevention Specialist
  • Disaster Preparedness Coordinator
  • Industrial Safety Technician
  • Environmental Health and Safety Technician

Careers with a Bachelor's Degree or Beyond:

  • Police Detective
  • Fire Marshal
  • Emergency Services Manager
  • Homeland Security Specialist
  • Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
  • Emergency Medical Services Director
  • Probation Officer
  • Juvenile Probation Officer
  • FBI Agent
  • Secret Service Agent

These are just a few examples of the many career paths that a student who graduated from our Public Safety program could pursue with different levels of education and training. The field of public safety offers a wide range of opportunities for those who are passionate about protecting the public, maintaining order, and responding to emergencies.


Jason Montgomery

Criminal Justice Teacher
High School

Shannon Perdue

Technology Academy Supervisor, School Instructional Coach
High School

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