On an annual basis the field of criminal justice continues to grow more complex at exponential rates. We often only identify with the traditional roles held by those employed within the field such as police, courts, and corrections. In contrast, we equally do not have a full awareness of the numerous other professional roles that are also required to ensure public safety, victim advocacy, and offender management and rehabilitation which require concomitantly diverse competencies and skill sets. These supportive roles are equally critical to the success of the criminal justice system.
Human services professionals provide expertise in the human dynamic and bring an unparalleled level of understanding of human behavior that impacts social control and deviance to the various components of the criminal justice system. Such issues as substance abuse and mental illness requiring new knowledge, skill sets, and approaches to effectively address in non-criminal as well as enforcement based responses. While the traditional roles are focused on law, policy, and sanctioning criminal behavior through the incivility of others, human services professionals are able to provide a comprehensive understanding of human behavior to which advocacy and personalized long term solutions can be applied to remedying aberrant and antisocial behavior patterns. They also play an integral role in victim advocacy and support, those who are the most often forgotten or faceless constituent of the overburdened criminal justice system.
- Develop the knowledge, ethics and skills needed to effectively work as a human service professional in a multidisciplinary setting.
- Understand the integration of human services addressing substance abuse and mental health issues through the various criminal justice subsystems and providers
- Understand the integration of human services addressing crime victim needs through the various criminal justice subsystems and providers
- Discern and apply the myriad approaches to offender management and treatment through the various criminal justice subsystems and providers
The advent of human service professionals has permeated the criminal justice field in numerous supportive roles. These roles provide vital expertise in relationship to victim support and offender management and rehabilitation. These roles share equal and in some cases, greater importance than those occupied in the traditional roles of police, courts, and corrections. These roles exist at the local, state, and federal levels as well as public and private not-for-profit and for profit institutions.
On the traditional side they are police officers, investigators, supervisors, and managers who are responsible for developing and providing victim and offender services within law enforcement agencies. Courts and the various services offered through victim advocates and counselors, court-agency liaisons, and the designer court surge in personnel to work in drug court, mental health court, and veteran’s court, all requiring special knowledge, skills, and abilities in human services. Corrections and community corrections also employs these various support roles in offender management, rehabilitation, counseling, and community supervision in both probation and parole at the local, state, and federal levels.