Criminal justice degree can help students shape the future of America's prison system

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The modern-day criminal justice system is a hot topic among in America. Are taxpayers paying too much to keep prisoners incarcerated? Or are long-term detainments helping keep violent criminals off the streets?

Bachelor’s degree holders who wish to learn more about careers in law enforcement may want to consider exploring criminal justice graduate programs.

Supporters of the current system may point to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statistics. According to the FBI’s website, the violent crime rate in America has declined substantially over the last two decades. According to preliminary data from 2010, the overall crime rate – including violent and property offenses – dropped approximately 6 percent from 2009.

However, there are some groups, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), who believe that major changes need to be made. Last week , the NAACP released a report titled Misplaced Report that examines America’s escalating levels of prison spending and its impact on state budgets.

In the report, the NAACP claims that a majority of taxpayer money is being spent to incarcerate prisoners from urban neighborhoods, which account for a small fragment of the overall population.

Students who want to work in the judicial system may benefit from pursuing a criminal justice degree online.