Crime statistics aren’t new. For years, police departments, states, and the U.S. Department of Justice have gathered and reported statistics on a wide variety of crimes. But in a world where data analytics is changing everything from political campaigns to Major League Baseball, the data we have on crime can be used for a lot more than generating statistics.
If you’re currently working a criminal justice job or if you’re considering starting a criminal justice career, data is likely to be a regular component in the coming years. That’s because an increasing number of jurisdictions are turning to data analytics. In fact, as of 2016, 120 jurisdictions—covering over 91 million people—had signed onto the Data-Driven Justice Initiative, an ambitious U.S. Department of Justice program designed to increase the use of data in multiple areas of criminal justice.1
Needless to say, if you want to succeed in a career in criminal justice, you need to understand the ways law enforcement, courts, and correctional facilities are using data to improve the system.
Data analytics works by bringing together large amounts of data in a variety of ways in an attempt to uncover previously unseen patterns. Instead of working with one or two data points, data analytics uses the power of computer processing to bring together and correlate dozens or even hundreds of data points. In the case of the criminal justice system, data analysts can correlate criminal justice data (crime rates, recidivism rates, drug conviction numbers, etc.) with data from other sources (poverty rates, educational attainment, work history, etc.) to find patterns that can help improve the quality and efficiency of the justice system.
Criminal justice data is making a difference in a number of areas. These include:
Whether you want a successful career in law enforcement, criminology, the court systems, corrections, or in any other career involving criminal justice, a criminal justice degree can help you gain the knowledge you need to get ahead. Depending on where you are in your career, either a BS in Criminal Justice or an MS in Criminal Justice can be the step forward you need. The good news is, taking that step doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think.
Thanks to online learning, you can now earn a bachelor’s in criminal justice or a master’s in criminal justice right from home. Plus, online education gives you the power to choose what time of day you attend class. This level of convenience and flexibility makes it possible to be a criminal justice major or graduate student while continuing to work full time and/or take care of your other responsibilities.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering BS in Criminal Justice and MS in Criminal Justice degree programs online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.