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The criminal justice system is an integral part of all of our lives; everyone is touched by crime and the criminal justice system in some way. In the Criminal Justice program, you'll gain a critical understanding of how the criminal justice system works to protect society. With this diploma, you'll be ready for further post-secondary studies or for work as a front-line practitioner within the criminal justice field.
The Diploma in Criminal Justice program provides a social justice perspective on criminal justice systems and processes that form the foundation for ethical, responsible, and professional practice in the criminal justice field. This applied program incorporates classroom and community learning experiences with theoretical frameworks for practice. Topics covered include the interagency working of police, courts, corrections, and social service agencies; the impacts of colonization and the resulting intergenerational trauma of Indigenous Peoples; and a critical understanding and social justice approach to current challenges in modern society. A core curriculum forms the foundation for the first year of studies in the program; in the second year, students can choose which pathway of courses best meets their professional and academic destination.
There are over 500,000 criminal justice-related jobs in Canada. Upon receiving your two-year diploma, you'll be ready for entry-level positions in correctional services, customs, law enforcement, and services to young offenders.
If you continue on to complete a bachelor's degree in Criminology, you'll be eligible for additional employment opportunities in such fields as probation, parole, immigration, research, and counselling within institutions.
Volunteering demonstrates your commitment to giving back to your community, and for most employers, volunteer experience counts as job experience. You will be encouraged to volunteer in a service-related position, and a volunteer fair is arranged each year to help you learn more about volunteer opportunities within the community.
You can also enhance your diploma with an optional internship designation. Taken after the first or second year of studies, this three-month work term will give you the practical experience that employers favour.
You will graduate from this program with a broad base of theoretical knowledge, skills, and abilities suitable for a diverse range of entry-level criminal justice positions, including law enforcement (public, military, deputy sheriffs, by-law enforcement, private security); adult, youth, and community corrections; victim services; restorative justice; customs border services; social and community service organizations; and other related opportunities. You will be able to apply your knowledge of processes, procedures, and practices to work with diverse individuals and populations, and use of critical thinking skills and evidence-informed decision making in all aspects of practice in criminal justice.
The second year of the program provides some course flexibility, and by consulting with the program Chair, you will be able to select an applied stream of courses to, reducing your need for additional training.
Continue your studies in a bachelor's degree program
Courses transfer to various universities. If you intend to pursue a four-year degree in criminal justice or criminology you should consider this program as your first two years.
You'll be eligible to apply for admission into the third year of many degree programs, including:
What to expect
The Criminal Justice program prepares you for further post-secondary studies or for work as front-line practitioners within the criminal justice field. A core curricula forms the foundation for the first year of studies in the program. At the completion of Year 1, you can choose which stream of courses best meets your professional and academic goals.
Located at our Lansdowne campus, the Criminal Justice program is two years long, with an optional internship that is usually taken at the end of either Year 1 or Year 2.
In your first two academic terms, you'll learn the basics of the criminal justice system, with courses that develop your knowledge of criminology, psychology, logic and the law. At the end of your first year, you can choose to take an optional internship.
In Year 2, you will choose courses that match your career or academic path. Deviance, psychological explanations of criminal behaviour, law enforcement, forensic anthropology, restorative justice and case management are a sample of the content available for you to study. After your second year, you have a second opportunity to complete an optional internship.
An internship gives you work experience and insight into what the criminal justice field has to offer. To obtain the Internship Designation, you must complete at least one three-month work term. Find out more by contacting Co-operative Education and Career Services.