Mapping the Field of Criminal Justice Employment

Kerry Wimshurst, Griffith University, Nathan

Criminology and criminal justice and related fields represent a relatively new area of professional education in Australian universities. Obviously, these courses are designed to provide qualified professionals to work in the criminal justice system. However, the "criminal justice system" is an extremely complex and amorphous construct. The components of the system are divers and its boundaries unclear. In addition, some programs that have been established here over the past decade grew out of crises involving official corruption in the various jurisdictions. Hence, the university programs were intended to produce some "new" type of criminal justice professional. These factors present an enormous challenge for those designing criminal justice courses. In truth, little is known in Australia about the employment destinations of graduates, or how they reach those destinations. The paper reports on a project that explores the career outcomes for graduates from one of the earliest baccalaureates established in 1991. We wanted to find out not only what careers graduates moved into, but how they got there, and how (if at all) their degree contributed to this outcome--and hence the title of the project which entails the mapping of these pathways.

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Updated 05/20/2006