When you look at the state and local law enforcement within Hawaii you will see that there are roughly 3,200 sworn police officers within 7 state agencies. source There are also county agencies as well which make Hawaii somewhat unique because you don hat see any federal, university or college agencies according to that same source.
Hawaii is also seeing talks of changes within the criminal justice system much like the rest of the US is seeing. One of the largest issues being looked at is the mandatory sentencing for nonviolent crimes as well as treatment programs designed to prevent recidivism.
Attorney General Eric Holder has instructed all US attorneys nationwide to develop customized policies that are tailored to each individual state (that included the US Attorney Florence Nakakuni located in Hawaii). These kinds of changes can have effects that ripple through the criminal justice system in the form of new job opportunities and changes to the curriculum being taught in criminal justice schools. It is also important for you to understand what the entirety of the state looks like from a population and education standpoint which we have pulled directly from US census data.
- 2014 Population Estimate: 1.419m
- Persons under the age of 18: 21.9 percent
- Persons over the age of 25 with a high school degree: 90.4 percent
- Persons over the age of 25 with a bachelor degree: 30.1 percent
The national average for persons over the age of 25 with a bachelor degree is 28.8 percent so the state of Hawaii is above that. While it is important for you to be competitive with the level of degree you get in criminal justice, these are overall statistics and not directly correlated to that particular degree. You will still need to understand the requirements of your desired job within the industry before making a decision.
Information on Colleges in Hawaii for Criminal Justice
We always like to go over some aspect of the curriculum with a sample school chosen from the state we hare analyzing and we found that internships can be a big part criminal justice degrees. The University of Hawaii West O haahu offers a BA in Public Administration which can concentrate in one of the following areas:
- Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management
- Health Care Administration
- General Public Administration
- Justice Administration
The concentration in Justice Administration can help set you up for employment or internship within a state agency or have you prepared to complete your graduate degree (if that is the path you choose). If the concentration approach doesn hat work for you, you could look at a school that offers a criminal justice bachelor degree like Remington College. If you look at their curriculum for that degree, you can expect to see courses like Juvenile Law & Justice, Comparative Criminal Justice Systems, and Forensic Psychology. Understand that a lot of bachelor degrees will require core competency courses like various math and English courses. You will also want to make sure that your college or degree program is properly accredited.
Highlights of Various Criminal Justice Programs
While we believe comparing the curriculum of two different programs you’re deciding between is important, we also believe you should dive a level deeper and see if there is anything else that is a factor. If the courses and associated cost are close to being equal with one another, it’s important to look at any unique benefits one program offers over the other. Is one program offered at a school founded in a faith or religion? Is that important to you? Does the school or criminal justice division offer a unique partnership with a local or national agency that might help later in ascertaining a job? These are the questions you should look at answering to help your decision between two similar programs. We’ve highlighted a few of these unique factors at some Hawaii schools.
- B.S. in Criminal Justice at Chaminade University of Honolulu: This program prides itself on the hands-on approach it takes with learning. You might have the opportunity to go through recreated crime scenes and understand the process and learning around criminal justice at much more personal basis. If you learning in different ways (reading vs. tests vs. discussions vs. hands-on) is important to you, this could be one of those helpful factors in your decision making.
- B.S. In Criminal Justice at Hawaii Pacific University: If you go and view the faculty and adjunct faculty associated with the criminal justice administration degree at Hawaii Pacific University, you’ll notice many are currently employed at local criminal justice agencies. While it’s not a requirement by any means, some people may prefer to have their teachers currently be in the force to relate their work back to the courses and lessons they teach.
We only picked a couple of programs out but hopefully get an idea on how to research and find the unique value adds that each school can offer.
Hawaii Criminal Justice Organizations
We have given you an idea of what the criminal justice agency landscape looks like and some of the current news specifically around Hawaii. We then dove into examples of the courses you might see in the course of attaining a criminal justice degree. We also wanted to give you a list of the criminal justice organizations within Hawaii:
We are big believers that you should also talk to the people that have attained the degree you are considering. They can sometimes share info that can hat be quantified into text. Reach out to people at these places to see if they will answer any detailed questions you might have. Forming these kinds of relationships could turn into future job contacts after you’re able to earn your degree. They can probably also give you a very honest opinion around Hawaii and what it will take to earn a criminal justice degree.