First question, what career can someone have after they complete a Bachelor of Criminal Justice?
Alex: There a lot of areas you can go into!
If you want to stay in criminal justice and corrections, you could go into probation, parole or juvenile justice. You could go into social welfare and do case management for refugees, offenders, victims or families of victims. You could go on to study and become a police officer. You could go into research…there are lots of avenues.
What do you want to do?
Alex: At this stage I am really interested in pursing social welfare and case management. I am really interested in juvenile rehabilitation and support.
What would that ‘job title’ be – and where could you work?
Minna: I think this is something that confuses a lot of students looking to go into the industry. There are no standard job classifications within the criminal justice and corrections area.
Also, there is a mix of non-for-profit and government organisations; and so different places use
Why are you passionate about juvenile rehabilitation?
Alex: Juvenile rehabilitation plays a huge role within the broader justice system. It’s important to make sure that rehabilitation services are working effectively, and that the government is making smart investments that genuinely prevent reoffending.
I want to improve the lives of vulnerable children and young people, and think
In the course you learn about how there are age appropriate responses in rehabilitation and case management, so how you work with an adult isn’t how you’d work with a 16 year old. I really like the therapeutic approach to juvenile care.
One of my lecturers said that in her career one of the most rewarding experiences is when clients move on to bigger and better things after being incarcerated. She said it’s amazing to see them come back into the office, looking fantastic, just to say hello and know that you’ve made a difference no matter how big or small. I remember her telling us that story and me just knowing that this was the industry for me.
Do you learn much about why people reoffend in the course?
Alex: Yeah, there are so many socioeconomic and mental health factors that contribute to reoffending. A lot of people struggle to reassimilate into society once they have been incarcerated.
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There was a study that we looked at in one class that was showing the high percentage of juveniles that were on sentence and remand that were also victims of abuse, trauma or neglect; this kind of research really motivates me to work with these people for positive change.
You are currently doing a placement at Shine for Kids in Bathurst, what is Shine for Kids?
Alex: It’s somewhere that families and children of prisoners can visit before, after or even for a break during prison visits. It’s about letting families chill out and feel supported during the visiting experience. So on my placement I offer children emotional support, help them relax and hang out with them.
Why did you pick Charles Sturt University?
Minna: I went to the Open Day and I met some of the lecturers and they were these amazing, powerful, inspiring women. They had so much experience in the criminal justice industry and I just though, I want to learn from you.
And how has the experience been?
Minna: Our teachers are incredible. Honestly, they answer emails at any time – they want to help you – they are so passionate and they love teaching. You couldn’t ask for better teachers.