Criminal Justice Law and Legal Definition

Criminal justice is a broad term covering topics such as the procedure by which criminal conduct is investigated, evidence gathered, arrests made, charges brought, defenses raised, trials conducted, sentences rendered and punishment carried out. Research studies issues such as examinations of adult and juvenile offender characteristics, sentencing trends, correctional facility overcrowding, justice system expenditures, treatment programs, minorities in the juvenile justice system, juvenile court cases, criminal history records, and much more.

People who study criminal justice may seek a career as a law enforcement officer, adult or juvenile probation officer, investigator for the public defenders office, community treatment facilitators, correctional officer, program evaluator, court administrator, customs agent, crime scene technician, or private security guard, among others.