One of the important issues to consider in criminal justice (specifically if you are interested in the corrections, criminal, forensic or homeland security components) is the amount of "reality" you are able to consume in a given day. Many jobs that sound glamorous on paper can also be quite painful to experience at times. For instance, if you are not used to seeing death, crime beset upon vulnerable populations and unexplainable traumas, it may be difficult for you to practice this kind of work. While it is easy in theory to say that we want to "save the world" or "make a difference," this kind of vast change in society is not possible in the way that we may think it is prior to working in the field.
That being said, however, work in the area of criminal justice can also be rewarding. It can be a good feeling to know that you are trying -as an individual-to right some of society's wrongs. But it cannot be emphasized enough that one's ability to leave work at work, to have a physical/spiritual/relational outlet through which to make meaning of these difficult circumstances, or at least to let them go, is essential to any success in the field.
It's a good idea to interview people already in the field, but also keep an open mind to what they have to say about their experiences. It is easy to put that idealistic veneer on one's ability to listen. If you are able to take in the realities of what criminal justice professionals have to say and to recognize your ability to grapple with these issues in a way that keeps you healthy, then the field may very well be a great one for you to consider!
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