Criminal Justice Studies

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Dr. Christopher Williams
Founding Chair

The Department of Criminal Justice
At Bradley, Criminal Justice Studies is an interdisciplinary, comprehensive social science department. Our mission is to provide students with a thorough understanding of the institutions, structures and processes through which society defines, perceives and responds to deviance.  We do more than just train practitioners, we prepare the next generation of leaders in the field.

The structure of the department reflects the strengths of an interdisciplinary approach.  Contributions are made from various departments including, Sociology, Political Science, History, and Computer Science and Information Systems.

The Criminal Justice Studies program at Bradley is a rigorous social science program, as opposed to a practitioner oriented program. This flexibility makes wider career choices possible. Many of our graduates have chosen careers in the military, private security, insurance, and business.

Customizing your Degree
Increasingly, students will need exposure to principles of computer information systems and basic financial practices in order to deal with the problems of cyber-crime and white collar crime. As our society becomes increasingly bilingual, student will benefit from exposure to Spanish.

Criminal Justice Careers
Bradley University educates leaders in the Criminal Justice field. Our graduates have become:

  • federal and state judges
  • police chiefs and senior police administrators
  • prosecuting attorneys
  • public defenders
  • supervisors in probation
  • court services agency supervisors
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Agents
  • Secret Service Agents
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Homeland security

Bradley’s Distinctive Approach
Bradley’s department stands out in comparison to those programs that focus on practitioner education in several important ways. 

1.) We require that students gain an understanding of the history of deviance, violence, and the societal response.  Few programs have such a prominent historical component. 

2.) We offer the option of gaining education in forensic computing principles, with a two semester sequence of courses to help our students gain familiarity with the growth of information technology as a forum for deviance. 

3.) We focus on the development of analytical skills. For example, much of society’s response to deviance is driven by analysis of data such as analysis of calls for service by police and evidence based practices in probation.  Our students gain a strong grounding in data analysis and apply quantitative analysis concepts in their upper division classes.

Criminal Justice Real World Experiences
Bradley undergraduates become exposed to the practical side of the criminal justice system through internship programs. Recent examples include:

  • Federal Marshals Internship
  • Federal Prison Internship
  • State Patrol and Local Police Department
  • Court Services, including probation
  • Legal Research Assistant

Graduate School
Our graduates are successful in graduate schools and professional programs, with law degrees and master’s degrees in management, criminal justice and social work being common.  Some go on to careers as educators and scholars.