Women in the Criminal Justice Field: Benefits of Hiring

by Allison Crowson, MJA on 11/19/15 9:58 AM

hirewomenPO.jpgThe criminal justice field is extremely diverse, requiring a variety of skills for those interested in a rewarding career. Those pursuing a criminal justice education may wonder what possibilities lay ahead in the work force, and even those already working in the field could be looking to advance in their professional life. Resources such as the online criminal justice program at Norwich University can help you advance and diversify the skills necessary for the criminal justice field.

When considering your future career or professional advancement, it’s important to understand how women in the criminal justice field can have great advantages. Criminal justice employees should work to embody all of these skills; however, research has shown that many of these unique needs can be met by women employees.

Beneficial Skills for Criminal Justice Employees

Good stress management
While much of criminal justice work is routine, you won’t be patrolling without incident or filing paperwork all the time. Certain situations, like apprehending criminals or pursuing traffic offenders, can be incredibly stressful, both physically and emotionally. When your job is to protect the public, you can’t afford to fold under pressure or make irrational decisions.

Diverse Personalities
Every employee in the criminal justice field is expected to handle diverse personalities and a variety of situations on a daily basis. In order for you to handle this, you must be able to show diversity, and must be able to cope with every situation in a calm, relaxed manner.

Effective Communication
You have to be able to give clear and concise instructions—like which documents people have to supply, asking armed suspects to drop their weapons, and threatening use of deadly force—ask and answer questions, and provide information. Communication skills also come in handy when asked to testify in court or speak at schools, conferences, or to media.

Team Work
While many duties in the criminal justice field are solitary, being able to work as part of a team is paramount to safe and successful police work. Employees often coordinate and strategize with others to complete tasks or arrests. They also have to work with other professionals, such as emergency service workers, fire fighters, and educators.

Community Focus
You will serve the community and protect the public as an employee in the criminal justice system. This is the reason why it is important for you to have a focus on the community and on the consumers.

There is a demand for women in the criminal justice field today, as they typically possess many of the skills required.

  • Female officers are less likely to use excessive force. In a study conducted by the Los Angeles Police Department, women were significantly less likely to be involved in employing either deadly or excessive force, resulting in fewer lawsuits and less negative publicity for their departments.
  • Female officers can help implement community-oriented policing. Communication, problem solving, and cooperation with community members are areas in which women officers receive better evaluations than their male counterparts.
  • Employing more female officers will improve the law enforcement response to violence against women. Relationship violence calls are the single largest category of calls made to police across the country.
  • Female officers often have the ability to de-escalate potentially violent or aggressive situations through their presence and use of interpersonal skills, reducing the need to resort to physical confrontation.


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This post was written by Allison Crowson, MJA

Allison Crowson is the program manager for the Norwich Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Master of Science in Criminal Justice programs. An adjunct faculty member and academic advisor in Norwich’s criminal justice department since 2006, she teaches courses on criminology, victimology, introduction to the criminal justice system and the police. She earned a master’s degree in justice administration from Norwich University and a BA in transpersonal psychology from Burlington College.