Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice is an ever-evolving field that requires professionals to be community builders, problem solvers, and excellent communicators. As a Criminal Justice student at Castleton University, you build these critical skills while examining the social, political, and historical impacts of crime and the criminal justice system to gain a broader understanding of human behavior and diversity.

We offer an Associate of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, as well as an 18-credit minor in the field.

Highlights of the Criminal Justice Program

  • Learn more about the law, factors that may lead to crime, the operation of the criminal justice system, issues regarding the fairness and effectiveness of the system, and the role and responsibilities of criminal justice professionals.
  • Understand the importance of research and develop important critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills that will prepare you for a career in law enforcement, corrections, juvenile justice, victims' services, and the courts.
  • Coursework and engaged work experiences provide a strong foundation to perform in a professional environment as well as the opportunity to continue your education in graduate school or law school.
  • Experience a broad spectrum of the law throughout Vermont, New England, and New York through a variety of course options. You will also gain knowledgeable field experience through both course requirements and internship opportunities.
  • A curriculum reflecting the growing academic quality and expectations of Criminal Justice programs across the United States.

Criminal justice is an interdisciplinary field of study. It includes knowledge specific to the criminal justice system and process and draws upon research and theory from fields such as sociology, psychology, law, history, and political science.

Hands-on Experience in Criminal Justice

Cassie Piniere at InterpolThe Castleton University Criminal Justice programs are designed to give you hands-on, real-world experience as part of your learning experience.

As a Castleton University Criminal Justice student, you will have the opportunity to transition from classroom learning to real-world scenarios through required field experience and internships.

Criminal Justice Field Experience

As a student in the Criminal Justice Department, you will get your first, outside-of-the-classroom exposure to the field of criminal justice through field experience.

Through a series of structured observations with Vermont agencies, you get the opportunity to interact with criminal justice professionals, see them in their element, and ask questions to help clarify your career aspirations.

Criminal Justice Internship & Seminar

This upper-level elective combines 125 hours of a student internship experience through a local criminal justice agency with an instructor-led seminar held throughout the semester.

The course gives junior and senior Criminal Justice majors the opportunity to apply what they have learned through participation in responsible and hands-on learning in the field. 

Opportunities for Criminal Justice Majors

The Criminal Justice Department has many partnerships to provide engaged work experiences to Criminal Justice majors.

If a student desires to work with an agency not listed, we will try to accommodate that interest.

Howard Center Park Street Program – Mental Health Services

  • Help supervise juveniles
  • Assist with teaching
  • Attend staff meetings to discuss day-to-day tasks

Marble Valley Correctional Center

  • Work with correctional caseworkers
  • Teach or help organize educational programming
  • Attended weekly classification meetings

Rutland County Court Diversion

  • Help manage cases
  • Sit in on intakes
  • Assist with diversion assessments

Rutland County Public Defender’s Office

  • Creating juror information spreadsheets
  • Gaining experience in motion writing and legal research
  • Transcribing audio files to be used by attorneys

Rutland County State’s Attorney’s Office

  • Perform research on legal issues in active cases
  • Help prepare documents to be filed with the court
  • Observe hearings, mediation, depositions, and trials

NewStory Center

  • Helping clients find housing
  • Preparing and cleaning residences for move-in
  • Attend staff meetings
  • Learn hotline and crisis intervention and process procedures

Rutland Dismas House

  • Interacting with clients daily
  • Help maintain adherence to house rules by assisting in conducting room searches
  • Participate in house activities with residents, including attending dinners

Rutland Probation and Parole

  • Assist with the supervision of clients
  • Performing intakes and assessments 
  • Helping clients acquire the resources they need

Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council

  • Conduct research as needed by supervisors
  • Aid teaching academy coordinators

Vermont Department of Liquor Control

  • Help write proposals for funds and resources
  • Work with Liquor Control personnel to research various aspects of the department 
  • Gain knowledge about the department and shadow employees as they perform daily duties, such as inspection of businesses

Victim Advocate within State’s Attorney’s Office

  • Helping victims understanding the judicial process
  • Assisting with paperwork
  • Making telephone and written contact with victims