How To Become A Penologist

If you Have an Interest in the Way the Jail System and Rehabilitation Works, Study as a Penologist

Not many people know what a penologist is, so it is important to clarify the role before learning more. Penology is everything having to do with the penal system, so it is involved with the way the prison system operates, the way people are rehabilitated by it and the theories that tie them together. In this field you will be working directly in the environment to see it all happen, so you need to be mentally equipped to spend your days in prisons and with inmates. Your job is to interview and evaluate the system, interact with the guards and the inmates and assess the efficiency of the system, so it is a vital role to stay ahead of the game in criminal justice and to keep finding new, innovative and effective ways to help convicts. Going to jail shouldn’t only be about punishment but also about change and redemption so that inmates can one day be released back into society, and a penologist is concerned with making this happen.

Educational Requirements

In general, getting a job as a penologist will require you to have a 4 year bachelor’s criminal justice degree which you can pursue online if you choose to, at schools like the University of Phoenix Online or Liberty University Online. Popular degree choices include psychology, criminal justice or justice administration, in which you will study the history of American prisons, to objectives of the penal system, types of punishments, reasons and reactions of going to prison and what life is like there. You will also cover different issues that the prison system is faced with, like budgets, being too crowded, and the controversial issue of the death penalty. Having this type of background will help you further understand the problems that need to be corrected and the reality of the situation which will help you manage your expectations and prepare for entering the system and seeing it first hand.

Job Duties

A penologist has many different duties within the prison system, all working closely with inmates, prison guards, parole and probation officers. They will be involved in how the prison is setup and the architecture of the facility, they will help develop management policies and they will help run self help programs for prisoners. Additionally, they will study and analyse the way prisoners are treated and the entire road to their rehabilitation. With more and more crimes being committed and prisons becoming overcrowded, the outlook for this job compared to other careers in criminal justice is good according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, with expected rises in the industry, and a typical penologist will earn about $26,000-$40,000 a year. The penal system needs to be addressed because if it isn’t constantly evolving and developing it will no longer be effective, so a penologist is the person who is qualified and involved enough to do it.