Knowledge is power.
It’s Personal: The Impact of Victimization on Motivations and Career Interests Among Criminal Justice Majors at Diverse Urban Colleges
Colleen P. Eren, Shirley Leyro, and Ilir Disha
The Journal of Criminal Justice Education, Published May 23, 2019
This article extends a small but significant body of work on the motivations of criminal justice students to enter the major and to pursue a criminal justice career (Krimmel & Tartaro 1999, Gabbidon et al 2003, Courtright & Mackey 2004). The authors examine the influence of a variable previously ignored: that of victimization. A survey consisting of quantitative and qualitative questions was administered, and descriptive and inferential statistics used to compare victimized students' responses to that of non-victimized students on a range of questions related to motivation and career aspiration using a sample (N = 371) of criminal justice majors drawn from two large, urban, majority-minority colleges in the Northeast. Students who were victimized were more likely to view the criminal justice system as unfair and think that justice is infrequently served, were more likely to see the major as relevant, and to want a job where they could make a difference. Students reported victimization of self and those close to them as a significant influence on their motivation to enter the major.