Behind the Badge

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behindbadgeCriminal justice combines law, enforcement, corrections and forensic science

The criminal justice field needs disciplined individuals to work as paralegals, attorneys, police officers, legal experts and corrections professionals. If you have strong critical thinking and writing skills, and respect for the law, a career with good pay and job security await you. Carol F. Liebman, Esquire, and Coordinator of the Criminal Justice Program since 2008, says: “Our students are among the brightest and most accomplished in the Commonwealth and the field of Criminal Justice offers exiting opportunities for a satisfying career.”

A Pipeline of RCC Students

RCC’s Criminal Justice Program has been widely recognized in Massachusetts for its excellent academic record and for producing bright and engaged graduates who are prepared to contribute to the field in many professional settings. Program students have been invited to serve as interns in the Massachusetts Court system, in correctional institutions, in police departments, in law offices and in many other areas. In addition, RCC is the only college in the Commonwealth invited to participate in the Massachusetts Bar Associations’ award-winning Tiered Community Mentoring Program which matches students from RCC, New Mission High School and from Suffolk and Northeastern Law Schools with an attorney mentor for a year-long exploration of careers in law. We are presently in our sixth year of participating in the program. RCC’s Criminal Justice Program has been accredited by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education since 2005.

Current RCC student Kerby Forges, 21 of Mattapan, is benefitting from the Mentoring Program. Kerby, a graduate of Madison Park High School, expects to graduate from RCC in 2016 and said mentoring gives him a different perspective on the law, “ You get to experience the complexities and nuances of the legal system without being in trouble. It’s awesome because it gives me a window into the real world and helps me to think critically.” Kerby, who is working part-time, said he decided on RCC because it is affordable and close to home.

Program graduates have had significant success in obtaining employment in their chosen fields. Our students now work in law offices, law enforcement settings, in corrections and in the courts throughout the Greater Boston area. A number of our recent graduates have been admitted to law school and are pursuing their dreams of becoming attorneys.

For example, Charell Hendricks, 35 of Dorchester, graduated from the RCC program last May as a certified paralegal. Shortly thereafter, she was hired as a receptionist in the Boston office of the largest minority owned law firm in the U.S., Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan LLP. The firm was so impressed with her skills and work ethic that when a Legal Assistant position opened up, she was quickly promoted. She said support from the professors helped to get her through, “I didn’t know if I could come back to school. The teachers at RCC gave me extra help with course work, answered my e-mails and at one point let me bring my son to class. They even let me borrow books until I could buy them. RCC has everything to do with how I turned out.”

Hendricks also participated in the Tiered Community Mentoring Program and credits her membership in the RCC Criminal Justice Club with helping her to become more civically engaged. As secretary and then treasurer, Hendricks and other members registered more than 100 students to vote. They sponsored a team that took the Walk For Hunger, held CORI forums and helped students and community residents to get their records sealed.

The number of students enrolled in the Program has grown considerably over the years. Students pursue the Associate of Science Degree in Criminal Justice at RCC inspired by their interest in a broad array of careers in the field including probation, parole, corrections, in the courts, in federal and state law enforcement, private security and investigations and in law itself. Many of our students choose to continue their education after graduating from RCC in Bachelor’s Degree programs throughout the Commonwealth and RCC has developed articulation agreements with many four-year colleges to make transfer a seamless and easy process.

Program Goals

The Criminal Justice Program at Roxbury Community College seeks to optimize student learning and to enhance student success by fostering a climate in which learning is valued for its own sake and is appreciated both as a life-long activity and as a means for individuals to develop their intellectual, physical, ethical and social values and skills. It seeks to aid in the creation of informed and ethical Criminal Justice professionals respectful of different cultures as well as of differing racial, gender, ethnic and religious points of view and dedicated to the rule of law and to the fair, impartial and compassionate administration of justice.

If you are interested in learning more about RCC’s Criminal Justice Program, please contact the Program Coordinator, Carol Liebman, at [email protected].


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