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CBS Chicago features interview with criminal justice professor LaDonna Long

Posted: 07/28/2014

by Sara Lugardo
Posted on CBSChicago.com

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a number of different career options in criminal justice, featuring everything from probation officers to forensic scientists. However, for LaDonna Long, her career in criminal justice centers around teaching and volunteering.

Receiving a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and then going on to obtain her Ph.D., LaDonna is now a full-time professor in criminal justice at Evelyn T. Stone College of Professional Studies at Roosevelt University. She focuses on sexual assault and victimology, and also volunteers as a certified medical advocate for Rape Victim Advocates. Providing expertise on the field of criminal justice, LaDonna can offer some great advice for broader career options in this field.

What are your thoughts on job opportunities for those in criminal justice?

“As an advocate of social justice, I find encouragement in the dedicated students striving to make positive changes in the lives of others. Many students are interested in working with juvenile offenders, or combining fields to allow them to work with mentally ill incarcerate. There are various opportunities to make a positive impact to rehabilitate individuals that encounter the justice system.”

What do you think is the best route in trying to make a successful career in criminal justice?

“Education is important in the criminal justice field. Most departments expect a college degree, also the critical thinking that is gained from higher learning is an asset for a field that is competitive and demanding. I volunteered for the Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline early in my educational career, and it was a perfect fit. We often don’t know the realty of the profession we choose until we have firsthand experience. The worst feeling would be to choose a profession and end up not liking it.”

What do you encourage in your students?

“Internships should be an integral part of their learning experience. Internships really helped me focus on what I wanted to do for a career. I encourage my students to do internships to gain knowledge of what it may be like as a career, and make connections for future job opportunities.”