While there is a great deal of benefits when entering the criminal justice field, it is also a career field that is rife with challenges, obstacles and potential hazards. While an office job such as a secretary or insurance salesman has the day-to-day grind and subsequent stressful situations, a position in the criminal justice field – like that of a police officer – has these as well as the looming possibility of facing physical harm.
For someone working in an office, to a certain extent, they have an idea of what each day will encompass. When they wake in the morning, they know what they can expect from the coming day at the office. For police officers and correctional facility guards, however, each day is entirely unpredictable and potentially dangerous. Whether it is investigating criminals, preventing possible prison breaks, responding to a suicide, or dealing with a domestic abuse case, there is always the possibility of facing a situation that will be detrimental to one’s physical well-being.
In addition to the possibility of physical harm, individuals working in the criminal justice field also face the challenge of a negative public perception. Because of highly publicized crimes by law enforcement agents such as brutality, corruption, or theft, police officers often face a certain stigma in the community that they have been instructed to protect. Police officers and other law enforcement agents face the daily challenge of trying to work past this negative stereotype and work toward building a better public perception, though this is no easy task.
Police officers also must deal with the challenge of feeling hopeless. With crime, corruption and violence running rampant in some communities, it becomes easy for police officers trying to maintain order to feel as if they have no control. Law enforcement agents must try to keep up the belief that they can have a positive impact in the community that they serve.
Furthermore, a problem that many police officers and correctional facility officers are forced to deal with is guilt over violence that they have had to take part in. In rare cases, police officers and correctional facility officers must use brute force – sometimes resulting in death – in order to protect the community at large as well as their own lives. This can often result in a certain kind of guilt, especially if it is this person’s primary interaction with death.