Tales of Justice

Top Criminal Justice nonprofits

  • Alvernia Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice students pursue careers working for various parts of government — the public defender’s office, police forces, in policy and more. But there are also a number of rewarding careers in non-profits that hold criminal justice-centered missions and play a vital role in criminal justice. Non-profits work to solve problems across the entire area of criminal justice: legal defense organizations, service providers, advocacy groups, research and education groups and more.

Seven examples of great non-profit organizations that are doing things in the criminal justice world, along with their missions or descriptions:

1. The Innocence Project

“A national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.”

2. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

“Our nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.”

3. Pew Charitable Trusts

Mission: To improve public policy by conducting rigorous analysis, linking diverse interests to pursue common cause and insisting on tangible results; Inform the public by providing useful data that illuminate the issues and trends shaping our world; Invigorate civic life by encouraging democratic participation and strong communities.

4. The Council of State Governments Justice Center

“The Council of State Governments Justice Center is a national nonprofit organization that serves policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels from all branches of government. Staff provides practical, nonpartisan advice and evidence-based, consensus-driven strategies to increase public safety and strengthen communities.”

5. The Justice Policy Institute

Researches and analyzes programs and policies to change the conversation around justice reform. Mission: Dedicated to reducing use of incarceration and the justice system by promoting fair and effective policies.

6. Vera Institute of Justice

“The Vera Institute of Justice combines expertise in research, demonstration projects, and technical assistance to help leaders in government and civil society improve the systems people rely on for justice and safety.”

8. The Center of Juvenile and Criminal Justice

Mission: to reduce society’s reliance on incarceration as a solution to social problems.

“In pursuit of this mission, CJCJ provides direct services, technical assistance, and policy analysis that work in unison to promote a balanced and humane criminal justice system designed to reduce incarceration and enhance long-term public safety.”

There are many more non-profit organizations whose missions may match the reasons you became interested in criminal justice in the first place.

If you’re interested in finding exciting careers in non-profits, there are hundreds of online job resources available, like idealist.org and Opportunity Knocks, or check with each specific organization we highlighted for career opportunities.

Alvernia bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice offers opportunities in subject areas you may want to pursue professionally, like Community Policing, Multicultural issues in Criminal Justice or Women and the Criminal Justice System.

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