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I currently have my honours degree in Sociology. What additional subjects I should take to pursue juvenile justice?

I currently have my honours degree in Sociology. To be a juvenile justice officer, I do understand that you need a degree in criminology and would like to know what additional subjects I should take to pursue that. I love working with the youth and trying to make a change in society, hence my decision in Sociology. I have recently however decided I definitely want to work within the police force or even prison. I came across juvenile case manager and juvenile justice officer. I'm not eager to begin another degree and would just like to know what steps I could take next. I have been searching and trying to get information but nothing straight forward.I'm based in South Africa.
#sociology #criminology #juvenile-delinquency #juvenile-justice #case-management

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Dr. Ray’s Answer

Dear Sadrunisa,


As a psychologist I used to evaluate juvenile offenders and interacted frequently with juvenile probation officers. In Texas the only educational requirement for juvenile probation officers is a degree in some behavioral science area, which would certainly include sociology. You might have to take a few courses in criminal justice but I doubt you would have to get a second degree. Obviously the situation in South Africa may be quite different. I suggest that you look on the internet or contact the juvenile courts in your area to find out more about their specific requirements.


I spent a few weeks in South Africa in the early 2000's and found it a fascinating and hopeful place. I wish you the best in pursuing your career goals.

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Randolyne’s Answer

I can only speak from experience, as South Africa may be different, attending college with a major in Criminology. Criminology and Sociology are very similar in core classes especially in the earlier Freshman and Sophomore year with specific concentration on particular credits in the later years. They both fall under the Bachelor of Science degree program which would be required for most work in the juvenile justice department. I wouldn't think you would need to get another degree or feel you need to start over, please research the institution you are attending to be sure.
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