Family and Friends in Uniform: Effect of Close Relationships on CJ Major Selection Among Diverse Students in Urban Colleges
AbstractThis article investigates the complexity of the relationships criminal justice (CJ) students from two large, diverse urban colleges (N=371) have with family and friends who are both work within CJ institutions as professionals, but also with family and friends who are adversely impacted by the criminal justice system. In particular, the impact of having a family or friend in a CJ profession on motivations to enter the CJ are probed. A survey consisting of quantitative and qualitative questions was administered, and descriptive and inferential statistics obtained. Findings showed 40% of students both had family and friends affected by the CJ major and who had family and friends who worked in a CJ profession. There was a high degree of correlation between those with CJ connections and the influence those connections exert towards the choice of CJ as a college major. Implications for adult educators of these students is discussed.
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