Criminal Justice Faculty Publications and Presentations

The Desirability of Law Enforcement Careers among College Students in a Hispanic Community

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This study examines the effects of attitudes toward the police and punitive ideology on Hispanic criminal justice majors’ interest in law enforcement careers. To date, relatively few studies of the occupational interests of students majoring in criminal justice have been conducted and most have focused on the impact of demographic characteristics on career goals among predominantly White samples of criminal justice majors. Few scholars have questioned whether the attitudes and beliefs of criminal justice majors influence their occupational aspirations or investigated the career objectives of racial/ethnic minority criminal justice majors. This study addresses these gaps in the extant literature via an analysis of survey data collected from students attending a Hispanic-Serving Institution. A structural equation model of the data indicates the students’ age, gender, attitudes toward the police, contact with the police, and punitiveness are significantly correlated with interest in a career in law enforcement. The policy implications are discussed.


Copyright 2021 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

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Journal of Criminal Justice Education