Criminal Justice

About our program

Green River offers an excellent, innovative and current Criminal Justice program. The degree is broad, rigorous, and transferable. The program offers two two-year AAS degrees in Criminal Justice and Criminal Justice-Forensic Technology. It also offers three certificates, in Corrections, Law Enforcement, and Forensic & Fingerprint Technology.

Opportunity available for graduates depends on the level of education obtained and specializations. Criminal Justice professionals often find work with local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

Employers include police agencies, sheriff's departments, correctional facilities, forensic crime labs and juvenile detention facilities.

Graduates who concentrate in Corrections do such things as confine dangerous and aggressive individuals; prepare legal reports; enforce institutional, state, and federal rules and regulations; search persons; subdue violent inmates; testify in court; and in some extreme cases use deadly force.

The duties of people earning a certificate in Fingerprint Technology may involve use of laboratory equipment for evidence identification, fingerprinting, crime scene analysis, evidence analysis and a variety of functions related to the prosecution of criminal suspects.

Those concentrating in Law Enforcement conduct investigations; arrest suspects; search persons and places; gather evidence; subdue violent individuals; enforce local, state, and federal laws; testify in court; and in some extreme cases use deadly force.


Prepare to succeed

A person working in the Criminal Justice field needs to have a genuine interest in working with and helping people of diverse backgrounds. Sound judgment, integrity, calm demeanor in crisis situations, and a keen ability to communicate effectively, are attributes that employers seek. Many of these positions require very limited or no prior drug use and a clean criminal record.

Criminal Justice is a broad discipline, encompassing the scientific study of crime, criminals, the criminal justice system, treatment of offenders, and theories of crime causation. The Criminal Justice program at GRC has an advisory board made up of chiefs of police, commanders, detectives, judges, police officers and forensic professionals.


Program notes

Prerequisites, fees, more


  • Completion of a Green River College Application.
  • Completions of placement assessment.
  • Attend a quarterly Criminal Justice advising session.

Special Fees

  • Some Criminal Justice classes include a fee to help defray costs of equipment and supplies.


  • New students can enroll at the start of any quarter.
  • Time to completion ranges from two quarters for a certificate to two years, or six quarters for an Associate in Applied Science Degree


Degrees & Certificates



Gainful Employment Information

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Criminal Justice:

  • Occupations: Correctional Officer, Corrections Officer, Jailer
  • Earnings: Range from $22.19 to $23.67 an hour, entry to mid-level.

Forensic Technology:

  • Occupations: Forensic Scientist, Forensic Science Technician, Crime Laboratory Analyst, Crime Scene Technician
  • Earnings: Range from $21.32 to $28.58 an hour, entry to mid-level.