Social Service Organizations

Following is a list of positions for which federal, state, and local agencies hire people with criminal justice backgrounds. If you’re looking for actual job postings to which you may apply, visit the resources page for more information on individual organizations. This page merely offers descriptions of jobs for which a CJ degree would prepare you.

Youth Services Aide, Alabama Department of Youth Services

This is non-professional work involving the supervision, observation, and rehabilitation of youth in a group living situation. Employees in this class participate in supervising resident activities in a dormitory, providing housekeeping, and recreational and rehabilitative care. Work includes assignments such as transporting youth from dormitory to athletic and recreational events, or from one institution to another. Dormitory activity is manned on an around-the-clock basis and work is performed as a member of a shift, and according to oral and written instructions. Work is reviewed by superiors for conformance with established policy and practice. Employees in this class usually work night or evening shifts and/or weekends.


  • High school diploma or GED
  • According to Act 85-681 of the Alabama Legislature, you may not be hired if you have been convicted of the following crimes: murder, rape in the first degree, kidnapping in the first degree, assault in the first degree, arson in the first degree, or a crime dealing with abuse of children.

Youth Services Childcare Worker, Alabama Department of Youth Services

This is beginning level professional work in the supervision and social development of delinquent youth. Employees in this class assist students in social interaction adjustment and are responsible for controlling and maintaining custody of students and safeguarding them from other students. Employees also coordinate the intake/orientation process for students entering a campus, review case records and reports, and perform general administrative duties as assigned by the supervisor.


Bachelor’s degree in social or behavioral science

Youth Services Counselor, Alabama Department of Youth Services

This is professional work providing guidance and supervision of youth in programs of rehabilitation and social development. Employees in this class deal directly with individuals and groups, in providing support and encouragement to achieving social adjustment through participation; rehabilitation and recreation programs and activities; and educational and vocational training. Employees also serve as unit managers by supervising the dorms. Work entails a variety of duties including the enforcement of rules and work routines.


  • Bachelor’s degree in psychology, sociology, criminal justice, or a related field
  • 1 year of experience working directly with juvenile offenders or juvenile delinquents in a correctional setting

Case Manager, Alabama Department of Youth Services

Employees in this class provide responsible case management, professional counseling and clinical services for juvenile offenders in the custody of the Department of Youth Services. Duties involve planning, developing, and implementing individualized service plans for rehabilitation and social development. Work also involves conducting intake interviews, needs assessments, and individual and group counseling sessions. In addition, employees are responsible for the entry of service plans and other narrative reports into the Department’s automated system.


Master’s degree in psychology, counseling, behavioral science, social work, criminal justice, juvenile justice, criminology, or a related field

Employment Counselor

Vocational counselors who provide mainly career counseling outside the school setting are also referred to as employment counselors or career counselors. Their chief focus is helping individuals with career decisions. Vocational counselors explore and evaluate the client’s education, training, work history, interests, skills, and personality traits, and arrange for aptitude and achievement tests to assist the client in making career decisions. They also work with individuals to develop their job-search skills, and they assist clients in locating and applying for jobs. In addition, career counselors provide support to persons experiencing job loss, job stress, or other career transition issues.


All states require school counselors to hold a state school counseling certification and to have completed at least some graduate course work; most require the completion of a master’s degree. Some States require public school counselors to have both counseling and teaching certificates and to have had some teaching experience before receiving certification. For counselors based outside of schools, 48 states and the District of Columbia have some form of counselor licensure that governs their practice of counseling. Requirements typically include the completion of a master’s degree in counseling, the accumulation of 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience beyond the master’s degree level, the passage of a state-recognized exam, adherence to ethical codes and standards, and the completion of annual continuing education requirements.

Counselors must be aware of educational and training requirements that are often very detailed and that vary by area and by counseling specialty. Prospective counselors should check with State and local governments, employers, and national voluntary certification organizations in order to determine which requirements apply.


A penologist is someone who is interested in the study of prison systems, penal structure, prison management, penal reforms, and educational programs. While this is the academic definition, most times there is a large non- academic element to the work too. If you become a penologist you may work in a prison, or alongside probation officers, criminologists, or prison architects. You may make recommendations or advise on individual inmate’s personal programs or you may make suggestions concerning alterations to prison policy or timetabling. This may mean planning and implementing a regime of drug testing and drug abuse counseling or anger management. These types of programs help not just the individual, but can help the prison community as a whole by reducing disruption and antisocial behavior.


Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, criminology, psychology, or justice administration

More Information

Visit our Resources page for links to local, state, and federal agencies and job postings.