The Criminal Justice Addictions Professional Certification
The Criminal Justice Addictions Professional is another rewarding career in substance abuse that allows you to have a national certification and work in an area with a great need. Consider this: 1 out of every 100 U.S. citizens is now behind bars. Approximately 80% of those behind bars have abused drug or alcohol and nearly 50% are clinically addicted. Drug offenders have accounted for more than 1/3 of the growth in state prison populations since 1985. There is a great need for addiction counseling professionals in the criminal justice system and the training is highly specialized. The system itself is considered to be complex and substance abuse counseling training alone doesn’t prepare someone to deal with the mix of the criminal and addictive thinking.
This certification, adopted in 2002, is one of the fastest growing credentials in the field of addiction-related behavioral healthcare. As it is a National certification, you can use it in quite a few places. In fact, there are now 27 U.S. states and territories that offer a reciprocal CCJP (Criminal Justice Addictions Professional) Credential. This Credential is recognized by the International Community Corrections Association (ICCA). The CCJP Credential requires professionals to demonstrate competency through experience, education, supervision and passing of an examination.
So, what exactly would a Criminal Justice Addictions Professional do? A few examples are working for a drug court as an advocate or someone that assesses cases and recommends treatment for offenders. Another common career would be as a substance abuse counselor in a jail or prison system. There are also some treatment centers that take court-ordered drug offenders only and these would benefit from having someone on staff with this certification. Studies have shown that combining prison and treatment for addicted offenders reduces the risk of both recidivism to drug-related criminal behavior and relapse to drug use, which is a huge savings to society.
Criminal Justice Addictions Professional Requirements
Requirements vary slightly by State so look online for the State that you wish to work in for your specific requirements. However, here is a general idea of what is required for the Criminal Justice Addictions Professional Credential:
- High School/GED: 6,000 hours (3-years) documented work experience in direct services in criminal justice /addictions services and obtained over the past 10 years.
- AA/AS or Certified AODA Counselor (Non IC&RC): 5,000 hours documented work experience in direct services in criminal justice /addictions services and obtained over the past 10 years.
- BA/BS or IC&RC Certified Reciprocal AODA Counselor: 4,000 hours documented work experience in direct services in criminal justice /addictions services and obtained over the past 10 years.
- MA/MS or IC&RC Certified Supervisor AODA Counselor: 2000 hours documented work experience in direct services in criminal justice /addictions services and obtained over the past 10 years.
- Above Masters Level or IC&RC Certified Advanced AODA Counselor or other Advanced Credential (i.e.NBCC, CRCC, NASW, MAC, etc.): 1000 hours documented work experience in direct services in criminal justice / addiction services and over the past 10 years.
There are some other Credentialing requirements to be met as well, such as providing Supervisor Evaluation Forms, Practium Log Forms, and Field Work Experience verification. Finally, there is a written exam and continuing education requirements.
Criminal Justice Addictions Professional Jobs
There are sure to be plenty of jobs in this field and there will likely not be a dull moment if this is something that you decide to pursue. A search online shows over 200 current openings for these jobs with a salary range from the $30,000′s to over $60,000 depending on location and experience. If this interests you, and particularly if you have a personal background that you can bring to the arena, be sure to check out this exciting career path.