Forensic Behavior Analysis: Self Care in the CJ Field

The criminal justice field is a difficult field to be involved with, whether you are an officer, a counselor, analyst, dispatcher, etc the list goes on and on. Within the criminal justice field, we see quite a high rate of burn out with jobs that are needed to have a functioning society. In today’s society it is clear that it is imperative that the current working individuals in the criminal justice field have to make changes to our systems. I do believe that the criminal justice system has been broken and built on negative things that don’t represent our country. We want to build a fair, equal criminal justice system for everyone that resides in this country. That is quite a tremendous pressure on all of us and it can create burn out amongst this field. Not to mention in some law enforcement jobs we see high amounts of suicide rates, such as when you look at correctional officer jobs. In 2018, UC Berkeley did a study that showed correctional officers are at one of the highest risks for depression, PTSD, and suicide, as well as that suicides among law enforcement workers have been increasing over the years recently, (Barr and Thomas). 

To combat the burnt out and poor work satisfaction we see in criminal justice workers, I think that we need to work on promoting self-care for individuals. Encouraging criminal justice workers to take time for themselves and to take a step away from the job is how we can ensure that we have the best version of ourselves working for others. It could highly reduce burn out rates and allow people to really enjoy their jobs by taking a step away and coming back to the job they love doing. Taking a long weekend, using time off to go do something you love or spending quality time with the people you love could improve job satisfaction as well. Fully stepping away from your job and doing things that make you happy is the best form of self-care. We cannot allow ourselves to lose ourselves to work as it’s a disservice to the criminal justice system, as well as ourselves. The most important thing people need to realize is that putting yourself first and ensuring that you are feeling your best self is how to enjoy your job and not feel as though you’re going to work against your will. 



Barr, L., & Thomas, P. (2019, October 17). [Review of Correctional officer suicides in 2019 tied for most in single year: Union president]. Retrieved February 28, 2023, from ABC News website:

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