The Westfield Voice

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The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

Women in Criminal Justice


Women in the criminal justice field at Westfield State University are changing the stereotypes behind criminal justice being male dominated.

“My biggest fear being a woman in the Criminal Justice field is not getting the same opportunities as the men do. If I join the field I want to be treated equally,” stated Kayla Robinson, a current junior criminal justice major at Westfield State University.

“Being a woman in a male dominated field I do believe I am stereotyped, but I believe things have changed a lot from the past,” stated Rachel Bunce, a Westfield State criminal justice major grad, and current police officer in Northampton.

Westfield State University wants all their students to feel safe and comfortable in whatever career path they choose.

Daniel Price, advisor of the criminal justice club at Westfield State University touches on stereotypes against women. “We work actively to counter any stereotypes.” Although this doesn’t stop them, the CJ department at WSU puts all their efforts forward to keep the stereotypes away from their department.

Many studies over the years have shown just how successful women involved in the criminal justice field can be.

“Data over the years has proven that women in criminal justice careers resolve conflict using more proactive approaches like communication as opposed to physical confrontation. Female officers are better at defusing confrontations before those encounters turn deadly,” stated the Washington Post in an article they recently released.

Westfield State University provides a strong environment for their students to thrive with their classmates.

“I had a great experience at Westfield as a woman in CJ. I found a lot of my classes were majority men, and women were definitely the minority. I found motivation to prove that I deserve to pursue the same career as a man, and I was able to have a great, lifelong friendship established with my CJ classmates,” explained Liz Backus, a Westfield State alum and current Barnstable Probation officer.

As much progress as there has been with women in the criminal justice field, they still face discrimmnation.

“I don’t think I’m taken as seriously as men. I believe men still have the upper hand based on old stereotypes. They are taken more seriously, and tend to be viewed as having more power or authority,” added Backus.

Women involved in the criminal justice field are defying odds everywhere, every day. Westfield State University has helped women’s dreams of being in the CJ field become a reality.

If worries of not being treated equally have stopped you from wanting to be a part of the criminal justice department at Westfield State University, know that any inequality will not be tolerated.

Thank you to all the women who were open to answering all questions regarding their time in the criminal justice field with honesty and enthusiasm.

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