Criminal Justice Schools in Rhode Island

ASO Staff Writers
Updated May 10, 2023
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Rhode Island’s Top Schools, Degree Programs and Student Resources

Completing a degree or training program at criminal justice schools in Rhode Island can prepare a student for a rewarding career in the field of legal and protective services. Larger cities like Newport have the highest crime rates which means there is a greater demand for police officers, law enforcement officials and even lawyers in these areas. This page will provide information about training programs and attractive job opportunities across the state for students interested in pursuing a degree in criminal justice.

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Starting the search for a criminal justice school in Rhode Island that offers the right level of training for attractive jobs in the law enforcement or legal field can be difficult. Make use of the ranking tool below to compare schools based on various factors, including tuition, acceptance rate, student-to-teacher ratios and more. Check out Rhode Island’s best criminal justice schools for 2017 below.

2-Year Colleges

Roger Williams University
LocationBristol, RI

Roger Williams University offers multiple degree options for criminal justice majors, including bachelor's master's and juris doctor. The undergraduate curriculum provides a foundation of knowledge centered on critical thinking analysis, and a broad view of the criminal justice system on a national level. Combined degree programs offer accelerated schedules for students seeking to continue on to graduate level: the program provides options to facilitate completion of both a bachelor's and master's degree, or a master's combined with a juris doctor. Many facets of the program are offered in an online learning environment or a combination of on-campus and distance learning.

Salve Regina University
LocationNewport, RI

Salve Regina University's administration of justice program provides degree paths for associate's and bachelor's degrees, as well as a minor option. The program offers small class sizes and innovative teaching techniques, in addition to opportunities such as internships and community service roles to balance theory with practical knowledge. Options for accelerated completion allow qualified students to effectively reach their academic goals and continued graduate degrees in shorter periods of time than traditional programs. Additional certifications in areas such as juvenile justice are offered to graduates who hold the bachelor's degree in administration of justice.

Johnson & Wales University-Providence
LocationProvidence, RI

Undergraduate and graduate level criminal justice degree options are offered through Johnson & Wales University. With campuses in several states, as well as online options for graduate students, the university offers flexible options to prepare for a career in fields such as law enforcement, corrections, criminalistics, and a variety of other security and court administration roles. Completion of the program requires core courses, in addition to curriculum within arts & sciences to ensure each graduate receives a well-balanced knowledge base including a focus on critical thinking skills and efficient communication through writing.

University of Rhode Island
LocationKingston, RI

With an interdisciplinary focus and a wide range of course options, the criminology and criminal justice path at The University of Rhode Island offers multiple choices for students seeking a bachelor's degree in the field. Internship or independent study credit can often be applied toward degree completion. The university currently offers a bachelor of sociology degree with a focus on criminology, which offers a broad range of knowledge on criminal justice at multiple levels. This degree path combine theory with practical experience and is intended to prepare students for continuing education or a career path within the criminal justice landscape.

Rhode Island College
LocationProvidence, RI

Undergraduate students can pursue a bachelor's degree or a minor in justice studies through Rhode Island College. Included within the sociology department, the degree requires courses from multiple disciplines and is expected to be competed on the traditional 4-year undergraduate timeline. On-campus resources such as the OASIS office provide guidance and academic advising for students and coordinates orientation events for new and transfer students. Additional resources include tutoring services and writing assistance, as well as outreach programs and the Career Development Center which assist with internship placements, job search resources, and major and career decisions.

New England Institute of Technology
LocationWarwick, RI

Providing students with online and hybrid criminal justice degree options, New England Institute of Technology has flexible options to prepare for a career path into the criminal justice field. With accelerated courses to suit busy lifestyles, the accelerated time frame includes 10-week courses and can be completed in an online format, or a mix of hybrid courses to incorporate face-to-face and distance learning. Program resources includes a simulated courtroom for practical exercises, in addition to a crime scene simulation lab to apply knowledge. Graduates have accepted roles in multiple public safety capacities with local law enforcement and government agencies.

4-Year Colleges


The Providence Police Department, Rhode Island District Court and the state government office of the State of Rhode Island Department of Corrections are some employment opportunities to explore when starting or growing a career in the criminal justice field. Those looking to work as a police officer, legal assistant, criminal investigator or court clerk may need either a degree or to complete a formal training program for certification. Use the tool below to compare careers and educational requirements.


Providence, Rhode Island, and all the major cities across the state have an ongoing demand for police department jobs, which account for just small selection of the government jobs available in the field of criminal justice. Most law firms are in Providence, Cranston, Warwick and Pawtucket, so graduates may consider relocating to these areas when pursuing a career as a legal assistant or lawyer. The table below outlines different career options available in Rhode Island compared to the national average.


JobNationalRhode Island
Detectives and Criminal Investigators81,49086,790
Security Guard29,73030,010
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers57,18062,760
Fire Inspectors and Investigators59,26061,660

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015

Job Growth

JobNationalRhode Island
Private Detectives and Investigators0.0520.06
Paralegals and Legal Assistants0.0860.119
Security Guards0.0510.083
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers0.0520.06
Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Teachers, Postsecondary0.1760.214
Fire Inspectors and Investigators0.0360.055
Compliance Officers0.0330.056
Crossing Guards0.030.064

Source: Projections Central, 2015


Providence, Rhode Island, and all the major cities across the state have an ongoing demand for police department jobs, just some of the government jobs available in the field of criminal justice. The majority of law firms are located in Providence, Cranston, Warwick and Pawtucket, so these may be areas to consider relocating to when pursuing a career as a legal assistant or lawyer. The table below outlines different career options available in Rhode Island compared to the national average:

Protective Services

Potential Employers

Bailiffs for Rhode Island Courts System; Correctional Officers and Jailers for RI Department of Corrections; Detectives and Criminal Investigators for private and public investigation firms; Fish and Game Wardens at Rhode Island Department of Natural Resources; Parking Enforcement Workers for Rhode Island City Government Offices; Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers for Rhode Island Police Departments; Transit and Railroad Police for RIDOT; Animal Control Workers for Providence Animal Shelter; Private Detectives and Investigators for RI Private Detectives & Protective Services; Gaming Surveillance Officers and Gaming Investigators for Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation; Security Guards for RI hospitals, schools and malls; Crossing Guards for RIDOE; Lifeguards, Ski Patrol and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers; for Rhode Island State Parks Transportation Security Screeners

Total Number of Employees in Rhode Island: 46,260

Legal Occupations

Potential Employers

Lawyers with the Rhode Island Bar Association; Judicial Law Clerks at Rhode Island Department of Justice; Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators and Hearing Officers at Rhode Island State Courts; Arbitrators, Mediators and Conciliators for RI DOJ; Judges, Magistrate Judges and Magistrates for RI DOJ; Paralegals and Legal Assistants for Rhode Island lawyers; Court Reporters for Rhode Island District Courts; Title Examiners, Abstractors and Searchers for Rhode Island Law and Real Estate Firms; Legal Support Workers for Rhode Island Lawyers

Total Number of Employees in Rhode Island: 12,490



Association of Corporate Counsel, Northeast

The ACC offers educational programs and resources that cover topics of interest for in-house counsel for businesses and organizations.

Rhode Island Chambers of Commerce

This U.S. Small Business Administration page links to all of the Chambers of Commerce that can be found in the state of Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation

The State of Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation maintains a comprehensive listing of regulations for different types of businesses, licensing information, and enforcement actions.

Rhode Island Department of State Secretary of State – Business Portal

The Rhode Island Department of State has a Business Services division that includes information about legislative updates, forms, databases and resources.

The Rhode Island Minority Business Enterprise

This organization promotes the development of minority business owners and maintains a directory of resources, forms, applications and minutes from board meetings.

U.S. Small Business Administration—Rhode Island District Office

The SBA has offices throughout the country to help small businesses with their development.


State of Rhode Island Department of Corrections

The RIDOC is a unified correctional system and the website lists all facilities for both males and females. The site includes details about probation and parole, rehabilitation services and the latest news updates.

Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility

Located in Central Falls, RI, this detention facility recruits correctional officers on an ongoing basis. The website includes information about recruitment efforts and details about the Correctional Officer Training Academy.

Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers

This website serves as a resource for those who work in correctional facilities across the state. Includes information about upcoming events, political issues and the leadership team.

Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth & Families—Juvenile Correctional Services

This page supplies information about the juvenile correctional services program in Rhode Island.


National Center for State Courts – Rhode Island

The National Center for State Courts provides a wealth of resources for the community and legal professionals in every state. The Rhode Island section includes information about judicial officers, human resources, and courthouse facilities.

Rhode Island Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Children Program

This group was established as a statewide program to provide advocacy to children in Rhode Island who are referred to family court as a result of the filing of an abuse, neglect or dependency petition.

Rhode Island Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center

This page provides information about the justice reinvestment effort that is currently underway in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Department of Justice

This is the official government website for the Department of Justice and includes information about state and local courts, laws and regulations, and legal ethics. Also lists employment opportunities.

Rhode Island Judiciary

This is a comprehensive website for attorneys and legal professionals. Includes details about court calendars, court holidays and employment opportunities. These is also a dedicated section of public resources.

Rhode Island Mediators Association

This non-profit association supports mediators in Rhode Island for the purpose of promoting and advancing peaceful dispute resolution.


Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General

This website features policies, legal resources and updates about legal affairs for residents and legal professionals in Rhode Island. It includes information about the Office and an annual report.

Rhode Island Legal Services – Pro Bono Program

Lawyers interested in offering pro bono services can find information about volunteering on this site. This site also includes information about the courts and assistance programs.

Rhode Island Bar Association

This website serves as a resource for Bar members and the general public. There is a members-only section that includes an online law library, information for attorneys, and other contact information.

Rhode Island Paralegal Association

RIPA is a non-profit association that works to connect and recognize members of the paralegal profession.


Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association

This organization offers membership opportunities and resources for police chiefs across the state. The website includes information about upcoming news and events, awards, and membership details for those interested in joining its mission.

Licensed Private Detectives Association of Rhode Island (LPDARI)

This organization is a membership-based group where private investigators can network and share information and resources.

State of Rhode Island Division of State Fire Marshal

The Division of State Fire Marshal is tasked with conducting fire investigations in cases involving injury/death, an undetermined cause, and/or suspected arson. This division also inspects structures to ensure compliance with fire safety and state law.

State of Rhode Island Municipal Police Training Academy

The Rhode Island Municipal Police Training Academy (RIMPTA) trains and certifies all municipal police officers outside of those serving in the City of Providence. This website includes recruiting information, in-service training opportunities and web-based training programs.

Providence Police Department

The City of Providence, Rhode Island’s police department reports the last news, information about internship programs, and policies and procedures. Police officers and those interested in a law enforcement career will find a wealth of information about Providence legal matters on this site.

The Rhode Island Troopers Association

This group represents the Rhode Island State Police’s non-commissioned officers and troopers, providing them with networking opportunities and resources.


The Conservation Law Foundation

Protecting New England’s environment, the CLF uses law and science to market initiatives that protect Vermont’s natural resources. Learn more about how the CLF makes an impact and how to take action on this site.

Northern Rhode Island Conservation District

This is a non-profit organization that serves as a facilitator for those involved with the conservation of the state’s natural resources. The site includes information about current activities and education resources.

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management—How to Become an Environmental Police Officer

This webpage outlines the process of becoming an officer who enforces laws, rules, and regulations related to fish, game, wildlife, and other environment-related resources.

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management—Forest Environment Program

One of the major functions of the Forest Environment Program is to manage law enforcement efforts related to forestry.

Rhode Island Resource Conservation & Development Area Council

This organization lists upcoming events, projects, and area plan developments. Its mission is to maximize natural resources across the state and it works closely with elected civic leaders and volunteers.

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