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Criminal Justice 684

CRJU 684: Criminal Justice Graduate Internship

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

Credit Hours: (3)

This experiential learning program for criminal justice students to observe, learn, and participate the daily functions and procedure of a specific criminal justice agency.  The course consists of not less than 16 hours per week for 15 weeks and is graded on a Pass/Fail basis.

 

Detailed Description of Content of Course

The purpose of the criminal justice internship program is to enable the student to deepen his/her knowledge and enhance his/her understanding of the complexities of the criminal justice system. Emphasis is clearly placed on knowledge application and skills development during the placement period. Synthesizing exercises are also focused on in order to enhance knowledge acquisition. Internship placement sites differ considerably from location to location but typically represent one of the following:

1. Police
2. Probation/Parole
3. Corrections
4. Commonwealth Attorney's office
5. Public Defender's office

 

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

A formal internship will be arranged with a student in conjunction with the cooperating criminal justice agency. Interns are generally not paid employees but rather function as professional apprentices. Placement may occur when the participating agency agrees to structure a learning experience, based on agency goals, that will provide the student with a comprehensive view of agency responsibilities and work.

Students must meet most qualifications of the participating agency such as age, citizenship, physical condition, dress and conduct codes. Student applicants must be interviewed and accepted into the internship program by both the CRJU Internship faculty supervisor as well as the participating agency. The designated agency supervisor provides on-the-job instruction and guidance and is otherwise responsible for structuring a complete learning experience. (This will be done in cooperation with the designated CRJU faculty supervisor.) The agency will also conduct evaluations of the intern at established intervals. The faculty supervisor will be responsible for following up on each intern in order to ensure a quality experience for the student as well as to handle any problems that may occur from time to time.

A final evaluation of the student is completed by the agency prior to his/her termination and forwarded in writing to the designated CRJU faculty member. Interns are responsible for keeping a daily journal and must submit a detailed paper or project at the end of the experience which is intended to assist in synthesizing the classroom with actual practice. Students who have been working in a full-time or part-time capacity for a criminal justice agency may not do an internship at that agency unless overall functions and responsibilities change.

 

Goals and Objectives of the Course

1. Knowledge acquisition: The student will learn largely in a self-directed manner. Duley (1980) writes that the learning process in any field experience program is controlled by circumstances of reality. Information and knowledge therefore is not structured and controlled in a rigid manner but rather is experienced first hand and is absorbed in day-to-day interactions with staff, clients and the community at large.
2. Knowledge Application: The student will use theories, principles and constructs learned in the classroom and observe them in actual practice in the field. Concepts such as discretion, social control, bureaucracy, rehabilitation and due process will be dealt with in a concrete and first hand manner.
3. Skill Development: The student will demonstrate skills in the area of oral and written communication by preparing agency reports when requested as well as participating in staff and planning meetings when appropriate.

 

Assessment Measures

Internship objectives can be measured through a variety of methods which may include research papers or projects, journals, periodic reports and agency evaluation. Instructors may choose among these assessment tools and may develop others if they deem it appropriate.

 

Other Course Information

None.

 

REVIEW AND APPROVAL

DATE ACTION APPROVED BY
March 1999