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Department of Criminal Justice
321 Shippen Hall 
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania 
1871 Old Main Drive 
Shippensburg, PA 17257-2299

(717) 477-1558
(717) 477-4087 (FAX)
E-mail: crimjust@ship.edu

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Internships @ Department of Criminal Justice

Spring, Summer, and Fall

The purpose of the Criminal Justice internship is to provide you with a real world work experience in a criminal justice agency. Each internship credit is defined as being the equivalent of a 40-hour workweek.  Therefore, for every internship credit scheduled, you must work 40 hours, i.e., 3 credits = 120 hours; 6 credits = 240 hours; 9 credits = 360 hours; and 12 credits = 480 hours.  Undergraduate students must have earned 60 credits and have a 2.0 QPA.  Graduate students must have earned 9 credits; have a 3.0 QPA; and are limited to a maximum of 6 credits.

Internship supervision will be the responsibility of two individuals: an academic advisor and an agency supervisor.  The academic advisor will be assigned by the Department chair and may not be the faculty member you see for schedule advising.  The agency supervisor is the agency employee assigned to you by the agency for field supervision.

Internship Resources

Steps in the Internship Application Process

  1. Secure an internship with a criminal justice agency -Internship Sites  
  2. APPLY FOR THE FOLLOWING:   

            a.  Criminal Background Check - PA State Police Request Form (SP4-164) 

            b.  Child Abuse Clearance - PA Clearance Form (CY-113) 

            c.  Professional Liability Insurance* 

*Some students may obtain a rider from their parents insurance company which will cover professional liability.  Another type of insurance is part of the American Psychological Association (APA).

 Go to http://www.apait.org/ and pay $35 for the liability insurance that covers you for $1,000,000 per incident, $3,000,000 in the aggregate.

Once you have completed the above steps: 

  1. Fill out an SU internship application form  (Internship Application) and return it to the Department secretary along with your completed Criminal Background Check; Child Abuse Clearance; and proof of Professional Liability Insurance.  NOTE:  Internship Applications will not be accepted until all supporting materials are completed and included.  
  2. Submit a letter to the Department secretary from the internship site supervisor indicating you have been approved to intern with their agency.
  3. Follow the instructions below 

Scheduling and Payment of Credits for the Internship

BANNER - Fall/Spring Internship credits:  Students internship credits are included on the bill with Fall and Spring courses.  Students will need to obtain an override code from the department secretary in order to schedule their internships in Banner starting in the Fall of 2011.

You will be notified of your academic advisor via your SHIP e-mail.  During the first week of your internship you must notify the Department of Criminal Justice (crimjust@ship.edu or by telephone at (717) 477-1558) and your assigned academic advisor that you started the internship. 

Internship Duties

The Weekly E-mail Summary (Due each Friday)

 By the end of Friday each week, students should submit an e-mail summary of the week's activities to the academic advisor.  Place your weekly summary in the body of your e-mail, not as an attachment. The weekly e-mail summary should be structured as follows: 

  1. Chief activities for the week.
  2. Specific lessons learned.
  3. Fit between the week's experience and relevant information received in the classroom.
  4. Any surprises or unexpected experiences.

The academic advisor will then respond with specific questions or observations designed to facilitate critical analysis, integration of concepts, and an appreciation of different perspectives and alternatives.  This requirement allows weekly monitoring of student activities and provides a continuous series of opportunities for faculty to help students gain maximum value from the field experience. 

The Internship Paper

The title page of the paper is to include: student name, agency name, and the name of the agency supervisor.  The minimum length of the paper is ten pages.  The title page is not to be included in the page count.  The paper is due no later than one week after the last day of your internship.  An end-of-term paper is required and will be structured as follows: 

I.  Introduction:    

A.  Brief overview of the agency, including:

  1. Type of agency (local, state, federal, law enforcement, court, corrections, and any relevant descriptive information).
  2. Location (including address).
  3. Size of the agency (number of personnel, offenders, geographical area served, and any descriptive information

II.  Organizational Culture and Structure

A.  Expected Employee Behavior:

  1. Mission Statement.*                                        
  2. Official goals statement.*                             
  3. Official values statement.*
  4. Code of Ethics/Conduct

*Include a copy of the above if one is available.  If none are available, please note that in your report.

B.  Organizational Structure:

  1. Agency organization chart.
  2. Organization chart for your unit (include number of employees).
  3. Agency relationship to other elements of the Criminal Justice System.  Students may use a flow chart to illustrate the relationship.

III.  Agency Placement: Observations and Findings

  1. What are the most important staff functions in the unit to which you are assigned?
  2. Prioritize the functions by calculating the percent of employee time spent on each function.
  3. Which of these functions are you allowed to perform?
  4. Describe your typical day.
 

IV.  Agency Role in Crime Prevention

  1. What role does your agency play in providing services to high-risk youth in an effort to prevent their involvement in crime?  (Describe any specific programs).
  2. How effective do the members of the agency consider these programs to be?
  3. How effective do you believe the programs are?
  4. Is there any research on the effectiveness of these programs?
  5. If the agency is not currently engaged in high-risk youth crime prevention activities, what future role do you believe they could play in crime prevention?
  6. What are the obstacles to the agency participating in crime prevention activities?
 

V.  Integration of course content and internship.

  1. Based on your course work, discuss the issues and challenges most relevant to the agency (such as budget constraints, legal changes, increasing or decreasing crime rates, effects of jail/prison overcrowding, changing area demographics, effects of get tough on crime policies, impact of the media on public perception of the agency).
  2. According to the agency, which of these issues and challenges have the greatest impact on the ability of the agency to accomplish its mission?  What is the nature of this impact?
  3. How does the agency address these issues and challenges?
  4. What Criminal Justice themes developed in your courses were verified by your internship? What themes were not?
  5. In view of your agency experience, what works in the Criminal Justice system?  What does not work?  Is this what you have expected to find? Why or why not?
 

VI. Personal Growth and Development

  1. What did you learn about Criminal Justice practitioners?
  2. What did you learn about working in an organization?
  3. What did you learn about the individuals serviced by the agency with which you worked?
  4. What did you learn about yourself during this internship?
  5. How have you changed, if at all, as a result of your experiences?
  6. What impact has this internship had on your career goals?
  7. How can the internship experience be improved for future students?
  8. What can the Criminal Justice Department do to better prepare students for both the internship and future Criminal Justice employment?
 

VII. Ethics

The ethics section uses the College of Education and Human Services Commitment to Ethical Practice (above) as the foundation for your discussion of the issue of work-related ethical dilemmas, alternative resolutions, and management of complex ethical issues experienced during the internship.

Evaluation and Grading

Your grade for the internship will be Pass or Fail.  Your academic advisor determines your grade.  The grade is based satisfactory weekly e-mail summaries, satisfactory completion of an end-of-internship paper, and a satisfactory Evaluation from your agency supervisor.  The academic advisor will call the agency supervisor to discuss your internship experience.

College of Education and Human Services Commitment to Ethical Practice 

The professions of Counseling and College Student Personnel, Criminal Justice, Educational Leadership and Policy, Exercise Science, Military Science, Teacher Education, and Social Work/Gerontology comprise the College of Education and Human Services. This College is charged with upholding a learning environment in which faculty, administration, staff, and students work together to develop a lifetime commitment to being of service to others. Together, we define who we are and who we aspire to become as members of the College of Education and Human Services community. 

Each of the professions represented in the College are guided by ethical codes of professional practice enforced through the prescribed channels of its profession.  We acknowledge and respect the individual codes and standards of ethical conduct that are prescribed by the disciplines of the College. From these codes our College has created a unifying ideal that consists of seven ethical statements of principle. These statements reflect the fundamental belief that intraprofessional collaboration provides a more comprehensive service system to children, families, clients, students, and institutions than individual disciplines acting in isolation. The administration and faculty of this College believe that it is important to actively uphold the following standards of ethical conduct throughout their careers:

  1. Honoring, and dignifying ourselves and others;
  2. Valuing differences among and between us;
  3. Advocating for and acting to attain social justice;
  4. Using discretion vested in the privileges of our positions appropriately;
  5. Performing our jobs at the highest standard;
  6. Upholding the trust of those with whom we work;
  7. Respecting the work of other professionals

Individually, in order that others may know who I am, what I believe, and know of my works, I, with all others here, will be accountable for the privileges and responsibilities that accompany my membership in the College of Education and Human Services.

PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE INTERNS

The purpose of the internship is to provide the student with an opportunity to apply and evaluate academic experience in a professional setting; explore possible career choices; gain useful criminal justice experience, thus improving employment potential upon graduation; and provide a link between academia and the field for the purpose of improving knowledge and delivery of criminal justice services.

In criminal justice, all agencies are different and, therefore, it is impossible to delineate with great detail the responsibilities and the role an intern should play in a respective agency. In general, students should observe the professional work of an agency and to the extent possible, participate in that agency's work. While it is realized that from time to time an intern will be asked to answer phones, and perhaps provide the agency with some secretarial assistance, it is important for the agency to understand that these types of tasks should be the exception rather than the rule, and should not occur on a frequent basis.

Criminal Justice internships are unique in that issues of confidentiality, privacy, and personal integrity are so critical to appropriate functioning.  Therefore, for a student to successfully complete an internship with a criminal justice agency, he/she must be able to demonstrate high levels of maturity and integrity.  Additionally, Criminal Justice interns must possess emotional stability to the extent that unpleasant sites and situations (which are occasionally encountered) can be observed and dealt with in an appropriate manner. 

To facilitate good rapport with the chosen agency, interns must also have good listening and interpersonal skills.

In addition to possessing the above personality traits, all criminal justice interns should abide by the following rules:

  • Always dress in accordance with agency guidelines.
  • Do not use profanity, regardless of what others are doing.
  • Always be on time and do not leave early.
  • DO NOT allow yourself to be in dangerous situations.
  • Do not become involved in gossip.
  • Always ask questions and show enthusiasm.
  • Do not discuss sensitive information with non-agency people.
  • Do not become argumentative or disrespectful.
  • Be honest and forthright about any unusual situations.
  • Do not violate confidentiality.
  • Do not become involved with work group cliques.
  • Submit the internship Exit Survey upon completion of your internship.

Mutual Responsibilities:

 The primary responsibility of the agency supervisor is to permit the student to observe the central functions of the agency.  Other responsibilities of the agency supervisor are to schedule student's work; to mentor and direct the student's work; to evaluate the intern's work; and to ensure that the intern's experience is productive.

It is the responsibility of the student to immediately contact the academic advisor should he/she believe that the agency is not fulfilling major programmatic responsibilities, or if other issues arise that are deemed to be serious by the student.  While no simple solutions exist for these types of problems, the academic advisor will work with the student to remedy the situation.

Should a student fail to fulfill his/her responsibilities, the internship may be terminated.  Examples of infractions which may require action are: the student not showing up for assignments: engaging in behavior deemed inappropriate by the agency; engaging in illegal or immoral behavior, as determined by the agency; or not performing the duties as requested by the agency.