This article was forwarded to me by Todd at Forensic Colleges, who runs a blog and website collecting information on forensic science and career opportunities. It looks like a great blog that has lots of information for people who are interested in criminal justice, investigation, and forensic science careers. Here is a repost of his article on Internship Opportunities he requested that we make available here. Of course I would add to his list criminal defense organizations, federal or state, also have many internship opportunities for the criminal justice major:
Internships are a great way of learning more about the field you are getting into or currently studying and provide experience to know if you are in the right field. Internships also create contacts and networking opportunities, and in some cases, gain credit for classes. There are a variety of different internships offered within a vast area of expertise. The following internships are great for Criminal Justice majors:
1. Police stations
Police stations are a great internship for students looking into police work or becoming an investigator or detective. While internship options will vary between forces, many police stations offer interns the opportunity to work with the several different components of the station. Most stations accept interns in front office work, shadowing a police officer (ride-alongs), and working with detectives.
2. Crime lab
Crime lab internships is a good way to learn more about forensic science. Technology in forensics is constantly changing so it is important to stay on top of the latest forensic testing methods and gadgets. Interning with a crime lab would teach and give you hands-on learning to evidence procedures, forensic testing, drug analysis and many other aspects of forensics.
3. US Border Patrol
The US Border Patrol is a federal law enforcement agency responsible for immigration and border law enforcement. Interning with this agency can help teach you immigrations laws and statistics as well as show and explain the many ways border patrol agents protect our borders, such as on foot, in the water, and at border checkpoints set up across the US.
4. Coast Guard
The Coast Guard is a national organization responsible for various services at sea, such as search and rescue, border control and maritime law enforcement. Interns with the Coast Guard take a public affairs role to promote accomplishments within the force. They also tend to put more focus on public service announcements, all of which are a good way to learn more about the organization.
5. Probation office
Interning at a probation office can show you the daily load and case management of a probation officer. It may also help to give you a better understanding of what consequences are given to certain offenders. Between meeting with their clients on probation, keeping track of them, and attending hearings, the life of a probation officer is usually kept pretty busy.
6. Law office
Taking an internship at a law office can help you better understand what attorneys and their paralegals interact with on a daily basis. From meeting with clients to drafting motions and petitions a law office internship offers great first-hand experience. There are several different laws that attorneys practice though so it is important to intern for one that you would like to gain more knowledge about.
7. County Courthouse
An internship at a county courthouse is very helpful for learning how the criminal justice system works. From filing cases to attending courtroom hearings and analyzing statistics, the courthouse offers a great way to interact with a variety of different people such as attorneys, judges and clerks to understand what their daily routines are.
8. Juvenile Detention Center
A juvenile detention center is a secured place where juveniles who have been into trouble are placed. Interning at a juvenile center would be helpful to learn how sentencing differs in juveniles and in adults. Since many of the juveniles assigned to the detention center are short stays, you could probably learn about a variety of different cases and offenders.
Child Protective Services is a government agency that exists in many states in the US and responds to reports or child neglect and abuse. While this job may not be for anyone, because of the conditions and abuse some children have had to endure, it is a good experience and could make you want to help children and teens who are put through the CPS system.
10. Non-profit organizations
Interning with a nonprofit organization can give you a better view of what hard work is put into these organizations. Non-profits are a crucial part of our society that provide help for a variety of different people and families going through different ordeals. Interning for a non-profit could help shed light on how many families and people really need help.