As you pursue a degree within the criminal justice sphere, you may have to complete an internship or field placement as part of your required course list. In other cases it may be an elective or it may not be offered at all. Whatever the case, it is extremely advantageous to complete an internship or job placement, as it will allow you to put what you’ve learned in the classroom into practice, prepare you for your professional life after graduation, allow you to network with veterans in the field, and potentially lead you to a job once you’re finished school.
Depending on what you are specializing in and aspiring to do, there are numerous places where you can complete an internship, from a public interest law firm to the state attorney’s office, from a youth shelter to probation and pre-trial services, from a local correctional facility to a municipal or state law enforcement agency.
It’s never too early to start researching and preparing to apply for an internship, particularly if you’d like to be accepted into a prestigious placement. Let’s look at just some of the competitive and popular criminal justice internships in the United States.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
The application deadline for this year’s FBI Volunteer Internship Program is now closed, but you can still get prepared for the next application period. The 10-week placement is open to those pursuing an undergraduate, graduate or post-doc degree, in a variety of disciplines, from criminal justice and psychology to political science and computer science.
Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC)
Personnel from over 80 federal law enforcement agencies train at FLETC. The training center offers internships, three times a year, to undergraduate and graduate students in criminology, criminal justice or a related degree. Interns are teamed up with a mentor, are able to audit training courses and perform work-related tasks. http://www.fletc.gov/student-information/college-intern-program/
Association for Research into Crimes Against Art (ARCA)
ARCA offers internships to undergraduate and graduate students; previous experience related to criminal justice, art history or law is preferred. Intern duties with this non-profit organization range from administrative and operational roles to research. http://www.artcrimeresearch.org/internships/
Supreme Court of the United States
There are at least two internship opportunities with the Supreme Court. One is the Judicial Internship Program where interns perform important administrative duties for the Office of the Counselor to the Chief Justice. Undergraduate and graduate students from a range of academic disciplines are eligible although they should be interested in law, social sciences or management. Undergrad and graduate students may also apply for Curatorial Internships at the Supreme Court’s Office of the Curator (which preserves the Court’s historical documents, photographs and artifacts). http://www.supremecourt.gov/jobs/jip/jip.aspx
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)
The mission of the NCMEC, according to its website, is to “to serve as the nation’s resource on the issues of missing and sexually exploited children” (through providing resources and information to law enforcement agencies and other professionals, victims and their families). Several types of internships are available through the NCMEC, including in forensics, case analysis, family advocacy and case assistance. http://www.missingkids.com/missingkids/servlet/PageServlet?LanguageCountry=en_US&PageId=252
These are just some examples of esteemed criminal justice internships. Whether you gain a placement with one of these agencies or with a smaller employer based in your hometown, it has the potential to be one of your most educational experiences to date!