If you are looking for internships in the criminal justice field, you are in luck! Since 9/11, there has been a large boom in the expansion of the criminal justice and law enforcement field. Virtually every major federal, state and local law enforcement agency is on a hiring spree because of the increased need for public security. If you have wondered how to get an internship in the criminal justice field, here is a quick overview of how to do just that!
Go to school!
First and foremost, make no mistake about it! Law enforcement agencies, even local police departments and court systems only want to hire and retain the most knowledgeable and intelligent candidates. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to go to school and at least obtain a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in criminal justice. Make sure that whatever school you decide to attend is accredited and has a reputable criminal justice program. Make sure that while you are in school, you take a variety of courses and strive to maintain at least a 3.0 or higher to make yourself stand out from the competition.
Local Law Enforcement Agencies and Police Departments
If you have a desire to work in local law enforcement, probably the best route to start is to look for internships with your local police department. Many police departments and sherriff’s offices look for interns to do a variety of things such as administrative work, communications, external affairs, outreach and working in a call center. Although more than likely you will not be allowed to actually shadow a police officer in the field, it is still a great and ample opportunity to learn the inner-workings of a police force.
Local and State Correctional Facilities
If you would like to work inside of a jail, prison or a juvenile detention center, there are a plethora of internships also available in these types of institutions. You could land an internship working in administration, social services, counseling, inmate education, etc. These internships are usually offered in the summer months of can help you navigate a seemingly secretive system that many people desire to get jobs in.
National/Federal Law Enforcement Agencies
If you would like to score a job working in federal law enforcement, there are a bunch of federal law enforcement agencies that constantly looking for interns year round. Some of these agencies include the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Customs, Border Patrol, The Drug Enforcement Agency and the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bureau. However, keep in mind, internships in these agencies are HIGHLY competitive you better make sure you have stellar grades and recommendations when going after these internships. If you land an internship with one of these agencies, more than likely, you will be offered a job after successful completion.
There are so many internships in the criminal justice field. Just make sure you are enrolled in an accredited criminal justice program and do your best to get awesome grades.