Internship- New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission
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Elizabeth Rutere
Majors: Crime, Law, and Justice
Minor: Sociology
Hometown: Rahway, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I was able to network with a friend’s family member, who put me in contact with someone at the Justice Commission.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The second week of the program, I got an opportunity to supervise the juveniles in the Elizabeth Day Program. My supervisor is in charge of all the write ups that the juveniles get. Every 30 days in the program, my supervisor and the person conducting the probation review holds a meeting with the juvenile and whoever has legal custody of them, and they review his progress.

“I would definitely recommend doing an internship to other Liberal Arts students. This experience really helped me work toward my future goals.”

I sat in on three probation reviews. Watching the reaction of the staff and their interaction with the probationer, I realized how much the staff really cared about the kids. These young men have broken the law and it is the staff members’ jobs to make sure that punishment is being implemented. However, although they want to discipline the young men, they also want to help these individuals make better life choices. Looking from the inside, you can really observe the care they have for these kids, and they are harsh with them because they want them to realize the seriousness of their crimes.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Interning with the JJC has given me an opportunity to get hands-on experience working with juveniles. It has taught me that people really do not know how much work the JJC and its staff puts into helping these individuals on their road to becoming law-abiding citizens.

What are your career goals and plans? How did this experience impact them?

I plan on becoming a probation officer and helping these kids make better life decisions and make sure they get the supervision necessary to keep them off the streets. This experience impacted me in that it gave me an opportunity to speak to these individuals and watch them work.

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