Internship: Northampton County Prison
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Juliana Wade

Paterno Fellow
Major: Crime, Law, and Justice
Minors: Psychology, Sociology, & Political Science
Hometown: Bethlehem, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found this internship through a family friend in order to fulfill my rehabilitation and human services major requirement.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

For several weeks, I have been working in a rotation in each of the departments within the Northampton County Prison. This rotation is scheduled in a way that I can observe the various responsibilities connected with each job position and department. So far, I have been monitoring inmate activities and behavior, including both supervision and inmate interactions. I have also assisted with the classification and reclassification of various inmates in order to assess their required security level and have entered their information into the Jail Management System. In addition, I have fingerprinted and photographed the incoming inmates in the Central Booking Center. Thus far I have become acquainted with the prison's policies and have gained experience with interpreting Court orders, remands, and releases. My next project will involve an analysis of past inmate records to learn if inmates with mental illness are more likely to recidivate than inmates without mental illness and to learn the average sentence length for an inmate with a mental illness.

"This internship exposed me to a variety of positions within the criminal justice field and made me even more confident in my plans for post-graduation."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This opportunity gave me real-world experience and has further educated me about working within the Department of Corrections. I learned case management skills, including the classification of inmates and their subsequent housing within the prison and how to administer the MMPI to inmates that are eligible for work release. It has afforded me a better understanding of criminal offenders and the criminal justice system. I have also assisted with fingerprinting and booking inmates, while learning how to complete the multiple forms that are included in the offender's case file. It has also been interesting to hear the personal stories from the various inmates and how their life choices/lack of resources has resulted in this interaction with the justice system.

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

My future plan after graduation includes applying for graduate programs with an emphasis in clinical psychology and mental health counseling, as well as obtaining my Juris Doctor. This internship exposed me to a variety of positions within the criminal justice field. I have worked with inmates with mental illnesses and have observed the issues that affect a large sum of the inmate population. Overall, this experience made me even more confident in my plans for post-graduation. It also made me realize that community interventions may be the most beneficial for at risk individuals so they do not fall into the cycle of violence.

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