I was able to intern this summer at the Allegheny County Jail in the Diversion program. My internship started off with shadowing to get a general feel for the day-to-day operations of the jail and the many different programs and departments it has. Within a week or two I was moved into the Diversion program for my remaining months. For those who may not know, the ACJ Diversion program gets referrals from the courts as to which inmates may be eligible to be released from the jail under the condition that they complete an inpatient drug and alcohol program. It is the job of the Treatment Services Coordinators to assess each client to see if they meet criteria for inpatient care, choose a treatment facility that will best fit the needs of the client, coordinate the client's transfer from the jail to the treatment facility, and monitor their progress until they complete the program successfully.
As an intern, I was very grateful to be able to learn and execute some of the tasks of a Treatment Services Coordinator. I shadowed my supervisors as they went through the drug and alcohol assessments with the clients, and with time I was able to lead the assessments with supervision and eventually, complete them myself. Besides completing the drug and alcohol assessments, some of my other duties included writing referrals on behalf of the clients to the different treatment facilities and corresponding weekly with the clients' therapists to confirm their participation and progress while they were in treatment. As an LCJS and Psychology double major, I felt that this internship was the perfect combination of my interests. I would highly recommend the Diversion program in particular to anyone looking to go into criminal justice, corrections, counseling, or social work. The ACJ is very adaptive to students' individual interests and backgrounds.
Meg Caterino, Law, Criminal Justice, and Society & Psychology double major