• Advice You're Thankful for Contest

    Now that it's getting close to Thanksgiving, we're running a contest to hear advice you've received that you're most thankful for! This can be any type of advice and the advice with the most reactions will win!

    JOIN CONTEST

Prison internship with limited experience?

dbph

New Member
Sep 13, 2013
4
0
  1. Psychology Student
    Hello,

    Long time reader - first time posting. Sorry for the long first post. I hope someone here can help with this set of questions...

    A good friend and I are both in the process of applying for internship this year. I am applying to university counseling centers and she is looking to apply to prisons. We are both in an APA accred. counseling psych program

    This questions is being asked on her behalf...

    A little background:
    She is just beginning her first practicum at a prison this year. So she will have a year of experience in a prison before starting internship but will be applying and (hopefully) interviewing in prisons with little direct experience. Also, her dissertation is focused on prison populations. Her proposal is accepted but data is not yet collected.

    She has two years experience at Univ counseling centers and a year in community mental health. She is only interested in prison work at this point and has been trying to get into a prison for some time. Unfortunately it has taken this long for her to get in the door for a practicum.

    One faculty member in our dept (the DCT) has suggested she wait a year, work on the diss and get prison experience and apply next year. Another faculty member (her chair) thinks if she interviews well and sells the fit for her professional goals she would have a good chance matching this year. All three people are discussing this matter and trying to work together so it is definitely not the case she is being pressured either way.

    The decision is being left up to my friend at this point how she would like to proceed.

    The Question:
    Is it realistic to apply, get interviews, and expect to match at a prison internship with limited experience?

    She has asked me to post this to get some insight from those who possibly matched at prisons re: their relevant background prior to internship, as well as those who work at prisons currently re: the need for experience before interviewing.

    Thanks so much for any and all help/suggestions.
     

    erg923

    Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
    10+ Year Member
    Apr 6, 2007
    10,415
    4,868
    1. Psychologist
      Hello,

      Long time reader - first time posting. Sorry for the long first post. I hope someone here can help with this set of questions...

      A good friend and I are both in the process of applying for internship this year. I am applying to university counseling centers and she is looking to apply to prisons. We are both in an APA accred. counseling psych program

      This questions is being asked on her behalf...

      A little background:
      She is just beginning her first practicum at a prison this year. So she will have a year of experience in a prison before starting internship but will be applying and (hopefully) interviewing in prisons with little direct experience. Also, her dissertation is focused on prison populations. Her proposal is accepted but data is not yet collected.

      She has two years experience at Univ counseling centers and a year in community mental health. She is only interested in prison work at this point and has been trying to get into a prison for some time. Unfortunately it has taken this long for her to get in the door for a practicum.

      One faculty member in our dept (the DCT) has suggested she wait a year, work on the diss and get prison experience and apply next year. Another faculty member (her chair) thinks if she interviews well and sells the fit for her professional goals she would have a good chance matching this year. All three people are discussing this matter and trying to work together so it is definitely not the case she is being pressured either way.

      The decision is being left up to my friend at this point how she would like to proceed.

      The Question:
      Is it realistic to apply, get interviews, and expect to match at a prison internship with limited experience?

      She has asked me to post this to get some insight from those who possibly matched at prisons re: their relevant background prior to internship, as well as those who work at prisons currently re: the need for experience before interviewing.

      Thanks so much for any and all help/suggestions.

      Dont hang around grad school longer than you have to, for goodness sake. Both for monetary reasons, as well as general quality of life. :)

      I interviewed at 2 BOP sites when i was going thru and had absoltely no forensic/correctional practicum experience. Both were fed prison medical centers though, so the focus was on health psych, not on traditional forensic psych stuff.
       

      Therapist4Chnge

      Neuropsych Ninja
      Moderator Emeritus
      Verified Expert
      15+ Year Member
      Oct 7, 2006
      21,958
      3,305
      The Beach
      1. Psychologist
        If I were the DCT I'd want to know how far along the student is on her dissertation, as that may impact her viability as an applicant. If she is on track to be able to defend by the end of her internship year, then I'd say go for it. If she is more likely to need more time, it's my opinion that she is *FAR* better served to take that year while she is still active and around her program than push it off to the year after her internship where students fall into the Post-Doc Trap of ABD.
         
        About the Ads

        docma

        Full Member
        10+ Year Member
        Oct 27, 2007
        791
        260
          If she can talk well about her experience with SMI and Axis II disorders (which do present in college and community settings as well) then she should not wait. Her interest and research focus will carry some weight. She may want to address how a counseling psych background can be mis-understood by those less familiar with the differences between counseling and clinical. But I don't see why she should not dive in now.
           
          About the Ads
          This thread is more than 8 years old.

          Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

          1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
          2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
          3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
          4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
          5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
          6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
          7. This thread is locked.