At Curry College, Criminal Justice students have many internship opportunities to pursue throughout the criminal justice system. In part because of our alumni’s strong presence within the justice field and the longstanding vitality of the CJ program at Curry, our network of potential sites is expansive—and always growing.
Over just the past year, our students have worked as interns at the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Boston Police: Ballistics Unit, Boston Police: Crimes Against Children and Human Trafficking and Computer Forensics Unit, the Dedham Court, the Department of Corrections: Classification Unit, the Sheriff’s Department, the Department of Children and Families, various local Police Departments, the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, Juvenile Probation, and the U.S. Department of Labor—and more.
One of the reasons why our students thrive in their internships is due to the preparation they receive through our rigorous Criminal Justice curriculum, and through formal and informal mentorships with our faculty. Students are set up for success through concentrated coursework, which helps them learn about cutting-edge innovations in the field, as well as builds their professional skills which are essential in the workplace: strong communication, clarity in writing, the ability to organize, and critical thinking.
One of our students* who worked in probation commented on how he felt prepared for his internship because of the emphasis on strong communication skills within the CJ program. “Communicating in probation is key to obtaining good relationships. This skill was obtained from doing multiple presentations in class that gave me the skill to speak confidently in front of people and maintain a good conversation. When I started at Curry as a first-year student, I was very quiet and would never like to present in front of people and would get anxious when I had to. By my junior year, I was very confident when presenting and speaking in front of a group of people. This skill helped me out a lot when having to conduct interviews with [clients] to fill out intake forms and maintain a good conversation.”
Once placed at an internship site, students are further supported by close contact with a faculty supervisor and a seminar course where they can talk about what they’re learning and discuss site expectations. This contact keeps students connected to the school while they are out in the field, knowing they have support as they begin their professional journeys.
“My knowledge within this field has grown immensely from the time I began this internship,” said Kyle Panas ’24, who interned at a local hospital. “As long as you are observant and willing to learn there is no excuse to not take away many valuable lessons from this job site. I now know how to de-escalate situations, restrain combative [individuals], efficiently write use of force reports, conduct safety searches of persons and belongings, in addition to many other tasks and abilities.”
Moreover, our placement partners regularly report how happy they are with Curry College interns—and with the supportive Curry faculty members who serve as field supervisors. “The faculty supervisor serves as a mentor to students and a resource for the site supervisor helping to establish the learning goals, manage internship expectations, and maintain an open channel of communication to support our students and our partner organizations,” said Dawn Couture, Associate Lecturer of Sociology and Criminal Justice and Faculty Supervisor. “We are excited to have a network of internship partner organizations offering experiential learning and career exploration opportunities to our students; the next generation of leaders in the fields of criminal justice, sociology, law, and social work.”
Dr. Jennifer Balboni, Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, emphasizes the importance of the internship experience for our students. “The justice field is at a critical crossroads in the United States. We’re trying to prepare students to be the change that they want to see happen,” she said.
“My ideas of ‘work’ in the criminal justice system have shifted in a positive way by seeing how I can make a difference in the world. Supporting people in the right way helps an individual see that there’s a way to turn around what they’ve done, and that they can still make a positive impact in their life,” said a recent alum* on how his experience has changed his ideas about the criminal justice field.
For students interested in more information on Criminal Justice internships at Curry, please contact Internship Facilitator Rebecca Kendall.
*Due to several of our recent graduates currently working in sensitive law enforcement roles, some of their names have been redacted from this article for privacy.