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Criminal Justice Internships - An Evaluation

NCJ Number
M J Palmiotto
Date Published
43 pages
An evaluation of the internship program of the Law Enforcement Department of Western Illinois University found that both students and involved agency personnel perceived the program to be beneficial.
Data for the evaluation of the program were obtained from two questionnaires: one designed for agency supervisors of internships and the second designed for graduates who served an internship. Overwhelmingly, the graduates perceived their internship as a valuable learning experience, although about one-third felt they had been observers rather than participants in agency activities, and one-third said they would not again select the same agency for an internship. The primary internship activities performed were contact with field personnel, community relations, patrol, and research assignments. According to the agencies, the interns were prepared by education and training for their internship. A majority of the agencies indicated the program to be a success. The program could be improved by having the internship coordinator further clarify for agency coordinators the objectives to be accomplished during an internship. An orientation session for both interns and agency and department coordinators would help eliminate some confusion about the tasks expected of interns. Further, an exit interview should be conducted by the agency to obtain feedback from the interns. A formal evaluation of the internship agency by the returning intern would also be valuable. Tabular data are supplied, and the two questionnaires are appended, along with a bibliography of 10 listings.