During the spring semester of 2019, I was honored to be selected to take part in the Prison Reentry Internship at SCI Rockview. Even with the unforeseen obstacles of this internship, I will forever treasure this opportunity because it has undoubtedly put more clarity into what I want to do with my life. Not only have I gained an immeasurable experience toward my desired career, but I have also been provided a glimpse into the current realities of the world we live in. This internship has allowed me the chance to increase my proximity to the world of incarcerated individuals far more than any other experience. Such instances, like listening to the narratives of the people incarcerated, or sitting in on group therapy sessions, are incomparable to simply learning about these individuals within the confines of a textbook or classroom. Whether it be a career within law enforcement or policymaking, I would highly recommend this opportunity to anyone interested in a field in the criminal justice system.
My academic and professional growth is attributable to my experience as an assistant researcher for the Criminal Justice Research Center, where I gained hands-on experience during my undergraduate education at Penn State. This experience significantly helped me during my graduate program search and aided my understanding of what type of career best fit my professional and personal interests. From my participation with this group, I became a more competitive applicant and was accepted and admitted into Marymount University’s Forensic & Legal Psychology MA program to further my education. As a researcher, I gained insight into the minds of incarcerated individuals and the facilities that housed them, thus helping me realize my desire to work in corrections and propelling me into my current job as a Probation Officer. I highly recommend that anyone interested in participating in a real-world application of Criminology and Criminal Justice join and gain some invaluable knowledge that this opportunity provides. This chance to actively play a role in Criminal Justice research and gain some valuable mentors is an opportunity that one should not miss out on.