Criminal Justice Internships

  • Local Police Departments
  • CIA
  • FBI
  • United States Treasury Agencies
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons

Part of any law enforcement education is finding work experience; looking at the below five internships for criminal justice students will help a student understand what pathway within the field they'd like to pursue. From working with agents clandestine operations in the CIA to learning how to fix the prison system from the inside out, these internships are challenging and rewarding for any student interested in becoming a part of the American law enforcement community.

Resource: 50 Best Value Colleges for a Criminal Justice Degree

1. Local Police Departments

Students interested in an internship with a police force should have to look no further than their local police department. Each police force offers different internship programs, but all include the opportunity to work alongside a police officer, gain an understanding of the differences between an interview and an interrogation, and aid in criminal investigations. These programs were built to provide students with a look into how policing works in communities, allowing them to get first-hand experience in protecting the community they live in.

2. CIA

The Central Intelligence Agency has one of the most interesting internship programs on the list. This paid internship, which lasts for one year and pays students $42,331, requires students to move to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area for the duration of the program. Students will perform some of the same duties and tasks of a Collection Management Officer, helping them to understand what the process is behind the collection and distribution of human intelligence, foreign intelligence, and how intelligence is analyzed. It is encouraged that freshmen students interested in becoming a part of the agency apply as early as possible.

3. FBI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is the home of the Honors Internship Program, a 10-week, paid program for undergraduates. Students can pick three field offices or the headquarters in Washington, D.C. or Quantico, Virginia, allowing them to see what field officers do during the course of their workday. Students will also find that the program will introduce them to the different pathways that are available within the Bureau, giving them the chance to find new career paths that they may not have been aware of previously. Based on a student's skill set, which is determined by an interview and exam process, they may find themselves working with a data analyst, a field officer, or with executive management.

4. United States Treasury Agencies

Few students know that the United States Treasury Department has its own law enforcement agency that delivers internship programs. It is an interesting and unique opportunity for students interested in financial crimes; the department has jurisdiction over federal crimes involving fraud, money laundering, and more. This program is meant to give students an introduction into the investigation of financial crimes and how the law enforcement agency within the department handles those crimes. The program can run from 10 to 12 weeks and is dependent on a student's skill set and what the department is currently looking for in interns.

5. Federal Bureau of Prisons

The Federal Bureau of Prisons hosts an excellent paid internship program for students. The Pathway Program was created to enlighten students on how the Bureau works to maintain the prison system in the United States. The program gives students first-hand experience in a federal job and provides on-the-job training as well as educational opportunities. The program also concludes with a review process, and, if the student has excelled, the potential for an employment offer.

Students have a lot of options when it comes to getting work experience in the law enforcement sector, but few can give you a better understanding of how it works than the ones listed above. These are five internships for criminal justice students that every serious candidate for a law enforcement position should take a serious look at when planning for work experience opportunities.