Human Services/Social Work Students with Criminal Justice Involvement and Internships: A Closer Look at the Prison to College to Career Pathway

Lisa Hale Rose


This qualitative study looks at the issues and dilemmas that confront human services students who have had contact with the criminal justice system, through interviews with students and professionals in the field who typically supervise interns.  Researchers note an increase in the numbers of students, many of who are adult learners, with criminal justice histories, and who have an interest in the helping professions. Interviews reveal unanticipated roadblocks when students must be placed in internships.  Thus, justice involved students may encounter unforeseen barriers to a career in human services, in spite of the open access community colleges provide, and the human services professional emphasis on social justice. Students describe the process of disclosing their justice involvement as both arduous and healing and profoundly important for themselves, their fellow students, and future clients.  Researchers also note that agencies do not have a coherent policy around accepting justice involved student interns.


Criminal Justice, Human Services and Social Work Education, Adult Learning

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