This program offers a number of paid Internships to graduate students in psychology. Internship placements are in various prison facilities across North Carolina with either male or female inmate populations in either the youth or adult commands. Most of these Internships involve working with an outpatient mental health team following a community mental health center model with the communities served being a large institution or a number of smaller prison units. However, there are also opportunities to intern in specialized programs for mentally retarded inmates, mentally ill inmates and for sex offenders. Some of these programs are based on an Inpatient or Residential model while others follow a Day treatment or partial hospitalization model.

All of the Internship sites are committed to helping the student acquire those generic clinical skills necessary to perform the duties of a Psychological Associate in a health service setting. A written evaluation of the Intern's professional skills and personal abilities will be conducted midway through the Internship and a final evaluation will be conducted giving the Intern's strength and areas needing further improvement.

There are general characteristics of all the Internships regardless of the setting. The Internship starts with a period of observation and familiarization with clinical/counseling work in a correctional setting. During this initial period, the Intern reads policy and procedure manuals and becomes familiar with the documentation required for mental health services. Concurrently, the Intern accompanies a psychologist and observes mental health evaluations, therapy sessions, crisis interventions, and group therapy. When the staff and the Intern both feel comfortable with additional independence, the Intern begins conducting mental health screenings and assumes an individual therapy case load while being observed by a psychologist supervisor.

All Interns are provided experience with conducting mental health screenings with a population that contains serious mental health disorders as well as personality disorders. The Intern will have the opportunity to interview and evaluate a sample of psychotic and affective disorders as well as various personality disorders. He/she will also observe Psychiatric Clinics and become familiar with the major types of chemotherapy. The Intern will have an opportunity to administer, under supervision, the WAIS-III, MMPI-2, and techniques used for risk assessment for violent recidivism. Training in projectives may be included in the Internship. The Intern will also visit other Division of Prison programs in addition to the primary placement to become familiar with the range of services offered.

For additional information contact:

Beltran Pages, MD
Section Chief,  Mental Health Section
North Carolina Division of Prisons
P.O. Box MSC 4277
Raleigh, NC 27699-4277

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                                                                                                                        updated 7/27/04