Intern Explores Career in Criminal Justice

SF Youthworks is excited to announce that the Adult Probation Department has joined SF YouthWorks as a new placement for the 2011-2012 school year.

With its mission of “protecting the community, serving justice and changing lives” by providing community supervision of people sentenced to probation and released from state prison, Adult Probation is an interesting worksite for YW interns. Youth placed in the department work in the newly formed Reentry Division, which addresses the needs of individuals leaving the prison system.

Gary Victoria is the first SF Youthworks intern placed in the department and is being supervised by Jennifer Scaife, Reentry Resources Coordinator.  Gary has shares that he has “enjoyed meeting new people and learning about the criminal justice system through his internship.”  Gary also reports that he has gained administrative skills and improved his public speaking.  Some projects that he has worked on at Adult Probation include responding to requests for resource guides from incarcerated people, coordinating mass mailings, and organizing files.

His mentor Jennifer shares that her favorite aspect of being a mentor has been the opportunity to educate young people about the criminal justice system and to support their professional development.  As Jennifer explains, “the intern comes into the office with fresh eyes and it helps me remember what it is like to start a new career.”  Along with his work responsibilities, Gary responds that he has benefited from the advice that he has received from the Reentry Division staff to support his goal of attending college and pursuing a career in the criminal justice system.

For interns interested in working in the criminal justice system, Jennifer advises them to gain exposure to this field by volunteering.  She believes that this will enable young people to get a sense of possible jobs in the criminal justice field.  In addition, she encourages youth to visit a prison so that they are able to speak with individuals in the prison system to hear about their experiences behind bars.  SF Youthworks would like to thank Jennifer Scaife and all of the staff at the Adult Probation Department for participating in our program and for providing this enriching educational opportunity for our youth!