TX Teens Work As Jail Interns; Program May Help Recruitment


Some Irving, TX high school students are spending their school days in jail – not as inmates, but as interns, reports the Dallas Morning News. Maclovio Martinez, 18, recently was on the job, sitting in the jail’s glassed-in control room. “On TV, prisoners look mean, but if you’re nice to them, they’re nice to you,” said Maclovio, who’d like to be a police officer or engineer someday. “My mom didn’t like the idea of me working here at first. She thought I’d end up getting hurt. But she let me.”

The jail internship is a pilot program that started in September. Such programs are unusual nationally, mostly from safety concerns about having students in close proximity to inmates, said Joe Coffee of the National Partnership for Careers in Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security. Many in corrections are desperate to recruit young people because detention officer positions are often hard to fill with qualified workers. Turnover is high. “Corrections probably has a difficult image they have to deal with, which should be a reason to do more of the things Irving is doing,” Coffee said. High school criminal justice teacher Justin Harper, who worked in a jail before becoming a police officer, said the experience is valuable. He hopes to expand the program to have students intern in emergency dispatch. “They’ve said they didn’t realize how many crazy things people do when they come in the jail,” he said. “I would say it’s a really life-changing experience.”

Link: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/112908dnmetirvingjailinterns.3699152

Comments are closed.