Adler Juvenile Justice Internship Program

Serving some of Chicago's 
most derserving communities.

Serving some of Chicago's
most derserving communities.

Adler Juvenile Justice Internship Program (AJJI)

The Adler Juvenile Justice Internship Program is based on a partnership between the ACHS division of Adler University and the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice and serves incarcerated youth at the Illinois Youth Center in St. Charles, Illinois. Interns work with primarily underserved minority youth and provide a variety of psychological services to the youth, collaborate with mental health staff and are an integral part of the multidisciplinary team serving these youth in order to assist them in returning to their communities.

Interns provide individual and group treatment to youth, as well as comprehensive psychological evaluations, intake assessments, and crisis intervention services on a regular basis to juveniles residing in the facility. Under supervision, they function in the various services, roles and activities typical of a professional psychologist in this forensic setting. Through their clinical work and training activities, interns become competent in key areas of clinical intervention, diagnostic assessment, professional development, multicultural issues, and professional ethics and standards. The primary objective of the program is to prepare interns to become entry-level clinical psychologists. The internship program offers three full-time positions. The internship year runs from the beginning of September and ends one year later at the end of August.

Program Structure

Interns are trained by a team of diverse and well-qualified Illinois licensed clinical psychologists. The core training team includes the Training Director, three AJJI Training supervisors and the Mental Health Clinic Treatment Administrator at the Youth Center facility. The interns are also supported and can receive additional consultation, professional socialization and training opportunities from the eight licensed staff psychologists available working at the youth center and other mental health professionals.

Intern Compensation

  • $23,000 annual stipend
  • Two weeks paid vacation
  • Audit up to three courses annually
  • State of Illinois holidays
  • Sick time accrued monthly

Training Model

Professional psychology has been defined by Adler Community Health Services as the application of psychological knowledge and skills to forward the improvement of the human condition in the broadest sense with an emphasis on the direct delivery of professional services, including the design, implementation, and evaluation of assessment and change strategies as they are applied to individuals, families, groups, couples, and organizations.

The AJJI program is modeled after  the practitioner-scholar model of training as articulated by the National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology (NCSPP). Throughout training, the integration of knowledge, skills, and professional attitudes in program areas established by NCSPP is emphasized. The program utilizes the seven core NCSPP areas and one additional area in socially responsible practice, consistent with our mission.

Program Goals

Two broad program goals of training are identified by the AJJI program consistent with our practitioner-scholar model and mission:

The primary goal of the program is to prepare interns for entry level clinical psychology practice who are grounded in the foundational scientific knowledge of the profession and who have applied functional skills for competent practice. A second and related goal is to prepare interns for entry level practice that integrates socially responsible practice skills and an appreciation of social justice issues.

Program Objectives

AJJI identifies the training program objectives to prepare interns in the substantive core areas of psychology and foster the development of entry level competency in these practice skill areas:

  1. Relationship – Demonstrate entry level competency including knowledge and skill in developing effective relationships as a means of engaging and helping others.
  2. Psychological Assessment – Development of entry level competency in diagnostic and assessment skills. This includes diagnostic interviewing skills and design, administration, scoring, analysis and report writing of comprehensive psychological assessments.
  3. Therapeutic Intervention – Development of entry level competency in intervention methods. This includes knowledge and skill in a range of intervention theories and methods; evidence-based practice; case conceptualization and treatment planning, and treatment outcome assessment and record keeping.
  4. Research/Evaluation – Using the local clinical scientist model, development of competency in integration of scientific evidence and scholarly inquiry in practice and evaluation skills in professional activities.
  5. Consultation/Education – Development of entry level competency in consultation, community education and psycho-educational activities.
  6. Supervision/Management – Development of entry level competency in clinical supervision and management of professional activities. Effective use of supervision to guide clinical work as well as initial supervisory skill development in providing supervision and mentorship.
  7. Diversity – Development of knowledge, respect and sensitivity for individual and cultural diversity dimensions and competency integrating these in clinical practice.
  8. Socially Responsible Practice – Appreciation for holistic understanding of individuals and competency clinically integrating contextual, systemic and structural influences on health and wellbeing. Development of ethical and professional values and behavior in clinical practice.

Internship Training Activities

Interns provide clinical services in the form of individual, group and family treatment as well as intake, crisis intervention and assessments. They receive two hours of individual and two hours of group supervision each week, attend weekly seminars and didactics, a monthly offsite training day and participate in other meetings and seminars throughout the internship. Clinical services and training are primarily provided at the Illinois Youth Center with the monthly full day training occurring at the Adler University campus. Interns have access to the electronic journal resources of Adler University, IT support and attendance at numerous workshops and activities provided by the University to support their internship training and learning opportunities. 

Typical Clinical Activities for Interns
Direct Individual Cases 10 hours per week (approx. 8-10 cases)
Crisis Intervention/Brief Treatment Services 8 hours per week (approx. 10 cases)
Intake Services 2 hours per week coverage
Assessment/Testing Minimum of 6 comprehensive batteries annually


Each intern is assigned two training supervisors who are licensed clinical psychologists. Interns meet one hour per week for supervision with each of the two supervisors. Interns also participate in a two hour group supervision meeting weekly with a licensed training supervisor.

Weekly Supervision
Individual Supervision (1 hour with two licensed supervisors) 2 hours per week
Group Supervision (with licensed supervisor) 2 hours per week
Triage Meeting (brief daily required meeting w/Licensed Treatment Admin) 1 hour per week
Monthly Seminars
Diversity and Socially Responsible Practice 1 hour seminar monthly (12 annually)
Evidence Based Practice 1 hour seminar monthly
Clinical Supervision 1 hour seminar monthly
Special Topics/Invited Speakers 1 hour seminar monthly
Formal Case Conceptualization 2 hour session monthly
Weekly Seminars
Assessment Seminar 1 hour per week
Ethics and Professional Development 1 hour per week
Intervention Seminar 1 hour per week
Other Meetings/Activities
Extern Supervision/Mentorship 1 hour per week
Monthly Therapy Case Conference 12, 2 hour sessions
Monthly Program Review Meeting 12, 1 hour monthly meetings
Monthly Youth Center Mental Health Department Meeting 12, 1 hour monthly meetings

Applying for the Internship

All prospective interns should submit the following documents following the APPIC online application process and provide all data through the APPI form (no additional documents are required):

  1. Cover letter of intent summarizing interest in psychology, experience, training, internship training goals, and reasons for applying to the program
  2.  APPIC Application for Psychology Internships (AAPI)
  3. Current curriculum vitae
  4. Official transcripts of all graduate work
  5. Letters of recommendation from at least three professionals who are familiar with you and your work, including two letters from clinical placement supervisors
  6. Eligibility from the applicant's director of clinical training as specified on the AAPI form

Selection Procedure

Applications are reviewed by the Training Director and training supervisors and rated on the applicant’s submitted materials and the team will determine the final applicants who will be invited to interview. An on-site interview is required for all final applicants to assure familiarity with the correctional setting and environment. Those invited to interview will be interviewed by members of the training team, including the Training Director, training supervisors, current interns and the post-doctoral resident. After all interviews have been completed the Training Director consults with the training team to develop the rank list for submission to the APPIC match program. Internship offers are made in compliance with APPIC guidelines. All internship offers are conditional on successful completion of a required state background clearance and drug screening. The internship site agrees to abide by the APPIC policy that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information from any intern applicant. The AJJI program adheres to all Adler University, state, federal and local nondiscrimination policies.

Accreditation Status

The AJJI program at Adler Community Health Services has been an APPIC member for the past 12 years. In August, 2013, the program received a stimulus grant from the APA Board of Educational Affairs to support seeking accreditation and is currently in the process of completing a self-study with the intention of pursuing APA accreditation.

AJJI Internship Manual: The internship manual provides detailed information on the program staff, training activities, policies, due process procedures and program services and operations.

AJJI Brochure: Learn more about the Adler Juvenile Justice Internship Program at the Illinois Youth Center-St. Charles.