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 the Adler School of Professional Psychology 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 six licensed staff psychologists available working at the youth center.

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

The eight goal areas of training identified by the AJJI program consistent with our practitioner-scholar model are:

  1. Therapeutic Relationship - Knowledge of and skill in relational therapeutics both as necessary and sufficient means of engaging and helping others
  2. Psychological Assessment - Knowledge of and skill in the design, administration, scoring, analysis and report writing of comprehensive assessments (including cognitive, achievement, personality, and neuropsychological assessment tools)
  3. Therapeutic Intervention - Knowledge of and skill in a range of intervention theories and methods; knowledge of and skill in evidence based practice; knowledge of and skill in case conceptualization and treatment planning, including treatment outcome assessment; knowledge of and skill in progress note and report writing, and record keeping
  4. Research/Evaluation - The integration of science and practice using the local clinical scientist model
  5. Consultation/Education - Knowledge of and skill in consultation and community education
  6. Management/Supervision - Knowledge of and skill in administrative and peer clinical supervision as well as peer mentorship
  7. Diversity - Knowledge of and sensitivity to individual and cultural diversity
  8. Socially Responsible Practice - Knowledge and appreciation of treating a person holistically and in his or her context, recognizing systemic and structural influences on health and wellbeing

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 School campus. Interns have access to the electronic journal resources of the Adler School, IT support and attendance at numerous workshops and activities provided by the school 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 full batteries annually


Each intern is assigned two licensed supervising 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 clinical supervisor.

Weekly Supervision
Individual Supervision (1 hour with two different psychologists) 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 sessions

Applying for the Internship

All prospective interns should submit the following documents to following the APPIC online application process:

  1. 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. A letter of eligibility from the applicant's director of clinical training

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 the Training Director, one of the training supervisors and a current intern. After all interviews have been completed the Training Director and supervors will determine 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 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.

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.