Adler Juvenile Justice Internship

Adler Juvenile Justice Internship Program

The Adler Juvenile Justice Internship Program (AJJI) 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

  • $28,352 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:

  • Relationship – Demonstrate entry level competency including knowledge and skill in developing effective relationships as a means of engaging and helping others.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Consultation/Education – Development of entry level competency in consultation, community education and psycho-educational activities.
  • 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.
  • Diversity – Development of knowledge, respect and sensitivity for individual and cultural diversity dimensions and competency integrating these in clinical practice.
  • 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.

For information on how to apply for the Adler Juvenile Justice Internship program, admission criteria, and selection procedures, visit the application page.

Internship Admission, Support, and Outcome Data

Click here for the aggregate post-doctoral positions of the previous three intern year cohorts.

Click here for the internship program admission requirements.

Click here for the internship program financial and benefit support.

Core Clinical Training Team


The Adler Juvenile Justice Internship Program at Adler Community Health Services is accredited by the American Psychological Association.  The Commission on Accreditation of the APA can be contacted at:

Commission on Accreditation
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First St. NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
(202) 336-5979