FSU Criminology Internship Spotlight: The Public Defender’s Office
The Criminology Internship program awards college credit to students working full- or part-time in a myriad of offices, agencies, firms, and organizations affiliated with the criminal justice system. Students are encouraged to partner their career interests in law, law enforcement, corrections, the state legislature, and federal agencies to gain insight into their chosen professions.
One of the more popular agencies students choose is the Public Defender’s office. The Public Defender is responsible for providing a defense attorney to those individuals who have been arrested and cannot afford an attorney. With only a few attorneys on staff, the Public Defender’s office relies heavily upon undergraduate interns to assist them with the investigations. FSU Criminology & Criminal Justice interns are responsible for doing all of the intake interviews of the Public Defender’s clients. This entails spending an hour or more interviewing the clients to find out what specifically transpired that lead to their arrest, their criminal history, and information about their childhood, work history, or any other information that might be pertinent to their case. Interns are also responsible for tracking down victims and witnesses to get statements from them, transcribing phone calls, going to the jail to get clients to sign plea agreements or other legal documents, as well as going out into the field to visit crime scenes and interview witnesses and victims.