My role with the _____ County circuit courts varies pretty much daily. Originally I was assigned to circuit court three. As it turns out though, they have had a high school intern coming since the beginning of the semester also, who is interning for a class she has. I believe she comes in three times a week. In addition to this, they have a “floater” who rotates through all of the courts, there are seven, so they have more than enough help in their court. Most days when I go in, I start in court three, and then end up going to court services to help the ladies out there.
When I am in court three, I basically do the filing that has accumulated throughout the day. Depending on the day, and if the other intern or the floater has been there, there might be anywhere from ten minutes to an hour’s worth of filing to do. After this is done, I might “pull the mail,” meaning pull any files that correspond with mail the court has received. These might be warrants, certified mail, requests to continue, follow up letters referencing a court case, etc.
A few times, when there has been a computer available, I have been able to enter information into the JUSTIS system, mostly through certified mail cards. Sometimes I would enter information for small claims cases, and then if the attorney or plaintiff/defendant would need copies of the information, I would mail those out.
I would say the majority of my time spent at the courts was spent in court services though. Here I would do a lot of work for Mary, who is in charge of juvenile cases. A few weeks ago, I did many spreadsheets with data about juveniles who were either in detention centers, or placed in treatment centers, ranging from 1998-2002. She has to have record of this and needed the material in an organized data format, so I did a lot of that. I’ve also made many calls to agencies to see their “per diem” rates, or rates for those placed in those facilities per day that they stay.
Another project I have done for Mary was tracking her mileage as she has traveled from facility to facility to visit the juveniles placed there. These facilities are located in various other places around the state, so she often has to travel long distances to make these trips, and needs to track her mileage for record and compensation. These records also went back to I believe 1998 or 1999, and were recorded to the present date, so there was much tracking I had to do to figure out her total mileage per day, and then per year.
I’ve also worked several times with Lisa helping her. She is in charge of jurors and jury duty. She sends out notices once a month to those who are being called for jury duty for that month. I have helped her sort these names, put together the notices, and get them sent out to the potential jurors. This is a big job, as when it comes time to do it, she usually has boxes and boxes of notices needing to be sent out.
Something else I have done for court services would be to take their daily outgoing mail and run it through the postage machine to be sent out. This must happen about 5-6 times a day would be my guess. I have only done this a few times, but each time I have gone back, there was a replenished supply to be sent out. Also, sometimes I would take documents that needed to be mailed out from circuit court three to court services and put them in their corresponding lawyer’s mail slots, or send them out with the outgoing mail. Also, a few times I have had to take packages or documents for someone in court services down to the courthouse.
I have really enjoyed working in the court system, both in circuit court three and in court services. As a criminal justice major I think it has been a really good experience for me. I plan on graduating in December, and am hoping to go into Federal Investigations.
Another interesting aspect of the internship where I did it was that I got to work somewhat along side of a fellow criminal justice major that I have known since our freshman year. She and I have had every criminal justice class together except for P100. We both applied for the internship, but never knew we would end up in the same place, since there were quite a few options of places to work! Also, my resident assistant from freshman year also works part time in the court system, so I was kind of “reunited” with her, which was quite a coincidence, considering how big this campus is!
The last page of the paper is supposed to be additional comments about our good experiences and shortcomings of the internship. My good experiences would definitely be the people that I met and worked with there. They are a wonderful group of people, from the few I already knew, my fellow CJUS major and my R.A from freshman year, to everyone that I got to know and work with there. And Mary was wonderful especially. I felt like I could talk to her about “school stuff” since she graduated from IU also, whether it be to gripe about classes or get advice about the major/future plans.
I think the shortcoming I can think of would be that I ended up being an intern for circuit court three, not because I didn’t like it, just for the fact that they already had a high school intern and a floater, so there really was not much for me to do there at all. I literally would go in court three for about a half hour or so and then spend the rest of my time in court services. Honestly I wish I could have been a general intern for court services or a second intern to Mary. Court services was where I spent the majority of my time and I loved it.
I also was told when I did my orientation that I would probably get to sit in on court a few times and observe. To date I have not been able to do that. I don’t know if the time hasn’t worked out for when I’ve been working, or if there just hasn’t been much I’d be able to sit in on. I remember Mary telling me that court three did have drug court, which I have heard them talk about a few times, and I would have loved to sit in on this, because the Drug Enforcement Agency is one of the Federal agencies I’m very interested in. I would have definitely liked to participate in this aspect more than I was able to.
I would say this has definitely been my toughest semester. I ended up dropping a class early in the semester because I was trying to take 19 hours, including the internship, so it was really even more since I had to dedicate 10 hours a week to being there. At the beginning of the semester I thought I could handle all 19 hours and the internship, but I really felt like I didn’t have time to even sleep, let alone study, so something had to go. I was literally booked solid all week as I worked most of the day Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays I had class from 8-5 and then Wednesdays I would work all day also. And while I didn’t have classes on Fridays, I worked in my hometown at the job I have been working at for the past few summers; they let me come in part time and holidays so I can make some money. It was hard to juggle school, the internship, and my family situation this semester, but I’m glad I was given the opportunity for the internship, I really do believe it was beneficial.