Sociology Class

Criminal Justice Program

Real-Life Experience

Juniata College's Criminal Justice Program offers experiential learning opportunities that will prepare students for the work that lies ahead.

This is a crucial time to prepare students for professions in criminal justice with transformational conversations taking place about changes in policing, corrections, and the courts. Juniata’s Criminal Justice Program provides valuable experiential learning opportunities including personalized internships, mentored research, nationally-recognized Mock Trial team, and the Inside-Out coursework offerings in partnership with the State Correctional Institutions at Huntingdon and Smithfield. Students work closely with advisers to secure real-life experience that complements studies, interests, and career goals. “We’re preparing students to ask critical questions of the systems and engage in change efforts instead of maintaining the status quo,” said Jacoba Rock, assistant professor of social work, criminal justice, and sociology at Juniata. Learn more and schedule a time to talk with Juniata about your education and future internship possibilities.

Judge Carol (Eichelberger) Van Horn ’79

Carol (Eichelberger) Van Horn portrait

Senior Judge, Franklin County, Pa. Court of Common Pleas

Internship: Huntingdon County Court of Common Pleas

Years before President Judge Carol (Eichelberger) Van Horn ’79 became the first female to take the bench in the Court of Common Pleas of Franklin County, Pa., she had the opportunity to serve in an internship as a criminal justice student at Juniata. This “real-life experience in what it was like to practice law,” as she describes it, took place in the Court of Common Pleas of Huntingdon County as she shadowed the late President Judge Morris Terrizzi.

Van Horn’s internship provided the opportunity to observe and discuss legal proceedings, to conduct legal research and participate in special projects. The experience deeply affected Van Horn. “It sparked my interest to think about becoming a judge someday. It also shaped my approach as an attorney – with every client I know there are two sides to every issue and as a good attorney, and ultimately a good judge you must consider both sides,” she said. “The internship shaped my decision-making process to go to law school and how I ultimately handled clients in private practice and later as a judge.” Van Horn retired in January of 2020 and now serves as Senior Judge.

Benjamen Grantham '00

Benjamen Grantham portrait

Patrol Supervisor, Prince William County, Va. Police Department

Internship: Huntingdon County Sheriff's Office

Prince William County, Va., Police Department Patrol Supervisor Benjamen Grantham ‘00 completed an internship with the Huntingdon County Sheriff’s Office as an undergrad studying Criminal Justice at Juniata.

“The Sheriff’s Office provided me with an opportunity to see the actual functioning day-to-day work of a law enforcement official,” he said. “In the opportunity I was taught day-to-day life, what was a priority within the community, and how to approach it.”

The dynamics of the internship gave Grantham exposure to many different aspects of policing: connecting with the community; collection and proper storage of evidence; traffic and speed enforcement; and the pace of police work in general. “The experience solidified for me that I wanted to stay in law enforcement,” said Grantham.

Tori Booher '20

Tori Booher '20

Cove Forge Behavioral Health Center, Williamsburg, Pa.

Internship: Re-entry Service Office (RSO) at SCI Huntingdon

Recent graduate Tori Booher ’20 earned a degree in social work with criminal justice training. As a student, she completed an internship in the Re-entry Service Office (RSO) at SCI Huntingdon in which she focused on equipping inmates to assimilate back into society following incarceration. The RSO program provides classes in life skills such as parenting, budgeting, and building healthy relationships in the year following release.

Booher specifically focused on the apprenticeship program designed to secure jobs for inmates post-release, in an effort to help them succeed and to reduce recidivism. “The program was a hit and very successful,” said Booher. She created a resource manual which was provided to every trade union in Pennsylvania and gave inmates a tool for outreach. Only days after implementation of the program, 15 RSO program participants received responses from prospective employers and four had secured start dates. Six weeks later, 25 of those enrolled through the RSO had letters and more had found employment. “We were seeing the success rate right before our eyes,” Booher said.

Booher now works for Cove Forge Behavioral Health Center in Williamsburg, Pa., and says her internship helped prepare her for the position. “It was intimidating going into a maximum-security prison, but the experience gave me the courage to not judge and to remain open minded. This really opened my eyes to being more empathic and caring toward all populations,” she said.

Savannah Parson '18

Savannah Parson '18

Fair Housing Specialist at Fair Housing Partnership of Greater Pittsburgh, Inc.

Teaching Assistant: Introduction to Sociology, Inside-Out Program

Savannah Parson ’18 was a teaching assistant (TA) for the Inside-Out Program while studying social organization and change with sociology and peace and conflict studies at Juniata. “I was really interested in going into the prison and being able to interact and engage with the content in a whole new way,” she said. The Inside-Out Program brings traditional undergraduate students into the prison to study alongside incarcerated individuals also earning college credits. In her role as TA for Introduction to Sociology, Parson graded journals, made sure students were prepared to go through security, and completed administrative tasks to support the delivery of class inside the prison.

The experience with the Inside-Out Program has shaped Parson’s current career. After graduation, she did two service years with Repair the World, a social justice organization working within cities across the country. In this role, Parson participated in multiple initiatives having to do with prison reform and justice. Her Juniata internship experience opened doors in Pittsburgh where she worked with the Carnegie Library to organize employment readiness groups, family activities for visitation days, and movie discussion groups within the Allegheny County Jail. “I would not have qualified for this position if I did not have the experience and the comfort in entering correctional spaces because of what I had done with the Inside-Out Program,” Parson said.

Related Content

Think About Who You Are