Left to right: Officer Robert Thompson, Lycoming County Adult Probation, Judge Dudley Anderson, Lycoming County Court of Common Pleas.
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More than 40 members of local, state and federal criminal justice agencies took advantage of an open house at Lycoming College on May 4 to discuss ongoing needs, share news and network. They also learned more about potential collaboration opportunities with faculty and staff in the college’s Criminal Justice and Criminology department.
“Lycoming interns have significantly benefited our organization by helping to compile statistics and data for reports,” said Ed McCoy, chief adult probation officer in Lycoming County. “They’ve been a pleasure to work with, too, bringing great attitudes and a willingness to learn.”
McCoy’s agency has been working with interns from Lycoming College for years and plans to continue to benefit from their assistance during the upcoming academic year. Interns also help out in the courts and at the courthouse.
Deputy Warden Chris Ebner has also benefited from Lycoming interns. “The students were very reliable and amassed a large amount of information we normally would not have had at our fingertips that helped us make decisions and complete reports. In exchange, the students gained insights into real-world law enforcement, such as how Lycoming County’s criminal justice system operates as a whole. They hear our stories and the gut-wrenching sounds of someone detoxing in jail.”
Ebner finds that students are not deterred by the first-hand experiences, rather they become more committed to finding effective ways to minimize the number of people in jail through better prevention efforts, and to maximize the number of people who can productively reintegrate into society through counseling and training programs.
The networking event is one of several initiatives the college is taking to expand the number of student research and internship opportunities. The college also has hired a career coordinator, Lori Lyons, who organized the event. She will be working closely with the agencies to identify internships and post-graduation job opportunities for students.
The criminal justice system provides many good-paying and interesting jobs in a variety of fields including juvenile and adult probation programs; tracking, prosecuting and defending people accused of crimes; immigration enforcement; forensics; physical and mental health care to inmates, and counseling for offenders and victims; rehabilitation programs; and cybersecurity. Other areas of specialization that benefit from a liberal arts education include the identification and prosecution of financial misconduct, illegal trading of antiquities, and international offenses.
“We are very appreciative of the time so many people in the field have given to our students as guest speakers in our classes, and through internships and networking,” said Kerry Richmond, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice-Criminology. “They keep our students grounded in their studies by teaching them about the complexities of the field.”
Left to right: Detective Sergeant Christopher Kriner, Old Lycoming Township Police Department; Justin Medina, assistant professor of Criminal Justice at Lycoming College; Chief Robert Hetner, South Williamsport Police Department; Lycoming County Sheriff, Mark Lusk.