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Sociology Student Shadows Attorneys & Builds Skills to Work in Criminal Justice System

Da'Jah Jones
Da’Jah Jones, Senior Sociology major successfully completed a summer internship with The Ogeechee Public Defender’s Office in Bulloch County under Chief Public Defender, Ms. Renata Newbill-Jallow. Courses such as Introduction to Social Services, Practice Skills in Social Services, Child Welfare and Family Service, and Social Welfare Policy prepared Da’Jah for this excellent internship opportunity. Da’Jah is currently deciding between pursuing her Master’s Degree in Social Work or her Juris Doctor. Here’s what Da’Jah had to say about her sociology internship experience:

 

 
 

While working at the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit (OJC), I got to fully experience how the court and jail system is run here in Bulloch County. Additionally, I have been able to see how the lawyer-client relationship works by attending meetings with inmates and other types of clients. Before starting this internship, I wasn’t sure which area of law I wanted to practice, and now I’ve set my mind to Family and Criminal Law services. While working in the OJC, I’ve been able to see cases of family violence which can include child abuse, domestic violence, or neglect. I know that this is where my passion lies, this internship has given me the ability to become as hands-on as possible that I can be without the proper credentials. The Public Defenders let interns read over and analyze their case files (while stressing confidentiality, of course) and offer our thoughts and perspectives on cases. I shadowed the lawyers of the OJC to court, jail, Regional youth detention center visits, etc. This experience was very eye-opening and reassuring for my future. Working with people from low-income backgrounds of all races allowed me to see how the criminal justice system reacts to those with and without privileges as well as the racial and economic disparities apparent in our criminal justice system here in Bulloch County and other surrounding areas. Outside of criminal court cases, I was also able to see the processes of family court and mental health court. Upon completion of this internship, I applied to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in the upcoming August class and plan to complete another three-hour internship with the Department of Juvenile Justice in the fall. I hope to become the best possible student, professional, and leader; working with the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit this summer has pushed me in that direction.

 
If you’re interested in learning more about potential sociology internships, please contact Dr. April Schueths, Sociology Internship Coordinator and Associate Professor at aschueths@georgiasouthern.edu.

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