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The Office of Transitional Services (OTS) is the department’s internal office responsible for ensuring that NJDOC facility social services are coordinated in a manner consistent with national standards for reentry, social work and case management practice. The goal of OTS is to implement a seamless continuum of care for offenders utilizing cost efficient well-proven behavioral science practices system wide to increase offenders’ abilities and their motivation to demonstrate responsible crime free behavior. Through intensive evidence based programming, offenders are provided with the tools necessary to become productive members of the community.

Academic Requirements
Internship or “field placement” opportunities are available to candidates who are in a Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) or Masters of Social Work (MSW) program.  Field placement assignments are available at selected facilities in which the Social Work Supervisor (SWS) is currently certified in the Seminar In Field Instructions (SIFI) and in certain instances, possess an active LSW or LCSW with the State of New Jersey.  

Social Work Learning Contracts are required for the academic semester/year (Fall and Spring Semesters).  The Learning Contract is to be written by the field instructor after meeting with the student to discuss the goals and assignments for the academic year.  The goals and assignments are based on the BSW and/or MSW Program’s advanced competencies.

Students must be able to apply ethical principles to guide professional practice and clearly demonstrate social work core values and have an understanding of the National Association of Social Work (NASW) Code of Ethics.

Description of Learning Assignments/Opportunities:
The student should be assigned learning opportunities which build on first year roles and skills of enabler, broker, advocate, and coordinator while providing the opportunities to develop second year roles of case management at the advanced level.  Therefore students may be given the following social work assignments:

1.  Conducting inmate intake assessments using DOC Intake/Discharge Assessments,    and other standardized instruments. 
2.  Engaging inmates and developing program plans for incarceration and program registration.
3.  Group session observation and/or co-facilitation where appropriate skill set has been clearly established and demonstrated by student.
4.  Community resource development and implementation for the inmates’ transition and
reentry plan.

Additional Learning Objectives include but are not limited to:

Policy development, program development, group participant recruiting, organizational analysis, and leadership skills building, ethical decision making, use of empathy, client boundaries, culture diversity and sensitivity, case documentation and effective written communication, etc.

BSW/MSW Field Placement for non-NJDOC Employees:

All requests for field placement for students who are not currently employed with the department must be received at minimum 45 days prior to the start of the semester.  Students must pass all DOC medical and security clearance consisting of a criminal background check and fingerprinting.  Students must be able and willing to travel to correctional facilities located throughout the state (within reason), as well as to Central Office Headquarters, Trenton, NJ to attend weekly supervision meetings (where applicable).   The University must also complete the Agreement to Cooperatively Provide Educational Services: Student Internship Programs, for each student.

BSW/MSW Field Placement for current NJDOC Employees:

NJDOC employees requesting to conduct field placement hours with the department must follow appropriate procedures through their university to secure dual work site/field placement approval.  Assignments under the field placement must differ and/or be in addition to the employee’s normal work duties and responsibilities, as to provide an enriching well rounded learning experience for the student.  Dual DOC staff/students may be required to complete additional hours, evenings 4p-6p, and travel to additional correctional facilities/offices in order receive academic credit and complete the required number of field placement hours per semester.  Time spent completing the required field placement hours are not entitled to compensation time. 

Dual DOC staff/students must be current on all work assignments, and in good standing with the department. The current supervisor must also provide a letter of recommendation indicating their approval of the employee’s involvement in the dual process.  The university must also complete the Agreement to Cooperatively Provide Educational Services: Student Internship Programs, for each student.

All requests for internships in Social Work Practice must be approved by the Director of the Office of Transitional Services.

For more information about the MSW/ BSW internship experience please contact:

 NJDOC-Office of Transitional Services
Field Placement Coordinator

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