March 31, 2016 at 10:25 am

Sociology-Criminology Senior Interns with Adult Parole Authority

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Arts & Sciences Career & Internship Information

By Avant Griffith ’16

Ian Thompson’s internship at the Adult Parole Authority in Columbus spanned from May to August 2015, and he worked 15 hours a week as a clerk. His daily duties included filling and scanning paperwork, mail delivery and research analysis.

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Thompson is a senior from Gahanna, Ohio, majoring in Sociology-Criminology with a minor in Anthropology.

The Adult Parole Authority was created in 1965 and is responsible for the release and supervision of adult inmates who are reintegrating back into society.

Their mission is to aid in the reentry of offenders by partnering with the community stakeholders and law enforcement agencies to preserve public safety by holding offenders accountable through diverse supervision strategies and technologies.

Research Project on Recidivism Rate

Thompson’s favorite part of his duties during the internship was being able to do a research project on the recidivism rate.

For his project, he set up a comparison between people who re-offended and people who stayed out of trouble after the completion of the rehabilitation program.

His research showed that those who completed the program were less likely to offend than those who did not complete the program. The research also showed that women were less likely to re-offend.


Thompson was fortunate to be able to ride along with a parole officer on some day-to-day duties.

Ride-alongs allowed Thompson to get real-world experiences with parole officers and see how parole officers interact with and are perceived by the public.

During the internship, his view from the perspective of parole officers helped him understand how someone’s life journey might bring them to such a role in this kind of career.

He also became familiar with some of the issues and obstacles facing parolees and the variety of circumstances that can impact their parole process and experience.

Why Internships Are So Valuable

Thompson says that internships are extremely important because they allow you to gain experiences that classrooms cannot.

After this internship he still wants to go into law enforcement, but instead of his original plan to go into the FBI he has decided he wants to focus on rehabilitation and re-entry.

“We will not solve the crime problems in the United States by locking offenders up and tossing away the key,” he says. “We need to treat offenders for their problems and help them to improve their success with re-entry. It is time to seek rehabilitation instead of retribution.”

The steps after graduation can be scary, he says, which is why it is important to get internships to see what opportunities are out there.

Thompson advises other students to not look for internships solely through the traditional ways, and he points out that volunteer opportunities can also be as beneficial as internships.

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