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Doctoral Psychology Internship

Doctoral Psychology Internships - Minnesota Department of Corrections


The Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) was created in 1959 to consolidate state correctional functions within one agency. There are three divisions in the DOC: Facility Division, Community Services Division, and the Operations Support Division. The DOC currently operates 10 correctional facilities - nine for adults and one for juveniles. The adult prisons hold more than 9,000 men and over 600 women.

Minnesota has a national reputation for operating humane, safe correctional institutions that have low levels of violence and are safe for inmates and staff. Although the adult inmate population in Minnesota has been increasing during the past decade, DOC correctional institutions are not confronted with the magnitude of prison crowding that is plaguing most states. Minnesota continually ranks as one of lowest states in the nation in the number of incarcerated individuals per capita. This low rate of incarceration reflects Minnesota's reliance on alternatives to prison for less serious offenders. The system is designed to reserve expensive prison space for only those criminals who are dangerous and need to be incarcerated.


Psychology is part of the Mental Health Services Unit, which is part of Health Services. The overall management and direction of mental health services is the responsibility of the DOC Mental Health Director. At the institution level, mental health services are under the supervision of Psychology Directors.

Internships are offered at the following DOC facilities:

The Stillwater facility is a Close (a security level between Maximum and Medium) custody facility with a population of about 1600 adult male offenders. MCF-Stillwater has a number of special programs including several industry and vocational training programs, education, and a chemical dependency treatment unit. The facility has been in operation since 1914. A 150-bed restrictive housing unit opened in the summer of 2008. The mental health staff consists of two MSW's (one licensed), six master level therapists (1 LP, 1 LPC, 4 LPCC), two Psy.D.(one LP and one pursuing LP), an Office Administrative Specialist, one full-time doctoral psychology resident intern, one master's level intern. Mental health staff at this facility provide a wide variety of services including the following: diagnostic testing and assessments, individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, and frequent consultation with the numerous disciplines within the facility. An intern at this site can expect a wide diversity of clients and referral issues ranging in complexity and severity of illness. MCF-Stillwater  is located 20 miles east of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

The Lino Lakes facility is a medium custody "campus" with large chemical dependency and sex offender treatment programs. The facility is located twenty miles north of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. The Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP) provides direct services to offenders including the following components: security, assessment, treatment planning, individual and group psychotherapy, psycho educational classes, and release planning. SOTP serves approximately 270 adult male offenders at a given time, many of whom also experience co-morbid mental illness, chemical abuse/dependency, and traumatic brain injury. The program operates with a modified therapeutic community model and consists of five treatment tracks: assessment, chemical dependency, primary sex offender treatment, transitions and aftercare. The mission is to protect the safety of the general public and to reduce recidivism among men who have committed sexual offenses by effectively addressing their complex behavioral health issues. The Psychology Resident will work with team clinicians, including licensed drug and alcohol counselors, sex offender specific therapists, release planners and Psychologists (who conduct psycho-sexual assessments and provide ongoing mental health services).

MCF-Oak Park Heights is the DOC's only maximum-security facility and, with only 435 inmates, the smallest male facility. Over 80% of the inmates are convicted of serious crimes against persons, many serving life sentences. MCF-Oak Park Heights is a modern, "underground" facility that has been shown as the positive alternative in a number of documentaries on super-max prisons. This facility also has the Mental Health Unit, a 46-bed inpatient psychiatric unit. Much of the internship will be focused on work in the Mental Health Unit with a strong emphasis on assessment and forensic evaluations. There will also be opportunities to work with offenders in the general prison population. MCF-Oak Park heights is located next to MCF-Stillwater and is about 25 miles east of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

Shakopee is the DOC's only adult female facility. MCF-Shakopee currently houses over 600 offenders of all custody levels. The Behavioral Health Department includes a multidisciplinary team of psychologists, therapists, licensed alcohol and drug counselors, and a release planner. The intern will be involved in a full range of services, including: assessments, crisis management, group therapy, and individual therapy. Additionally, opportunity exists to participate in the chemical dependency treatment program and/or sexual offender treatment program.


The Doctoral Psychology Internship Program at the Minnesota Department of Corrections emphasizes the practice of clinical psychology in a correctional facility. Correctional facilities are unique institutions, which have their own culture, vocabulary, and social hierarchy. They are also unique for the responsibility and authority given to psychologists. Correctional Psychologists direct mental health services in their facilities; this means that psychologists working in these settings must understand the overall dynamics of corrections as well as develop specialized clinical skills. Therefore, interns in the DOC will have experience with diverse issues and clinical problems.


Internships in the Minnesota DOC are 12 months in length, 2000 hours, and typically begin in early September. Interns will spend at least 25% of their time in direct face-to-face clinical service activity. It is the goal of our program that, by the completion of the internship, interns will have developed sufficient competence in the following areas so they can function independently as psychologists:

Psychological Assessments: Interns are expected to develop the skills necessary to complete a diagnostic assessment. By the conclusion of the internship, they should be acquainted with the full range of psychopathology, including personality disorders, thought disorders and affective disorders.

Interns also receive training in formal psychological assessments, including Neuro-psychological testing. Under supervision, interns are expected to work with referral sources to clarify the referral question, select and administer appropriate psychological tests, conduct thorough clinical interviews, integrate the test findings and other data, prepare cogently written reports which can be readily understood by referral sources, and provide follow-up consultation as needed.

Psychotherapy: Interns are expected to demonstrate competencies in individual and group psychotherapy. It is expected that they will be able to develop treatment strategies to address issues that were identified in the psychological assessments, write treatment plans, provide the appropriate group or individual therapy, and modify their treatment based on changes in the client's condition.

Consultation: Interns are expected to learn the role of the psychologist as a consultant to other professionals. This consultation typically focuses on especially challenging clients with whom the intern may or may not have completed a psychological assessment. The intern is expected to learn what behaviors are most likely to lead to a consultation, how to prepare for a consultation meeting, what other professionals expect from a psychologist, and how to achieve a satisfactory outcome.

Crisis Intervention: The intern will learn the skills to handle crisis situations. With supervision, the intern will learn effective strategies for defusing crises and helping the primary client as well as involved others to deal with future crises.

Teaching: Teaching non-psychologists about mental and emotional disorders is one of the most valuable competencies that a psychologist can have. By the end of the internship, the intern will be able to develop lesson plans and provide group and individual instruction to others about a variety of mental health issues.


Given the unique nature of providing mental health services within a correctional facility, the first month of the MN DOC internship is highly geared toward preparing and orienting the intern for work in a correctional setting. Starting with the first day, all interns meet with the director of the department's internship training program. The director reviews the entire orientation manual with the interns on this first day. This also provides an opportunity for the interns to meet and become acquainted with each other. Each intern will go through a site-specific orientation during their first week. Also, in the first month, interns will attend more than 45 hours of DOC academy, training that is required for all department employees. The academy provides training on a range of topics related to working in a correctional facility (e.g., Avoiding set-ups by inmates, First Aid, Incident Command System, and Security Threat Groups aka gangs).

Upon completion of the first month, a relatively routine schedule of training ensues with the intern getting at least two hours of individual supervision weekly. In addition the individual supervision, all DOC interns will meet on a weekly basis throughout the year for didactic training totaling over 100 hours.

There are a total of eight adult correctional facilities in the MN DOC. The interns will have the opportunity to visit each facility for a tour and discussion with the mental health staff on the programming specific to the individual site and the general operation of the psychology unit. Other training includes seminars in the treatment of sex offenders, personality disorders, and drug and alcohol problems.

Interns will attend DOC Mental Health Training Sessions and are encouraged to attend workshops outside of the department. An intern's work and progress are formally evaluated at least twice during the internship year. Evaluations are reviewed with the intern and shared with the internship training director at the intern's educational institution.


Doctoral Psychology Residents do not receive holiday, sick or vacation pay. They are entitled to an annual stipend of $30,000, are eligible for health insurance benefits, and are allowed up to 15 Personal/Educational/Dissertation (PED) days away from the facility. These days will be recorded as eight hours in the Time Entry system.


Shannon Juedes, Psy.D., LP, Psychologist 3, MCF-Stillwater

Amber Lindeman, Psy.D., LP, Psychologist 3, MCF-Lino Lakes SOTP

Charlotte Gerthhaanen, Ph.D., LP, Psychologist 3, MCF-Lino Lakes SOTP

Adam Piccolino, Psy.D., LP, ABN, BMP Senior, MCF-Shakopee

Karen Boortz, Psy.D., LP, Psychologist 3, MCF-Shakopee

Terry Jorgenson, Psy.D., LP, Psychological Services Director/Doctoral Psychology Internship Coordinator, MCF-Stillwater

Angela Kollmann, Psy.D., LP, Psychologist 3, MCF-Oak Park Heights


Graduate students from doctoral programs in professional psychology are eligible. The Minnesota DOC is committed to fostering diversity in its training program; members of minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants should have the following minimum qualifications:

1. Graduate coursework and practicum training in intellectual and personality assessment.

2. Graduate coursework and practicum training in psychotherapy.

3. Graduate coursework in psychopathology.

4. Verification from the Director of Training of the applicant's graduate program that he/she has completed all graduate coursework and any comprehensive examinations required by his or her program before the internship start date.


Applications are only accepted through APPIC

Applications for internships starting in 2018 should be completed by December 1, 2017.

Terry Jorgenson, Psy.D., LP,

Psychology Internship Training Director

Minnesota Department of Corrections

970 Pickett Street North

Bayport, MN 55003-1490

Telephone: (651) 779-2780,

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