Summer Internship Week 1

Hi everyone, this post is coming after my first two weeks of my summer internship in Des Moines, IA. This summer I’m interning at in the Attorney General’s office in area prosecutions, and my specific unit is the Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) Unit. I’m going to give a little overview of what we as an office do, and then will look further into what I have experienced so far as an intern. Under an Iowa code that is followed by a number I don’t remember, we are able to review a list of already incaracerated sexual predators that are nearing their release dates. If we can prove that they have a strong likelyhood of committing more sexual crimes when they exit prison in court, we are able send them to civil commitment in which they spend a majority of the rest of their life going through treatment to eventually reintegrate back into society when they are much older.

Knowing this, my supervisor is the main investigator on all of these cases that are sent to our office. My job is to collect every paper I can find in the legal system on these individuals to help in the building of their case file. I spend the majority of my day contacting police departments, county attorney offices, and county clerk of court offices asking for interviews, police reports, sentencings, etc. Once all of this is collected I organize the file and send it to one of the psychology experts that we have, and await their expert opinion on the status of this case. Throughout the rest of the process I have a much less active role seeing as the SVP prosecutor then takes over. The last part that we get to see is the trial, which is usually one day and because of the large amount of cases that we get and are constantly prosecuting, it isn’t very often that we request a jury just to speed things along.

This internship has been so eye opening so far, and as much as I know it’s because I’m in a field where I really care about the work we are doing, I also know that it has a lot to do with our supervisor. Sarah works so hard to get us involved in a variety of cases even outside of area prosecutions, for example we just finished helping appeals investigate a criminal fraud case, which allows us to get even more information on the office as a whole and understand what everyone’s work looks like. She also prioritizes getting us into court rooms to watch as many trials as possible, so along with SVP trials we also have plans to go to murder trials, appeals hearings, etc. I think this is all for this post because it’s getting pretty long, but I can’t wait to give more in depth details next post because we have lots of trials coming up as well as we are going to start getting more heavily involved in victim advocacy seeing as that is the job our supervisor is gearing to take over at the end of the summer!