Clinical Training Externship Program

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) is the second largest sheriff’s department in the U.S. and is the principal law enforcement agency that serves Cook County. Its three primary responsibilities include providing services and security to county and court facilities, administering the Cook County Jail, and protecting and serving the citizens of Cook County with policing throughout the county. Our sheriff, Sheriff Tom Dart, has brought an aggressive, yet innovative, approach to law enforcement since becoming sheriff in 2006. He has dedicated his career to challenging injustice, fighting violence, & bringing a thoughtful approach to public services.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office strives to provide direction and leadership to all departments and employees of the sheriff in order to meet and exceed the needs of the citizens of Cook County in providing protection, rehabilitation, civil action, security, and community services.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office offers clinical training opportunities to graduate level psychology and social work students seeking a psychotherapy or advanced psychotherapy externship (opportunities for testing and assessment are not available). The program is designed to provide students with a comprehensive clinical training experience. Specifically, it aims to promote the development of clinically sound and culturally competent practitioners who can function independently, professionally, and safely within a diverse and ever-changing correctional and law enforcement setting.
Clinical training tracks will provide opportunities for brief supportive and longer-term individual counseling, group counseling, psychoeducational groups, clinical intake interviews and screenings, substance abuse treatment, outreach and case management, and crisis intervention services. Non-clinical training tracks will provide opportunities for program development, data collection, community outreach, the facilitation of mental health workshops and staff trainings, and a variety of organizational & project management activities.
A minimum of two hours clinical supervision (individual and group) by a licensed clinical counselor, social worker, or psychologist will be provided weekly and will be assigned according to the student’s program requirements. Group supervision will include a didactic component as well as opportunities for peer supervision.
Ideal candidates will be highly ethical and professional, attentive to safety and security, assertive, non-judgmental, and self-aware/reflective. Students are expected to demonstrate respect and sensitivity when working with diverse individuals and groups from various cultural and personal backgrounds.
If selected, students will commit to being on site for a minimum of 2 days per week with a projected start date of August.


Department of Corrections
The Department of Corrections, Inmate Programs and Services Department, offers a variety of behavioral health services aimed to promote rehabilitation and community reintegration. Engagement in clinical programs and services also provide inmates the opportunity to interact in meaningful and pro-social ways while incarcerated.

    • TRACK #1: The Mental Health Transition Center (MHTC) – The MHTC Program is intended to empower justice-involved men diagnosed with a substance abuse and/or mental health disorder with the development of a support system to ease their transition back into the community and aid their long-term recovery. The Mental Health Transition Center offers a holistic array of services including substance abuse and mental health treatment, vocational skills training, educational services, fine arts programming, and comprehensive discharge planning. Cognitive behavioral interventions such as individual and group therapy focus on altering criminal thought patterns and cognitive restructuring. Such programming is designed to equip participants with pro-social coping strategies and enable them to consider consequences of decisions and behaviors prior to action. Both masters and doctoral level students may apply to this track.
    • TRACK #2: The Sheriff’s Anti-Violence Effort (SAVE) – The SAVE program was specifically designed to serve males detainees, ages 18 to 24, from the most violent neighborhoods in Chicago. While incarcerated, participants receive programming 5 days a week. Once discharged to the community, participants receive aggressive case management from CCSO SAVE staff and community partnering agencies. The purpose of the SAVE program is to assist detainees in learning new ways to understand violence, maintain safety in the community, manage conflict, improve personal relationships, establishing dependence, decrease substance use & associations with anti-social peers, eliminate criminal thinking/attitudes while increasing personal pride, job skills, and life skills. The program is grounded in the Risk Needs Responsivity model intended to target the specific criminogenic needs of each program participant. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) along with Motivational Interviewing techniques are used to direct therapy. Students assigned to this track will also be assigned to Pre-Bond Court in which mental health staff conduct rapid assessments of arrestees for self- reported mental illness and substance use; and the Tails of Redemption Program, where through their work with canines and participation in counseling, detainees develop a greater sense of empathy and skills for goal setting, altering core beliefs, modeling, and coping. For arrestees who are opiate addicted, staff provide immediate intervention for treatment and education on Naloxone. This track is ideal for a master’s level student.
    • TRACK #3: The Therapeutic Healing Recovery Initiative for Vitality and Empowerment Program(THRIVE) – The THRIVE program is a court-ordered Women’s Residential Treatment Program that was created to support women who suffer from addiction while they are in CCDOC custody. Participation in the program consists of a 90-day curriculum designed to address the biopsychosocial factors related to addiction and incarceration. Programming is aimed towards detainees with non-violent drug-related charges who have a history of substance abuse, trauma and/or mental illness. Onsite programming includes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), individual and group counseling, psycho-educational groups (focused on: parenting, anger management, domestic violence, trauma, emotional regulation, mental illness, and substance abuse), re-entry planning, etc. Students assigned to THRIVE will also work in collaboration with the Sheriff’s Opioid Addiction Recovery (SOAR) program which provides support to those transitioning from the THRIVE program to community and electronic monitoring services. Both masters and doctoral level students may apply to this track.
    • TRACK #4: The Sheriff’s Men’s Addiction Recovery Tiers (SMART) – The SMART program is a Residential Treatment Program that was created to support men who suffer from addiction while they are in CCDOC custody. The services provided are gender and culturally responsive for men with critical mental health, substance abuse, and community re-entry needs. SMART programming uses evidence-based treatment aimed at establishing thought patterns and habits that prevent future substance use as well as addressing the psychological, trauma, addiction, social, and cultural needs that are specific to men and impact their pathway to the Criminal Justice System. Participation in the program is court- ordered and consists of a 90-day curriculum designed to address the biopsychosocial factors related to addiction and incarceration. Students assigned to SMART will also work in collaboration with the Sheriff’s Opioid Addiction Recovery (SOAR) program which provides support to those transitioning from the SMART program to community and electronic monitoring services. Both masters and doctoral level students may apply to this track.
    • TRACK#5: Individualized Assessment & Strategic Assessment – The IASA program seeks to rehabilitate the criminal justice population at the Cook County Jail, by addressing criminogenic needs and assessing risks for recidivism. This is a proactive plan of engagement to meet individuals where they are and offer a variety of services to support both the individuals who are incarcerated as well as their family members. The primary component of the IASA program is the offender risk and need assessment, an oral interview-based evaluation used to determine appropriate rehabilitative program interventions, and post-release needs. Evaluation responses paired with staff recommendations serve as contributing factors for rehabilitative housing and detainee security classification. IASA incorporates one’s demographic information and pairs it with the information from Cermak Health Services’ comprehensive medical and mental health evaluation at intake. A comprehensive needs assessment is completed, and a discharge plan is generated and provided to the detainee during the first week of incarceration.
    • TRACK#6: The Sheriff’s Office Community Resource Center (CRC) – The CRC provides linkages to community members, including those facing eviction and recently released detainees, in need of supportive services. The CRC staff provide supportive case management services and provide as a liaison between social service providers and individuals in need of assistance. Students assigned to this track will complete discharge/needs questionnaires, program development and evaluation, assist with data collection and tracking, and provide community outreach and engagement services. Students assigned to this track may also spend a portion of their time working within the Evictions Social Services Unit. Limited direct contact hours are available with this this track and is ideal for a non-clinical master’s level student.


The CCSO training program follows the ACEPT application, interviewing, and notification procedures. To apply for the 2024 – 2025 training year, please submit the following items via email in a compressed zip file (please do not attach individual documents) to the below email address no sooner than January 29, 2024. Applications submitted after March 1, 2024, will not be considered.

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume/Curriculum Vita
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Case Conceptualization/Writing Sample (redacted)
  • Unofficial Transcript

Important: When submitting application materials, students must articulate their desired CCSO program track in a cover letter AND in the body of their email. Please note that applications not submitted in the requested format (compressed zip file) and that do not specify a desired training track in both the cover letter AND in the body of the email will not be considered.

For more information or questions, please contact:
Latasia Black, LPC
Keyuana Muhammad, Psy.D.
Assistant Executive Director of Programs