Office of Juvenile Affairs - Miguel Sanchez

Miguel Sanchez, NOC Criminal Justice student, describes his internship experience......

"The internship I have agreed to take on is with the Office of Juvenile Affairs. I was eager to take on this internship because I have been thinking about doing this specific field in my future as a criminal justice major. The pros and cons of this internship and the information I was able to take in as well

The Office of Juvenile Affairs is a state-run office that deals with various situations that involves juveniles that have committed a crime or have been arrested. The agency was created in 1994 after the Oklahoma legislature passed the Juvenile Reform Act creating the Office of Juvenile Affairs. This Act went into fruition on July 1, 1995 and this also created the Youthful Offender act as well. The office was given the responsibility and authority to handle all juvenile justice in the state alone. A governing body of seven members was appointed by the governor at the time, which was Gov. Frank Keating, with the advice and consent of the senate. With this creation, this created a one of a kind system for Oklahoma to increase community involvement and to enhance the relationship with the judiciary as well. On April 5, 1996, OJA was able to meet all Federal Court requirements.

The job overview for this office is extensive and intricate as well. the duty that a juvenile specialist has is to a certain point tedious but necessary. The basic job in a day of a specialist depends on what is going on. On certain days, the juvenile specialist more than likely gets an intake at the beginning of the day. An intake is usually a police report that he or she receives, and it is a police report they get from the police department. It shows what the crime that the juvenile has committed and to what extent. It is very detailed and has a brief overview on how the situation went about and how it was handled. Other than in intake, some days consist of the specialist meeting with the juvenile to go over what happened and get ho or her side of the story. After that process, paperwork is filled out, which basically describes any medical and other generic information that the office needs. Afterwards, the juveniles goes over his criminal history if they have any and they go over any other medical and disabilities the juvenile may have. Another job requirement that juvenile specialist have is going to court. Court takes place every first and third Thursday of every month. Court usually consists of probation reviews and in some cases adjudications as well. I have experienced all these in my short month with the company. Court also goes payment reviews, which involves probation fees, restitution fees, and court fees as well.

Pros and cons are relevant in my opinion, but its more pros than cons. The pros is that it gives me an idea of how the juvenile system works. It also scares some of the juveniles because the majority of the ones I have come across are first time offenders. This really benefits me in my field of study because I get to have the idea of how everything is ran and how the process thoroughly processed. The one con I have is that sometimes everything is ran on a whim and unorganized at times. Although it is not very relevant, I still got to experience first-hand when everything does not go according to the judge or to the specialists as well.

My overall opinion about my experience is nothing short of great. My time with all the people I have met was extremely beneficial and I am Grateful. The help that I have received has help me solidify my career path on being a juvenile specialist. These people have welcomed me with open arms and have helped me take in any information that was presented to me. Also, with these connections, I have a solid foundation for references I may need in the future. Those references include county judge Bandy, the District Attorney of Oklahoma, county clerk, and others that work for Kay county as well. Again, I am overall grateful for the help that was given me and for all the extensive connections that were established as well. I would recommend this internship because it is a solid way to get an idea of how the juvenile system works, if that person is interested in it. The information is plentiful and very beneficial in this type of work. OJA has blessed me with the opportunity to intern at their office. Again. If a person is really interested in this field, I would recommend this internship right away. This has put me in the mindset of pursuing this field and making this my career of choice.

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