Criminal Justice Field Placements

Designed to enhance the criminal justice student’s total academic experience, the field placement program provides students with the opportunity to work in a criminal justice related setting while earning course credit in the process.

How to sign-up for a field placement

  1. Enroll in the course, Field Experience Practicum (CRM JST 311), for the semester during which you want to participate. Graduate students should enroll in Independent Reading with Dr. Lebel (CRM JST 999). This step may be taken at any time in the process, as long as it’s done.
  2. Review the list of agencies and submit an application with your preferences to the Field Placements office (Enderis 1125). Download the criminal justice field placement application.
  3. After submitting your application, you will be contacted (please allow up to several weeks) when you have been granted an interview with an agency. Let the program coordinator know if your address or phone number changes.
  4. Attend the Field Placement Orientation. Information and dates are mailed to you several weeks before the start of semester, so contact the program coordinator if you didn’t receive this.

Note: Arrange your placements with a program coordinator so you can receive credit. Students who do not work with a coordinator do not receive credit.

Participation Criteria

  • Preference given to declared criminal justice majors (and those who apply early).
  • Must be of at least junior standing.
  • Must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Must have completed CRM JST 150, Research in Criminal Justice.
  • Undergraduate students can take up to 6 field placement credits (at the permission of Dr. Lebel).
  • Graduate students are allowed 3 field placement credits.

Student Academic Requirements

CRM JST 311 is a graded course even though there are no class meetings throughout the semester. All of the following will be factors in determining the final grade:

  • Orientation: Although not part of the overall grade, students must attend the orientation meeting and a final meeting during the semester of placement.
  • Daily Journal (33%): Students are required to keep a daily journal during the placement. Details will be provided by the field program project assistant.
  • Final Paper (33%): Students will submit a final paper at the end of the semester. Again, details will be provided by the field program project assistant.
  • Field Supervisor Evaluation (34%): Students’ field supervisors will complete a performance evaluation, which will be submitted directly to the program coordinator at the final meeting.

Recommended Courses

  • Law Enforcement placements
  • CRM JST 370 – Criminal Justice Administration
  • CRM JST 271 – Police Process
  • Correctional placements
  • CRM JST 370 – Criminal Justice Administration
  • CRM JST 273 – Correctional Process
  • Legal Agency placements
  • CRM JST 370 – Criminal Justice Administration
  • CRM JST 275 – Criminal Court Process
  • Planning / Research placements
  • CRM JST 370 – Criminal Justice Administration
  • CRM JST 662 – Methods of Social Welfare Research

Student General Responsibilities

Students are responsible to an assigned field supervisor in their respective agency during the placement period. Students will coordinate work schedules (normally 8 hours per week) with their field supervisor. Students will adhere to the following while in the field placements program:

  • Dress
    Students will dress in an appropriate manner to the field instruction setting.
  • Agency Rules
    Students will comply with all agency rules or regulations and should be prepared to provide detailed personal information if the agency requires a background investigation.
  • Confidentiality
    In all instances, the confidentiality of clients’ relationships with the agency will be respected, as well as the confidentiality of agency records. Agency records will not be removed from the agency and cases will not be discussed with persons not professionally involved in the situation. Cases will not be discussed in a nonprofessional manner, and the use of case material for class discussion or assignments is to be approved only by the field supevisor. Identifying information is to be disguised at all times.
  • Work Hours
    Undergraduate students have the option of enrolling in 3 credits or 6 credits. Undergraduates can only do a total of 6 credits. Graduate students can only enroll in 3 credits. A 3 credit placement equals the completion of a minimum of 96 hours and a 6 credit placement equals the completion of a minimum of 192 hours.
  • Normally, students are expected to work with the field agency 8 hours per week. Many agencies require up to 13 hours per week, so know the requirement when applying. If a student cannot resolve schedule conflicts with their field supervisor, contact the program coordinator for assistance. Students are expected to report to the agency on time and work the required number of hours.
  • Insurance
    Insurance rules for field placements are rather complex. These are general guidelines–the program coordinator can give you more detailed information. Students are expected to provide their own health and auto insurance. Students enrolled in CRM JST 311 are covered under UWM’s General Liability arrangements for liability insurance purposes.
  • Transportation
    Students must arrange their own transportation to and from the agency work location, unless the agency agrees to make arrangements or cover these expenses.

Agency Responsibilities

  • Provide Relevant Experience
    Students are to be provided the broadest range of experience possible within the agency. While clerical duties may be an important experience for the student, typing and answering phones alone do not expose students to all aspects of agency operations.
  • Flexibility
    Students have other class work to accomplish during their placement. Scheduling should be flexible enough to accommodate these classes.
  • Resources
    Provide students with the training needed to perform specific functions. Make provisions to pay student travel and incidental expenses incurred while performing for the agency on the same basis for which regular workers are reimbursed.
  • Supervision
    Students should be provided with supervision commensurate with duties and experience. The field supervisor must prepare and submit an evaluation of student performance, which will be provided by the field placements office.
  • Coordination
    Work closely with the UWM field placements coordinator. Report any changes to agency requirements, and report any student misconduct or other unsatisfactory performance.


For questions about
Field Placements, contact:

Garrett Knuth
(414) 229-4973

Thomas LeBel
(414) 229-2356


Criminal Justice Field Placements
Helen Bader School of Social Welfare
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
PO Box 786
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0786

Enderis Hall, Room 1125
Fax: (414) 229-5311