The field placement program is designed to enhance the criminal justice academic experience. Students have the opportunity to work in criminal justice related settings while earning course credits.

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).
  2. Review the list of agencies and submit an application with your preferences to the field placement office (Enderis 1125). Download the criminal justice field CJ Field Placement Application or apply online. The deadline for Spring 2023 field placement is Friday, October 28.
  3. After submitting your application, you will be contacted when you have been granted an interview with an agency (please allow several weeks). If your address or phone number changes, contact the program coordinator.
  4. Attend the field placement orientation. Information and dates will be mailed to you several weeks before the start of semester. Contact the program coordinator if you did not receive this information.

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

Participation Criteria

  • Preference will be given to declared criminal justice majors and those who apply early.
  • Must have junior standing or above.
  • Must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Must have completed CRM JST 110, Introduction to Criminal Justice.
  • Undergraduate students may take up to 6 field placement credits at the permission of Dr. LeBel.
  • Graduate students are allowed 3 field placement credits.

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, you must attend the orientation meeting and a final meeting during the semester of placement.
  • Daily journal (25%): Details will be provided by the field program project assistant.
  • Final paper (50%): Details will be provided by the field program project assistant.
  • Field supervisor evaluation (25%): Your field supervisor will complete a performance evaluation and submit it directly to the program coordinator at the final meeting.

Recommended Courses

  • Law Enforcement Placements
  • 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

General Responsibilities

You will report to an assigned field supervisor in your respective agency during the placement period and coordinate your work schedule (typically 8 hours per week) with this person. Please adhere to the following while in the field placement program:


Dress in an appropriate manner to the field instruction setting.

Agency rules

Comply with all agency rules or regulations and be prepared to provide detailed personal information if the agency requires a background investigation.


In all instances, respect the confidentiality of clients’ relationships with the agency, as well as the confidentiality of agency records. Do not remove agency records from the agency or discuss cases with persons not professionally involved in the situation. Do not discuss cases in a nonprofessional manner. The use of case material for class discussion or assignments is to be approved only by the field supervisor. Disguise identifying information at all times.

Work hours

Undergraduate students have the option of enrolling in 3 or 6 credits. Undergraduates may only complete a total of 6 credits. Graduate students may 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.

Typically, you will be expected to work with the field agency eight hours per week. Many agencies require up to 13 hours per week, so know the requirement when applying. If you cannot resolve schedule conflicts with your field supervisor, contact the program coordinator for assistance. You are expected to report to the agency on time and work the required number of hours.


Insurance rules for field placements are complex. You will be expected to provide your own health and auto insurance. Students enrolled in CRM JST 311 are covered under UWM’s General Liability arrangements for liability insurance purposes. These are general guidelines – contact the program coordinator for more detailed information.


You must arrange your 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

Provide students with the broadest range of experience possible within the agency. Expose students to all aspects of agency operations. This may include some clerical duties such as typing and answering phones.


Maintain a schedule that is flexible enough to accommodate student’s other coursework.


Provide students with the training needed to perform specific functions. Pay student travel and incidental expenses incurred while performing for the agency on the same basis for which regular workers are reimbursed.


Provide students 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 placement office.


Work closely with the UWM field placement coordinator. Report any changes to agency requirements, and report any student misconduct or other unsatisfactory performance.

Field Placement Deadlines:
Spring 2023: Friday, October 28
Summer 2023: Friday, February 24
Fall 2023: Friday, April 28

Apply Online

Contact Us
  • Chair and Associate Professor
    Thomas LeBel, Ph.D.
    Enderis 1119
    (414) 229-2356
  • Project Assistant
    Natali Fellows
  • Criminal Justice Field Education
    Helen Bader School of Social Welfare
    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    PO Box 786
    Enderis Hall, Room 1125
    Milwaukee, WI 53201-0786
  • Fax: (414) 229-5311