Applicant Investigation Unit: Psychology Division (NYCD AIU) Externship in Police & Public Safety Psychology

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Last Update: March 7th 2018


Name of Externship: Applicant Investigation Unit: Psychology Division



Description of Externship

The Applicant Investigation Unit (AIU) employs NYS licensed psychologists to perform pre-employment evaluations on Correction Officer (CO) applicants and other applicants for NYC law enforcement positions (e.g., Probation Officers)
  • AIU psychologists make psycholegal decisions on the suitability for positions of public trust (i.e., law enforcement and public safety).
  • AIU psychologists are trained in the professional specialty of police and public safety psychology and adhere to relevant laws and guidelines such as The Guidelines for the Use of Public Safety Psychological Examination (New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, 2009)

Populations commonly served:

The New York Correction Department (NYCD) is one of the largest municipal jail systems in the United States. It provides for the care, custody and control of inmates accused of crimes or sentenced to incarceration of one year or less. The Department of Correction, handles approximately 81,000 admissions each year, manages an average daily population of over 11,500 inmates, and employs more than 10,000 uniformed and civilian staff.

Contact Information

Name of Director/Coordinator: Christopher Sbaratta, PhD


Street Address:

1. NYCD Headquarters
Bulova Corporate Center
75-20 Astoria Blvd.
East Elmhurst, NY 11370
2. John Jay College of Criminal Justice (Satellite Office)
North Hall Building – 2nd Floor 445 West 59th Street
New York, NY 10019
Satellite Office Suite Subject to Availability

General Information

Start Date: Typically the first week of September (flexible)
End Date: Typically the first week of June (flexible)

Professional Readiness: This externship is most suitable for 3rd, or 4th year doctoral students from a Clinical or Counseling Psychology program. Well-qualified 2nd year students will be considered. Extern applicants are expected to have, at least, a working familiarity with psychological assessment as well as strong writing skills. We will consider students concurrently applying for internship

Scheduling Commitment: A minimum of 16 hours per week is required, with Wednesdays required for didactic seminar, staff meeting, & group supervision. Other days are flexible based on office space and supervisor availability. Travel to both sites may be needed at times

Is there a stipend for externs? Not at present; inquire on interview.

Application Process

General Application Deadlines

  • The earliest date that students may submit applications is 9:00 am, Tuesday, January 16, 2018.
  • Rolling application period until February 26th 2017
  • The earliest date on which an offer may be made to a student is Monday, February 26 at 9 am.

What materials need to be submitted?

  • Letter of Recommendation from Faculty/Supervisor
  • Detailed Cover Letter
  • Program Transcript (unofficial is acceptable)
  • Updated Curriculum Vitae
  • Writing sample – Integrated Testing/Assessment report highly preferred. Otherwise, case conceptualization/therapeutic. Remove all identifying information

How should it be submitted?

  • Application Materials be scanned & submitted in one email to:

  • All application materials, including letters of recommendation, are to be sent electronically as attachments in a single email or as hard copies mailed in one packet. It is recommended that the contents of the letters be transparent to the students.

Any details of the application process (e.g., interviewing, time frame, how decisions are made):

  • Students will be interviewed by 1-3 staff psychologists at NYCD Headquarters and will be offered a brief tour of the office facilities.
  • Students receiving offers on Monday, February 26, have until 9:00 AM on Tuesday February 27 to accept or reject the offer they are holding.
  • Students who receive an offer on Tuesday February 27 BEFORE 3 pm have until 9 AM on Wednesday to accept or reject the offer.
  • Offers made after 3 pm Tuesday are no longer governed by the Externship Guidelines. That is, Externship Guidelines for the 2017-18 Externship Match are suspended AFTER 3 pm on the second day, Tuesday February 27.

If positions remain vacant following the initial selection period, additional applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.

Training models offered:

Non-Therapeutic Program. Assessments/Examinations whose determinations must be able to withstand professional and legal scrutiny. Our psychologists have integrative and/or varied clinical orientations.

Intervention training experiences commonly offered:

  • Conducting pre-employment psychological evaluations of officer candidates (firearm carrying & unarmed positions).
  • Administering the written psychological examination to officer candidates – Specialized testing for law enforcement selection
(e.g., PAI, CPI, WPT-R).
  • Administering Rorschach evaluations (Exner CS) to correction officer candidates, as needed.
  • Conducting research pertaining to programmatic development and broader topics related to public safety psychology.

Expected number of cases seen per typical day: Varies according to competency ~ 2 to 4 Officer Candidates per 8 hr day

Assessment training experiences commonly offered:

Specialized Assessment Tests for Police Psychology
Problem Solving & Cognitive Screening
Personality (Objective, Self-Report)
Mental Status Exam

Expected number of full assessment batteries completed during externship (defined as administration of a battery of standardized tests):

Would vary according to time commitment and needs. Each Officer Candidate Assessment includes the administration of a battery of tests - these are administered by students in a group administration format - the results of testing are synthesized into a report which also incorporates interview, life history, collateral and background investigation data

Expected number of assessment reports completed during externship (defined as writing reports based on a battery of standardized tests:

student may elect to complete more, based on their request, competencies, and the complexity of report sought

Supervision & Didactics:

Estimated hours/week of individual supervision: 2
Estimated hours/week of group supervision: 1 as dependent on student schedule
Estimated hours/week of didactics: 1 as dependent on student schedule

Didactics are held biweekly and include more general topics relevant to forensic evaluation (e.g., interviewing, mental status, report writing) and specialized topics germane to the specialty of police and public safety psychology.