Susquehanna Bank Summer Nonprofit Internship Award

Mikalea Gebhard

At the Lancaster County Adult Probation and Parole Office, I have an internship with the Special Offenders unit. The special offenders unit is a unit specialized for individuals who have a serious mental illness and/or intellectual disability and have committed a crime. This unit is an intensive unit because the probation officers work closely with the client's case manager (if they have one,) make sure the client is taking their medications as prescribed, make sure the client is seeing their therapist and psychiatrist, and complete any other conditions mandatory for their sentence. This unit is more intensive than others in that the probation officer's see their clients at least once a week/bi-weekly. Other units, such as general supervision could go an entire month without seeing their clients. The probation officers in the special offenders unit are very familiar with the organizations around the area that are available to help the clients. I have learned a lot of valuable information from being an intern in the special offenders unit, such as some of the organizations available and what kind of help client's need that are placed in the special offenders unit.

I have also given mental health evaluations in the office, to determine if a client should be placed within the special offenders caseload. These evaluations include questions about the client's background, whether the client has had an experience with mental health illness, whether the client has harmful thoughts or feelings about themselves or someone else. If a client answers yes to some of the questions, it is possible that they will then be placed within the special offenders unit. The evaluation is reviewed by the treatment liaison in our unit, the supervisor, and the other probation officers. The goal is to make sure the client is getting the proper treatment that they need in order to be successful and not to commit more crimes.

Mikalea Gebhard, Lancaster, PA
Psychology major, Sociology minor
Lancaster County Adult Probation and Parole