When Maegan Malespini, PsyD, did a practicum at a state prison as a graduate student, she was surprised at how much she loved the work. Seeing every conceivable mental health problem was like being in a learning laboratory, and when inmates made progress, it was extremely gratifying. Today, she heads a Secure Mental Health Step-Down Unit at the Federal Corrections Complex in Allenwood, Pennsylvania, where she oversees interventions with violent, seriously mentally ill inmates.

In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons is a rich source of internships and practica for psychology doctoral students, offering a chance to gain assessment, research, consulting and clinical skills, says Phil Magaletta, PhD, who heads the bureau's psychology internship program.

The bureau sponsors 12 accredited, paid internship programs, each with several internship slots. The latest addition is at Allenwood, and includes rotations through the secure step-down unit. The bureau also sponsors paid and volunteer practica at several locations nationwide.

To find out about Bureau of Prisons internships, visit www.bop.gov/jobs/psychology_intership.jsp.