Gaining Experience in Criminal Justice.


Build your CV with relevant experience

Do you want to make the move from working in mainstream healthcare to offender healthcare or transition from social work to offender rehabilitation?

With criminal justice employers understandably requiring experience, where do you start in gaining enough relevant on-the-job experience?

Work placements

Whether you are newly qualified or have been working for some time, work placements are a good way to gain insight into the challenges and rewards of working in the criminal justice system. If you are part way through your degree and know that you would like to work within the criminal justice system, try and identify suitable work placements where you could take the transferable skills with you into the criminal justice environment.

Don’t forget the voluntary sector either. Many charities and Non-Governmental Organisations supporting offenders offer placements.


There are not many internships offered within the criminal justice system due to the nature of work and various restrictions. There are a few organisations linked to the criminal justice sector where you might be able to gain some experience though, such as Catch 22.


There are many volunteering opportunities across the criminal justice sector. Below we’ve pulled together a list of some of the more prominent options:

  • Victim Support – As a charity, Victim Support values the contribution of suitable volunteers to help in its support of victims and witnesses of crime.

  • NACRO - As social justice charity, NACRO relies on volunteers to help vulnerable people within communities susceptible to crime.

  • Youth Justice Board – The YJB is reliant on volunteers. It’s a great way to discover more about working within the youth offending arena.

  • Clinks currently lists paid and unpaid training and volunteering opportunities throughout the UK.

Top tips for gaining criminal justice work experience

  • Do your research. Scour the internet for organisations offering seasonal internships or volunteering opportunities.

  • Search based on which aspect of criminal justice system appeals to you the most. This will keep you focused.

  • Make useful connections with key professionals at criminal justice recruitment and careers advice events

Be proactive and contact Sanctuary Criminal Justice. If you are qualified, you can register and simply update your CV with us as you gain specific experience.