-- Students in the criminal justice and political science programs
of The University of Southern Mississippi will now have new statewide
opportunities for on-the-job training with major state agencies.
officials announced that as of July 1, the Office of the Attorney
General, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, and the Mississippi
Department of Corrections entered a new partnership with Southern
Miss to provide internship opportunities to students in the university's
Department of Criminal Justice and Department of Political Science.
Attorney General Jim Hood was on hand to acknowledge the mutual
benefit the new partnership would provide for the Attorney General's
Office and for Southern Miss.
Dr. Tom Payne,
acting chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, recognized the
importance of existing community partnerships to the thriving criminal
justice program at Southern Miss Gulf Coast.
we want to thank our community partners who help us train our criminal
justice students," Payne said, referring to the strong working
relationship between the Southern Miss criminal justice program
and local law enforcement. "Now, for the first time in our
department's history, we have entered into formal memorandums of
understanding with state law enforcement, state legal (agencies),
and state corrections agencies," he said.
will work for the agencies at no cost, Payne said the experience
is good for all involved. "This greatly enhances our students'
ability to apply what they've learned in the classroom to a real-world
scenario," he said. "We are bridging the professional
with the academic, which is a great benefit for the student and
the agency that provides the internship."
As a result
of the tremendous growth in criminal justice enrollment, the department
also announced the addition of three new professors on the Coast,
effectively doubling the size of the department's faculty.
As part of
their formula for success, the criminal justice and political science
programs have maintained a strategic alliance with the Southern
Regional Public Safety Institute and the Harrison County Sheriff's
Department, which has generated millions of dollars in grants, including
a new $745,575 Rural Law Enforcement Training Grant that takes the
training "on the road" to the officers and helps cut down
on training costs to local law enforcement agencies. These grant
funds also help to enhance academic research and provide training
and jobs for graduates of the criminal justice and political science
the future, Payne anticipates adding a forensic science major to
the criminal justice program and continuing expansion of teaching
and training opportunities on the Coast and Hattiesburg campuses.
hope to train forensic crime scene specialists in the criminal justice
department and have both undergraduate and graduate majors in forensic
science," Payne said.
justice and political science programs boast more than 140 students
on the Coast. For more information about these programs, contact
Southern Miss Gulf Coast at (228) 867-8776.