Program Information: Mental Health Services Delivery System

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Member Site Information
APPIC Member Number: 2456
Program Type: Internship
Membership Type: Full Membership
Site: Richard J. Donovan Correctional
Department: Mental Health Services Delivery System
Address: 480 Alta Road
San Diego , California 92179
Country: United States
Metro Area: Not Applicable
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA
Distance from Major City: 25
Phone: 619-651-6500x8454
Web Address:
Brochure Website's Address:
Primary Agency Type: Prison or Other Correctional Facility
Additional Agency Types:
  • Prison or Other Correctional Facility
Member of APPIC since: 2015
APA Accreditation Accredited on Contingency
CPA Accreditation Not Accredited
Internship Staff/Faculty Information
Training Director & Lead / Director: Kristin Francis
Chief Psychologist: Heather Greenwald
Number of Full-Time Licensed Doctoral Psychologists on Staff/Faculty 60
Number of Part-Time Licensed Doctoral Psychologists on Staff/Faculty 2
Position Information
Start Date: 08/05/2020
Number of Full Time Slots Expected Next Class: 8
Number of Part Time Slots Expected Next Class: 0
Full Time Annual Stipend for Next Class: 39408
Part Time Annual Stipend for Next Class: 0
Fringe Benefits: Dental Insurance, Health Insurance, Professional Development Time, Sick Leave, Vacation
Other Fringe Benefits (not indicated above):
Brief description of the typical work day for an intern at this training site A typical day at RJD will consist of any of the following intern duties. Psychology interns will provide a variety of psychological services to inmate-patients including individual therapy, group therapy, psychological assessment, risk assessment, crisis intervention, and treatment planning. Interns will work collaboratively and be able to consult with a multidisciplinary team including mental health professionals (i.e., psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers), custody staff, educational staff, medical staff, nursing staff, recreational therapists, etc. Interns will engage in various forms of learning activities including weekly didactic trainings, monthly assessment seminars, observation and training in clinical supervision, and case presentations involving peer reviewed journal articles that support current research and treatment modalities. Interns will receive 2 hours of weekly group supervision and 2 hours of weekly individual supervision from a licensed psychologist. Interns will participate in 2 specialty rotations from one of the following available rotations: Behavioral Health Unit, LGBTQ Unit, Creative Therapy, DBT-Informed Skills Based Program, Developmental Disability Program, Forensic Assessment Unit, Curriculum Development, Pre-Release Program, Supervision, and Substance Use Treatment.
Does this site have practicum psychology students on site? Yes
Doctoral Psychology Practicum StudentsYes
Masters Psychology Practicum StudentsNo
Do Psychology Interns/Postdocs Have the Opportunity to Supervise Practicum Students?Yes
Is this program fully affiliated with one or more doctoral programs? No
Is this program partially affiliated with one or more doctoral programs? No
Internship Application Process
Accepting Applicants: Yes
Application Due Date: 11/22/2019 11:59 PM
Application Due Date Time Zone: Pacific Standard Time
This program uses the AAPI: Yes, with additions
An onsite interview is: Required
Interview notification date: 12/13/2019
Interview notification date time zone: Pacific Standard Time
Tentative interview date: 01/17/2020
Interview process description:

Interns from both PhD and PsyD programs are encouraged to apply. In order to be appointed as a Psychology Intern at the RJDCF HSP Internship Program, applicants must submit an on-line application through the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Programs (APPIC) called the APPI (available at  The completed APPI on-line application must include: A current curriculum vitae; Official graduate program transcripts; Three letters of recommendation; A certification of readiness from the applicant’s DCT; and a completed work sample (a de-identified psychological testing report).

Interns who are invited for an interview will be contacted by the Training Director for an onsite interview.  The interview process will consist of a panel interview and individual interviews with members of the RJDCF HSP Internship Executive Committee, a writing sample, and applicants will be able to meet with current interns to ask questions about their internship experience at RJDCF.  The RJDCF HSP Internship Program participates in the National Matching Service for internship selection.  Therefore, applicants and training sites will submit rank orders on the dates outlined by APPIC and interns are notified of results of the Match on the Match dates outlined by APPIC.  Interns who have been matched with RJDCF HSP Internship Program will be contacted by the TD as soon as possible after the APPIC Match results have been posted.  Interns who have been matched with RJDCF HSP Internship Program and their academic training director will then be contacted within 7 days of the match with confirmation of conditions of the appointment and internship start/end dates.

Once matched, interns will complete a credentialing process, security clearance/background check, fingerprinting, drug testing and TB test as a condition of employment. CDCR internship programs are not able to hire ex-offenders, as addressed in Title 15, section 3404 of the California Code of Regulations. An Ex-offender is defined as anyone with a criminal record (other than Vehicle Code violations). In addition, failure to accurately list arrests will be grounds to deny the intern’s application for employment. Due to the short timeframes involved in a 12-month internship, if you do not pass the criminal background check, no appeal process will be allowed.

The CDCR has a zero-tolerance drug policy. Any potential internship candidate will be dismissed from the internship if a positive drug screening test occurs. The CalHR definition of a failed drug test is any detectable amount of the banned substance.  One of the most misunderstood issues in this area is with regard to the recreational and medical use of marijuana (cannabis).  Neither a prescription for marijuana, nor the fact that California allows the recreational use of marijuana, means that the intern’s use of marijuana will be acceptable to the program.  The CDCR prohibits the use of marijuana in ALL circumstances, and will refuse to hire an intern who tests positive for marijuana regardless of medical need, the presence of a prescription, or its legal status. No appeal is allowed per CalHR regulations.  To access the RJDCF HSP Internship Program handbook that includes a complete list of pre-employment qualifications, please email the Training Director, Dr. Kristin Francis.

In addition to the APPIC process, applicants must also submit an application to CDCR through the regular, civil service employee application process after the match process.  Upon receipt of an application, CDCR Central Office reviews all materials.  If an application is deemed incomplete, RJDCF HSP Internship Program Central Office contacts the prospective intern, providing him/her with an opportunity to submit complete documentation within a given timeframe.


The RJDCF HSP Internship program is dedicated to recruiting and retaining diverse interns and diverse staff. Diversity within our program promotes innovative ideas, encourages sharing of values, and creates a program of individuals with a variety of areas of experience, expertise, and knowledge. The RJDCF HSP Internship Program is committed to ensuring that all interns and staff members receive diversity training as it specifically relates to the practice of psychology. Applicants of all ethnicities, races, genders, ages, socio-economic status, national origins, sexual orientations, gender identities, disabilities, and religions are encouraged to apply.




How to obtain application info: Email the Program
Preferred method of contacting the program: Email the Program
We have matched with interns from these programs: California School of Professional Psychology - San Diego California School of Professional Psychology - Los Angeles California School of Forensic Studies San Diego California School of Forensic Studies- Fresno Adler University University at Buffalo University of Wisconsin-Madison University of Laverne Chicago School of Professional Psychology, LA Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Irvine Chicago School of Professional Psychology, D.C. Antioch University - Santa Barbara Arizona School of Professional Psychology at Argosy Phoenix Rosemead School of Professional Psychology at Biola University John F. Kennedy University Nova SouthEastern University
Internship Applicant Requirements
US Citizenship Required: No
Canadian Citizenship Required: No
Masters Degree Required: Yes, by start of internship
Comprehensive Exams Passed: Yes, by start of internship
Dissertation Proposal Approved: Yes, by start of internship
Dissertation Defended: No
Minimum Number of AAPI Intervention Hours: 600
Minimum Number of AAPI Assessment Hours: 120
Minimum Number of Years of Grad Training Required: 3
Accepted / Not-Accepted Program Types
Clinical Psychology Accepted
Counseling Psychology Accepted
School Psychology Accepted
APA-Accredited Accepted
CPA-Accredited Accepted
Ph.D Degree Accepted
Psy.D. Degree Accepted
Ed.D. Degree Accepted
This institution, department, internship, or postdoctoral program requires trainees to sign a statement about personal behavior and/or religious beliefs as a condition of admission and/or retention in the program: Yes
How to obtain text of statement: Please email the director, (Dr. Kristin Francis) for a copy of the Director's Rules, which are part of the California Code of Regulations (see Title 15, Division 3, Chapter 1).
Other Requirements:
Program Description

The Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility Health Service Psychology (RJDCF HSP) Internship Program offers intensive clinical training, and provides interns with a broad range of clinical experiences with a diverse population of incarcerated patients. The internship is completed in 12 months, consisting of a minimum of 2,000 hours.  The internship experience increases in depth and complexity as the program year progresses. The intern is expected to increase his/her level of independence in clinical activities through regular individual and group supervisions. RJDCF provides a wide range of training opportunities and excellent supervision; institutional staff working in tandem with the internship clinical supervisors, support interns to attain the competencies that are foundational to professional development. Interns attend mandatory weekly, two-hour didactic trainings, participate in interdisciplinary treatment team meetings, and monthly assessment seminars. RJDCF offers interns the unique opportunity to work with an interdisciplianary team of mental health providers, medical providers, nursing staff, and custody staff to ensure a comprehensive approach to treatment of inmate-patients.

At the beginning of the year, each intern will work collaboratively with thier clinical supervisor to develop an individualized learning plan and identify goals for the internship year.  The intern is evaluated 4 times during the year for skill level in 9 areas: Research, Ethics and Legal Standards, Individual and Cultural Diversity, Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors, Communication and Interpersonal Skills, Assessment, Intervention, Supervision, Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills.  Each intern completes a core clinical assignment and two specialty rotations during the internship year. The intern’s core clinical assignment will be to work 4 days a week with a caseload of patients with a variety of mental illnesses and custody classifications to provide individual therapy, group therapy, suicide risk assessment, mental health evaluations, crisis intervention, and develop and implement treatment plans. Interns will rank order their preferences for specialty rotations and will be assigned rotations in the fall and spring based on preference, institutional need, and equity.  Specialty rotations may consist of experience in the following units: Behavioral Health, LGBTQI, Forensic Assessment, Developmental Disabilites, Creative Therapy, DBT-Informed Skills Based Program, Curriculum Development, Pre-Release Program, Supervision, and Substance Use Treatment.  Interns will be in their specialty rotation 1 day each week and will have a special project to complete per rotation.

Accreditation Status

On July 21, 2019, the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility Health Service Psychology Internship program became APA-Accredited on Contingency by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association.  In order to move from accredited on contingency to full accreditation, the program is required to submit proximal and distal data to the CoA by June 1, 2021.  Upon receipt of the data, the Commission will review the data to determine if it is sufficient to grant full accreditation status.  Programs that submit proximal and distal data will be eligible for an additional three years as a fully accredited program.   Failure to provide data by the aforementioned date will lead to the program being deemed to have withdrawn from accreditation and a loss of accreditation that will occur following completion of the program by the interns currently on-site at the program.  Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation

American Psychological Association

750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002

Phone: (202) 336-5979 / E-mail:



To access the RJDCF HSP Internship Program handbook that includes a complete list of pre-employment qualifications, and internship admission, support, and initial placement data, please access the website  or contact the RJDCF HSP Internship Training Director by email:


Internship Training Opportunities


Adults: Yes
Older Adults: Yes
Inpatients: Yes
Outpatients: Yes
Gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender: Yes
Ethnic minorities: Yes
Spanish-speaking: Yes
Deaf/Hearing-impaired: Yes
International Students:
Low income:
Other: Incarcerated

Treatment Modalities

Assessment: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Individual Therapy: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Couples Therapy:
Family Therapy:
Group Therapy: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Community Intervention:
Consultation/Liaison: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Crisis Intervention: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Brief Psychotherapy: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Long-term Psychotherapy: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Cognitive Rehabilitation:
Primary Care:
Evidenced Based Practice: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Evidence Based Research:
Supervision of Practicum students : EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)


Health Psychology: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Women's Health:
HIV/AIDS: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Eating Disorders:
Sexual Disorders:
Sports Psychology:
Rehabilitation Psychology:
Physical Disabilities: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Learning Disabilities: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Developmental Disabilities: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Assessment: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Serious Mental Illness: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Anxiety Disorders: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Trauma/PTSD: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Sexual Abuse: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Substance Use Disorders: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Forensics/Corrections: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Sexual Offenders: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Geropsychology: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Vocational/Career Development:
Multicultural Therapy: EXPERIENCE (21% to 30%)
Feminist Therapy:
Empirically-Supported Treatments: Major Area of Study (50% or Greater)
Public Policy/Advocacy:
Program Development/Evaluation: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Supervision: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Research: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
Integrated health care - primary:
Integrated health care - specialty: EMPHASIS (31% to 49%)

Additional information about training opportunities: Not all rotations or experiences may be available at all consortium sites, and some internship programs may not have updated this information recently. Please consult the program's web site or other application materials for a complete description of the training opportunities available at each site.

Summary of the Characteristics of the Specified Internship Class
2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
Number of Completed Applications: 36 20 47
Number of applicants invited for interviews: 26 11 38
Total number of interns: 6 5 6
Total number of interns from APA/CPA accredited programs: 6 5 4
Total number of interns from Ph.D. programs: 2 1 0
Total number of interns from Psy.D. programs: 4 4 6
Total number of interns from Ed.D. programs: 0 0 0
Number of interns that come from a Clinical Psychology program 6 5 6
Number of interns that come from a Counseling Psychology program 0 0 0
Number of interns that come from a School Psychology program 0 0 0
Range of integrated assessment reports: lowest number of reports written 1 0 1
Range of integrated assessment reports: highest number of reports written 23 16 23
Summary of Post Internship Employment Settings of Each Internship Class
2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019
Working on dissertation/Student: 1 1 1
Postdoctoral Fellow: 0 5 3
Community Mental Health Center: 0 0 1
Health Maintenance Organization: 0 0 0
Veteran's Affairs Medical Center: 0 0 0
Military Medical Center: 0 0 0
Private General Hospital: 0 0 0
General Hospital: 0 1 0
Other Medical Center: 0 0 0
Private Psychiatric Hospital: 0 0 1
State/County/Other Public Hospital: 0 0 0
Correctional Facility: 5 0 1
School District/System: 0 0 0
University Counseling Center: 0 1 0
University Teaching Faculty: 0 0 0
2 or 4 year Undergraduate Teaching Position: 0 0 0
Medical School: 0 0 0
Academic Non-Teaching Position: 0 0 0
Research Position: 0 0 0
Independent Practice: 0 0 0
Other (e.g. consulting): 0 1 1
Not Currently Employed: 0 0 1
Changed to Other Career Field: 0 0 0
Unknown: 0 3 0