Department : 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: 619-653-8745
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:
APA Accreditation Accredited
CPA Accreditation Not Accredited
Internship Staff/Faculty Information
Training Director & Lead / Director: Kristin Francis
Chief Psychologist: Sonia Bahro
Number of Full-Time Licensed Doctoral Psychologists on Staff/Faculty 43
Number of Part-Time Licensed Doctoral Psychologists on Staff/Faculty 1
Position Information
Start Date: 08/07/2023
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: 50049
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): Interns may choose to accumulate 11 hours of annual leave every month or 7 hours of vacation and 8 hours of sick leave totaling 15 hours every month. Additionally, Interns are allotted 16 hours of professional development as well as 40 hours of continuing education leave. In addition interns may request reimbursement up to $500 total for tuition and/or registration fees, cost of course-related books, transportation or mileage expenses, toll and parking fees, lodging and subsistence expenses, and all other related expenses for training/continuing education. This includes courses needed for pre-licensure in the state of CA. Interns are also given time off on 11 state holidays: New Year’s Day, MLK Jr Day, President’s Day, Cesar Chavez Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day After Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. Interns may be reimbursed up to $100 for recognized professional association fees. Interns are also eligible for up to 24 hours (3 working days) for bereavement leave, and paid time off for mandatory jury duty. For a full list of benefits, please email the training director.
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 (note not all rotations are available each year): LGBTQ Unit, DBT-Informed Skills Based Program, Developmental Disability Program, Assessment Unit, Suicide Prevention, Clinical Support Unit, Personal Insight & Restorative Justice Program, Mental Health Crisis Bed, Sex Offender Treatment, or the Behavioral Health Unit.
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: 12/12/2022 11:59 PM EST
Interviews at this site are:
  • Virtual
Interview notification date: 12/16/2022
Tentative interview date: 01/23/2023
Interview process description:

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. Applicants of all ethnicities, races, genders, ages, socio-economic status, national origins, sexual orientations, gender identities, disabilities, and religions are encouraged to apply.

Applicants must submit an online application through the APPIC portal, which must include: A current curriculum vitae; graduate program transcripts; 3 letters of recommendation; A certification of readiness from the applicant’s DCT; and a completed work sample (a de-identified psychological testing report).

When evaluating applicants, the RJDCF HSP Internship Program will take into account the decreased direct service hours accumulated by applicants beginning in March 2020, and make exceptions for applicants whose clinical hours and training experiences were impacted by the pandemic. We will not exclusively rely on minimum hour requirements, as we recognize the significant and ongoing disruption to training experiences for many applicants. We will consider additional training opportunities given to applicants to improve their skills during practicum experiences to prepare them for internship, as well as the overall application, and goodness of fit of the intern and RJDCF.

Applicants invited for an interview will be notified by email on Interview Notification Day.  The RJDCF HSP Internship Program will conduct internship interviews in 2023 using a HIPAA compliant video platform. Those invited to a virtual interview should have a computer or phone with video/audio capabilities in order to participate in their interview. In rare circumstances where an interviewee does not have access to video capabilities or video transmission is disrupted during the interview, a phone interview will be acceptable.  Any reasobale accommodation required will be provided for intern applicants to participate in their interviews.  We will also offer a Virtual Open House to applicants after each phase of interviews where applicants can meet and ask questions to current clinical supervisors, the training director, and current interns, and watch a video with a virtual tour of the prison grounds and information on the multiple inmate programs offered at RJDCF.

The RJDCF HSP Internship Program participates in the National Matching Service for internship selection.  Therefore, per APPIC, during Phase I of the Match, applicants and training sites will submit rank orders by the date stipulated by APPIC, and will be notified of results of the Match on Match Day.  Interns who have been matched with RJDCF HSP Internship Program will be contacted by the TD as soon as possible on Match Day, and will receive a letter of appointment via email within 7 days of the match with confirmation of conditions of the appointment and internship start/end dates. Matched applicants must also submit an application to CDCR through the regular, civil service employee application process and must complete a credentialing process through CDCR.

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.

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.


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 Professional Psychology - Sacramento California School of Professional Psychology - Fresno California School of Forensic Studies- Fresno Adler University University of Buffalo University of Wisconsin-Madison University of La Verne 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 Texas Tech Azusa Pacific University California Lutheran University Marywood University Ponce Health Sciences University
Internship Applicant Requirements
US Citizenship Required: No
If NOT a U.S. Citizen, Authorization to Work or to Engage in Practical Training (CPT or OPT) in the US is Required: Yes
Canadian Citizenship Required: No
If NOT a Canadian Citizen, Authorization to Work in Canada or to Engage in Practical Training (CPT or OPT) in Canada is 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 (if applicable): 600
Minimum Number of AAPI Assessment Hours (if applicable): 120
Minimum Number of Combined Intervention and Assessment Hours (if applicable):
Minimum Number of Years of Grad Training Required (if applicable): 3
Accepted / Not-Accepted Program Types
Clinical Psychology Accepted
Counseling Psychology Accepted
School Psychology Accepted
APA-Accredited Accepted
CPA-Accredited Accepted
Non-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: COVID-19 VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS Pursuant to the August 19, 2021 public health order (Order) issued by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), staff who are regularly assigned to provide health care or health care services to inmates, prisoners, or detainees shall show evidence of full-vaccination against COVID-19 by October 14, 2021, unless they qualify for an accommodation based on religious beliefs or due to qualifying medical reason(s). All staff subject to the Order, as determined by the Hiring Authority, shall complete the CDCR/CCHCS COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement Form. Completed forms shall be submitted to the Hiring Authority via the staff’s direct supervisor. The CDCR/CCHCS COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement Form requires employees to read, understand and acknowledge the CDPH vaccination requirement and occupational risk of COVID-19 exposure, and to declare, under penalty of perjury, their COVID-19 vaccination status. For more information on this policy, please directly email the RJDCF HSP Internship Program Training Director, Dr. Kristin Francis at
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: LGBTI Unit, Assessment Unit, Developmental Disabilites Program, Suicide Prevention, DBT-Informed Skills Based Program, Clinical Support Unit, Personal Insight & Restorative Justice Program, Mental Health Crisis Bed, Sex Offender Treatment, Behavioral Health Unit.  Interns will be in their specialty rotation 1 day each week and will have a special project to complete per rotation.

Accreditation Status

On August 10, 2021, the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility Health Service Psychology Internship program became APA-Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association.   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: EXPOSURE (1% to 20%)
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 training experiences may be available as described in the APPIC Directory. Please consult the program's application materials or their website at:  for a complete description of the training opportunities available at this training site. IF the site has not updated their information by August 1, feel free to contact the Training Director for additional information.

Summary of the Characteristics of the Specified Internship Class
2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 2022-2023
Number of Completed Applications: 36 20 47 114 103 114
Number of applicants invited for interviews: 26 11 38 49 60 63
Total number of interns: 6 5 6 6 8 8
Total number of interns from APA/CPA accredited programs: 6 5 4 5 8 8
Total number of interns from Ph.D. programs: 2 1 0 1 1 0
Total number of interns from Psy.D. programs: 4 4 6 5 7 8
Total number of interns from Ed.D. programs: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Number of interns that come from a Clinical Psychology program 6 5 6 6 8 8
Number of interns that come from a Counseling Psychology program 0 0 0 0 0 0
Number of interns that come from a School Psychology program 0 0 0 0 0 0
Range of integrated assessment reports: lowest number of reports written 1 0 1 1 0 0
Range of integrated assessment reports: highest number of reports written 23 16 23 65 44 109
Summary of Post Internship Employment Settings of Each Internship Class (1st Placement)
2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022
Working on dissertation/Student: 1 1 1 0 2 0
Postdoctoral Fellow: 0 5 3 6 4 3
Community Mental Health Center: 0 0 1 1 0 2
Health Maintenance Organization: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Veteran's Affairs Medical Center: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Military Medical Center: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Private General Hospital: 0 0 0 0 0 0
General Hospital: 0 1 0 0 0 0
Other Medical Center: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Private Psychiatric Hospital: 0 0 1 0 0 0
State/County/Other Public Hospital: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Correctional Facility: 5 0 1 2 2 3
School District/System: 0 0 0 0 0 0
University Counseling Center: 0 1 0 0 0 2
University Teaching Faculty: 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 or 4 year Undergraduate Teaching Position: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Medical School: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Academic Non-Teaching Position: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Research Position: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Independent Practice: 0 0 0 1 0 0
Other (e.g. consulting): 0 1 1 1 0 0
Not Currently Employed: 0 0 1 0 2 0
Changed to Other Career Field: 0 0 0 0 0 0
Unknown: 0 3 0 1 0 1