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Volunteer Opportunity

Internship – Behavioral Health Assistance Program – Apply now!

Opportunity Type: Ongoing Volunteer Opportunity
Department: Community Services
Category: Criminal Justice and Public Safety, Human Services and Public Health
Time Commitment & Minimum Age: 10 hours min per week - 21 years old

Community Justice Services – Boulder County Justice Center, Boulder County Jail, and community outreach

Program Summary:

What is BHAP?

The Behavioral Health Assistance Program (BHAP) is a collaboration between Community Justice Services and the Boulder County Jail. The aim of BHAP is to integrate efforts across systems to successfully address the mounting demands of a rising population of inmates who present with behavioral health needs. Where possible, BHAP will connect clients to existing behavioral health and substance use disorder services within Boulder County. Information about behavioral health service availability are collected, databased and then used by BPAH to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the larger service environment, develop strategies that fill identified gaps, and explore opportunities to modify existing policies and practices within Boulder County.

Eligibility/Client Profile

Eligible individuals include adults who come into contact with law enforcement, who have a high likelihood of serious mental illness, and high need for stabilizing services in the community. Eligibility is determined using evidenced based screening and assessment tools.

How it works

The program assesses appropriate individuals based on likelihood of serious mental illness and provides supportive services, as well as identifying barriers or obstacles that may hinder their ability to engage in services. A Behavioral Health Navigator assists in engaging and connecting these individuals to community-based support services that will assist them in achieving stability in the community. The types of services that individuals may get connected with are:

Mental Health Services and medications Housing, Education and Employment Food and Basic Needs

Transportation Financial Stability Medical and dental care Veteran Services

Support with legal requirements/compliance Securing personal records/ID/DMV

Duties and Responsibilities:

Intern Responsibilities:

Perform screenings and assessments of potential clients to determine needs and program eligibility.

Provide support in identifying referrals and resources for clients in the program.

Collaborate with partner agencies to identify and address client barriers.

Clients will be in custody as well as out of custody. Intern must have capacity to work in a jail setting,

with Boulder County Sheriff’s department partners.

Must be able to work with clients and stakeholders in the community, Boulder County Justice Center,

Longmont courthouse, and Boulder County Jail as needed.

Support clients both in person and virtually, in accordance with any COVID-19 protocol.

Collaborate and provide professional communications with staff and managers.

Data entry and filing of client information

Attend unit and individual service meetings to identify client and program needs, progress, and


Qualifications and Requirements:

Must be at least 21 years old and working towards completion of a masters level social work program, applying for a practicum or internship position. The ideal candidate is mature, and able to maintain professionalism in relationships with clients as well as stakeholders. This person has some experience and strong desire to develop an understanding of co-occurring diagnosis, case management/ coordination, and ways in which these intersect within the criminal justice system.

An understanding of trauma informed approach, solution focused/ brief therapy, and case management planning and implementation is needed. Candidate must exhibit a desire to work with clients with complex behavior issues and challenges and want to learn about varying complex systems and their implication on vulnerable populations.

Essential skills include:

Excellent verbal and written communication, Microsoft suite proficiency, ability to work independently, and be highly organized. Current Colorado Driver’s License in good standing. Must agree to criminal background check and driver’s history check and, if selected, agree to fingerprinting prior to placement. Must abide by all Boulder County personnel policies. Must complete committed length of internship to receive references.

Time Required: A minimum of 10 hours per week for 9 months is required. Time and days required are based on the chosen candidate’s program requirements. If chosen as a first-year grad student, a commitment through subsequent second year is required.

Training Dates and Information:

Training is individualized for the intern.


Mary Eldred, Justice System Volunteer Program (JSVP) Coordinator


Application Process:

Submit application with 3 references, resume and supporting essay.

Background check completed.

Documents sent to supervisor.

Supervisor rejects or approves application.

Supervisor schedules interview with applicant(s).

Supervisor selects intern.

Intern accepts.

Start date is decided between intern and supervisor.

Fingerprinting completed at least three days prior to start.

Onboarding includes Jail Safety Orientation at the jail, and training.

9-month minimum commitment regardless of start date.