The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office recently began a new Legal Internship Program at the Suffolk County Correctional Facilities in Riverhead and Yaphank.
The Mentor Attorney for the program is Steven J. Kuehhas, Esq., who is also an Undersheriff in the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office. Prior to his work with the Sheriff’s Office, Undersheriff Kuehhas worked as a prosecutor for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and later as the East End Bureau Chief assigned to prosecute cases for the five eastern towns and villages of Suffolk County.
Sheriff Errol D. Toulon, Jr. sees this intern program as another opportunity for the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office to assist in the education of our future leaders. “The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office Student Legal Intern Program is a welcome addition to our other internship programs. We are happy to report that our programs are very popular and applications for internships with the Sheriff’s Office are often numerous and very competitive. An internship with a law enforcement agency is an eye-opening experience, and this internship gives future attorneys the chance for real, hands-on experience in the correctional facilities and our civil sections. I would like to thank Undersheriff Steve Kuehhas for leading this initiative.”
Currently, the program has one legal intern. Intern Matthew Barden attends Brooklyn Law School and reports to the Suffolk County Correctional Facilities on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. His duties include:
- Law Library – The legal intern reports to the Riverhead and Yaphank Correctional Facilities, where he assists inmates with legal research through Westlaw and legal publications on the websites. Legal advice is prohibited.
- Legal Research – The legal intern completes legal research assigned by mentor attorney for the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office.
- Inmate Grievances – The legal intern reviews inmate grievances and suggests remedial action within the parameters of NYS Minimum Standards for Correctional Facilities.
- Inmate Disciplinary Hearings – The legal intern attends disciplinary hearings of inmates accused of violating sections of the correctional disciplinary codes.
- NYS Supreme Court Writs of Habeas Corpus Hearings – The legal intern reviews inmate writs of habeas corpus applications with supporting documents and attends weekly hearings.
- Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office Claims Unit – The legal intern reviews causes of action, such as Tort Claims, filed against the Sheriff’s Office.
- Civil Enforcement Bureau – This is an opportunity for the legal intern to become familiar with civil enforcement issues such as evictions, income executions, and service of process by Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sheriffs.
Undersheriff Kuehhas is appreciative of this opportunity to mentor new attorneys. “I want to thank Sheriff Toulon for establishing this internship program here at the Sheriff’s Office. Opportunities for attorneys to gain hands-on experience are invaluable when preparing lawyers to take on clients and enter the courtroom. I am looking forward to helping law students acquire this knowledge and experience that will benefit them greatly as they embark on their legal careers.”
For more information on this program, or any of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office programs, please visit www.SuffolkSheriff.com.