FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Virginia Barber Rioja, Ph.D

Adjunct Professor,New York University
Clinical Director of Mental Health, Correctional Health Services, Rikers Island Correctional Facility/NYC Health + Hospitals

Brooklyn, NY, USA


Dr. Virginia Barber Rioja obtained her Ph.D in Clinical Forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She currently holds the position of Clinical Director of Mental Health for Correctional Health Services (NYC Health + Hospitals) which oversees mental health treatment at Rikers Island. In the past, Dr. Barber Rioja worked as an attending psychologist in the Forensic Inpatient Unit of Bellevue Hospital Center. For six years, she also worked as the Clinical Director of several of the EAC Network’s mental health diversion and jail and prison reentry programs, collaborating with special jurisdiction courts in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. With the goal of bringing knowledge of forensic psychology to applied audiences, Dr. Barber Rioja provides a great deal of teaching in the community, which entails training behavioral health providers who serve justice-involved individuals, probation and parole officers, defense attorneys, prosecutors and judges across NYC. She also provides consultation on issues related to violence risk to diversion and reentry programs around the city. She has published and presented workshops nationally and internationally on the topics of criminal justice diversion, clinically informed case management, implementation of risk assessment instruments in special jurisdiction courts, and psychological evaluations in the context of immigration proceedings. Dr. Barber Rioja also maintains a private forensic practice involving immigration, state and federal court cases. She serves as faculty in the Department of Psychiatry of New York University School of Medicine and in the Psychology Department of New York University where she teaches Psychology of Violence and Psychology of Criminal Behavior. Dr. Barber Rioja is currently a board member of the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Legal Issues (COLI), and the International Association of Therapeutic Jurisprudence.
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