Biography

Virginia Barber Rioja obtained her Ph.D. in clinical forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York. She is currently the Co-Chief of Service for Mental Health at NYC Health + Hospitals/Correctional Health Services, which oversees mental health treatment in the NYC jail system. She is also an adjunct associate professor in the Psychology Department of New York University where she teaches in the graduate program. She has over 15 years of experience working in correctional and forensic contexts. She worked as an attending psychologist in the forensic inpatient unit of Bellevue Hospital Center, as the clinical director of several mental health courts, diversion and reentry programs in NYC, and as a consultant for the juvenile correctional facilities in Puerto Rico. With the goal of bringing knowledge of forensic psychology to applied audiences and policy makers, Dr. Barber Rioja has provided a great deal of teaching to probation and parole officers, police officers, defense attorneys, prosecutors and judges. She has published and presented workshops nationally and internationally on the topics of criminal justice diversion, mental health courts, clinically informed case management, forensic mental health assessment, implementation of risk assessment instruments in special jurisdiction courts, and psychological evaluations in the context of immigration proceedings. Dr. Barber Rioja maintains a private forensic practice involving immigration, state and federal court cases. She is a board member of the Asociación Iberoamericana de Justicia Terapéutica (Iberoamerican Association of Therapeutic Jurisprudence) and a former member of the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Legal Issues (COLI).

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