Cultural Competency Issues with Forensic Evaluation

Monday February 24 2020, one-day program

University of Virginia, Charlottesville VA

Forensic Training Series

Led by nationally recognized expert, Barry Rosenfeld PhD, this workshop will review a range of issues related to forensic assessment of individuals from diverse ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. The last decade has witnessed a surge in awareness of the inherent challenges when applying forensic evaluation techniques to individuals from a different culture. Indeed, the expectation that clinicians will maintain an adequate level of “cultural competence” in both clinical practice and research has never been greater. This workshop incorporates the ever-growing research literature on culture and forensic assessment and culminates in a number of guidelines for “best practices.”

The workshop will begin with relevant background on the construct of “cultural competence” and recent legal decisions that have addressed the importance of culturally-appropriate assessment techniques. The workshop topics will follow the timeline of a typical evaluation, with a review of issues and solutions that can be implemented prior to the evaluation begins, such the role of pre-evaluation cultural research and adaptations to traditional procedures for eliciting consent. This will be followed by a review of issues and recommendations for conducting the interview itself, including selection and training of translators, identifying culturally unique symptoms or behaviors, and interpretation of observed behaviors and reported symptoms. Concluding with the clinical interview the workshop will focus on decision-making regarding psychological testing and the interpretation of test results.

Relevant ethical issues related to cross-cultural forensic assessment will be integrated throughout the workshop, as appropriate. Case vignettes will be injected throughout the workshop to highlight relevant issues and techniques and elicit audience participation.   

Barry Rosenfeld is a Professor and Chair in the Department of Psychology and an Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University. He received his doctoral in Clinical Psychology from the University of Virginia, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in bio-ethics and consultation-liaison psychology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center before working for several years as Senior Psychologist for the New York City Forensic Psychiatry Clinic (a division of Bellevue Hospital). He is currently the President of the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of several prominent psychology journals, including Law and Human Behavior, Psychological Assessment, and Assessment, and is the former Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Forensic Mental Health. Dr. Rosenfeld has published widely on a range of topics related to forensic assessment including malingering, stalking, competence to stand trial, violence risk assessment, and cross-cultural issues in forensic psychology. He is currently completing a book entitled Forensic Assessment with Diverse Populations: A Guide for Clinicians. His research has been funded continuously for roughly 25 years, and has received nearly 20 million dollars in research funding. Dr. Rosenfeld is also board certified in forensic psychology and maintains an active practice in forensic consultation. Dr. Rosenfeld has evaluated multiple individuals detained in the infamous Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay military prisons, consulted to a U.N. War Tribunal regarding the prosecution of Serbian individuals accused of war crimes, and evaluated litigants in a class action lawsuit against the government of India. He has testified in many high profile cases, including U.S. v. Osama Bin Laden (involving alleged Al Qaeda members convicted of blowing up the U.S. Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya). 

Date: Monday February 24 2020, one-day program

Time: 9:00AM to 4:30PM. Lunch on your own.

Expected outline of the day:

9:00-9:30 AM Legal, ethical and scientific background competence
9:30-10:00 An introduction to cultural competence
10:00-10:30 Background researching culture: why and how
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45-12:00 Conducting the Interview
12:00-1:00 PM Lunch
1:00-1:30 Psychological testing: cognition
1:30-2:00 Psychological testing: multiscale inventories
2:00-2:30 Psychological testing: malingering
2:30-2:45 Break
2:45-3:30 Assessment of Psychopathy and Violence Risk 
3:30-4:00 Asylum evaluations and international human rights law
4:00-4:30 Wrap-up, discussion and additional Q&A

Location: Caplin Pavilion, School of Law, University of Virginia, located at 580 Massie Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903-1738.

 The location among buildings of the School of Law may be seen on this Graphic Map of Law Grounds buildings [ ]  - and on this topographical map Topographical Map of UVA North Grounds including Law Grounds  [  

An  Internet Map of Law Grounds  is available at 

The School of Law maintains  Law School's Page of Directions ]

Arrangements have been made with the School of Law to allow participants parking free of charge in the D-2 and D-3 spaces.  A parking map of the University is found at Parking Map of the University ].  Please be sure to park only in areas marked D-2 or D-3 (D-3 is more distant and would involve more walking)

Faculty for this program: Barry Rosenfeld PhD.  Please see Dr Rosenfeld's brief bio above.  More information about the program may be requested from

Educational objectives:

 At the conclusion of the program 

1. Participants will be able to describe the principles of cultural competence in psychological evaluations
2. Participants will identify forms of cultural biases that can impact forensic consultation
3. Participants will list steps necessary before evaluating individuals of diverse cultural backgrounds
4. Participants will be capable of training and utilizing interpreters in forensic assessment
5. Participants will competently interpret assessment and interview data in culturally diverse settings
6. Participants will differentiate appropriate and inappropriate psychological tests that can be used with individuals of particular cultural backgrounds.
7. Participants will apply ethical standards to their cross-cultural assessment practice


The following speaker(s) with this program have no personal or professional financial relationships with a commercial entity producing healthcare goods and/or services: (in alphabetical order) :

Barry Rosenfeld PhD 

The planning committee have no personal or professional financial relationships with a commercial entity producing healthcare goods and/or services (in alphabetical order): Daniel Murrie PhD, Angela Torres PhD, Benjamin Skowysz LCSW, Janet Warren DSW

Continuing education

Participants will receive a general certification of attendance.  Award of accredited hours of continuing education requires documentation and may require payment. 

Please see detailed information below.  Please send questions to email  Thank you. 

Accreditation and Designation Statements:

For physicians and others

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the University of Virginia School of Medicine and Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy. The University of Virginia School of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Virginia School of Medicine and/or The University of Virginia School of Nursing Continuing Education, as accredited provider(s),  awards  6 hours of participation (consistent with the  designated number of AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM  or ANCC contact hours) to participants who successfully completes this educational activity. The University of Virginia School of Medicine and/or The University of Virginia School of Nursing Continuing Education maintains a record of participation for six (6) years.

The program is jointly provided by the Office of Continuing Medical Education of the University of Virginia School of Medicine and the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy at the University of Virginia.

The cost will be $18 for each hour of credits claimed out of the 6 total available.

For psychologists and others

The Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

This is an intermediate level program building special competencies on a foundation of forensic evaluation.

There will be no additional charge for this award of accredited hours.

For attorneys

ILPPP will seek accreditation of Continuing Legal Education through Virginia State Bar. 

There will be no additional charge for these credits if awarded.

How to register for the program:

Application for registration is made through your individual user profile created with the ILPPP website. Please create your profile, or get automated help to find your profile if you have forgotten your profile name or password:
After you apply for registration you will receive an automated email confirming that ILPPP has received your application. Acceptance into a program is not automatic because capacity limitations and public mental health system needs are considered. After ILPPP formally accepts a registrant  into the program they will receive a second automated email that confirms registration and includes invoice information and online payment instructions.
Before the program ILPPP will send further information to assist participant's planning. Questions about registration may go to 
Registration & Cancellation Fees and Refund Policy


Employees of VA DBHDS facilities and CSBs - $90

Others - $225

Cancellation fee - $25.00.  Refunds are available only if requested at least 24 hours before the program date.