Working in Confinement During COVID-19 A Discussion with Joel Dvoskin, Ph.D.

Sponsored by the Criminal Justice Section of APA Division 18 and the Corrections Committee of Division 41 – AP-LS

Psychologists in Public Service – Division 18 of APA and the American Psychology and the Law Society invited Joel Dvoskin to speak about working in confinement during Covid-19.


The American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS) is a division of the American Psychological Association (APA) and is comprised of individuals interested in psychology and law issues. AP-LS encourages APA members, graduate and undergraduate students, and persons in related fields to consider membership in the division.

Division 18 – Justice section works primarily with incarcerated people and administrators who operate state or federal correctional facilities and detention centers. They provide professional support to one another through an exchange of information concerning the administration, assessment, treatment, ethical, and training issues that are involved in this challenging line of work.

APA membership is not required for membership in the American Psychology-Law Society. Please visit the AP-LS Membership Database website to become a member, renew your membership, or verify membership status.

Div. 18 offers seven special interest sections in which members can participate.

Members of the division are encouraged to join the special interest section that most reflects their interests.


A chair, who is also a member of the Div. 18 Board of Directors, heads each section.

  • Community and State Hospitals
    Members of this section share common interests in such areas as psychological service deliver, research, program development, outcome evaluation, and systems management, within the context of public mental health settings. They frequently treat persons with serious mental illness and may have interests in telemedicine. Activities of the section include promoting patient advocacy and helping establish parity with medical staff in hospital settings.
  • Criminal Justice
    Members of this section work primarily with incarcerated people and with administrators who operate state or federal correctional facilities and detention centers. Members of this section provide professional support to one another through an exchange of information concerning the administration, assessment, treatment, and ethical and training issues that are involved in this challenging line of work.
  • Police and Public Safety
    Members of this section work with law enforcement, fire departments, nuclear regulatory agencies, emergency medical services, and other public safety entities. They are involved in the selection of employees, fitness for duty evaluations, critical incident stress debriefing, management of mental health programs, criminal investigative analysis (profiling), and hostage negotiations.
  • Psychologists in Indian Country
    Members of this section share an interest in providing psychological services to native people in the United States and Canada. They typically work on reservations or reserves, employed by tribes, urban programs, or the Indian Health Service. This section provides them with an organized professional voice, advocacy for issues and concerns, and a communication network among their members who frequently work in isolated rural areas. As the newest sections in Div. 18, it welcomes all who have an interest in serving native people.
  • Serious Mental Illness – Severe Emotional Disturbance (SMI – SED)
    Members of this section share a common interest in promoting optimal functioning in adults living with serious psychiatric disorders and children diagnosed with severe emotional disorders. Members work in a variety of settings (e.g., state hospitals, community agencies, private practice, Veterans Health Administration facilities, residential programs and criminal justice systems) and share a commitment to supporting the recovery and resilience of persons experiencing disorders such as schizophrenia and other disorders on the psychotic spectrum, mood disorders and co-occurring Axis II diagnoses. Members are involved in mental health administration, direct clinical care, research, public policy development and patient advocacy.
  • Students
    This section seeks to engage students interested in a career in public service; its members strive to connect, provide resources and create opportunities.
  • Veterans Affairs
    Psychologists working for the Department of Veterans Affairs serve our nations’ veterans in a national network of health care facilities. Section members include psychologists and other stakeholders who promote the Department’s mission through patient care, research, training, and consumer activities, and who from a nation network to share ideas and concerns. The VA section is one of the more active sections in Div. 18 and is the only VA-related group open to all VA psychologists.

Published by Ohio Forensic Evaluation Center Directors Association

We offer Ohio's Courts of Common Pleas and the other criminal justice and mental health related services in our regions evidence-based, expertly crafted mental health opinions, and promote the ideals of objectivity and excellence in all forensic evaluation opinions proffered. We strive to promote this standard through the work of our centers and to our colleagues and consultants outside of our centers through training and supervision. Further, we never fail to consider the community's safety, as well as the individual's need for the most clinically appropriate interventions, as we are crafting these opinions and conducting our training. Additionally, we serve our colleagues in the state hospitals, the prison system and the state and county Mental Health and Addiction Services Boards, Developmental Disability Boards, Probation Departments and Municipal Courts to find effective solutions to many of our risk of violence and community mental health safety issues. We are proud to serve the courts of Ohio, and appreciate the ongoing recognition we receive for our work.

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