The field of psychology has evolved to meet the needs of the times, and psychology is making significant contributions in understanding the intersection between the legal system and professional psychology in terms of assessment, treatment and research. The philosophy of the Emphasis Area in Forensic Psychology at Spalding University is devoted to the principles of human welfare as demonstrated in respect for the dignity of persons involved in the legal system, compassionate and responsible caring, integrity in relationships, and responsibility to society. The program is based on the local clinical-scientist model which trains doctoral level clinical psychologists to serve as leaders in professional practice and clinical science. The program supports the pursuit of innovative research and the development, evaluation and use of evidence-based assessment and treatment strategies in both civil/family and criminal justice settings, and encourages the integration of practice and science throughout training.
The mission of the Forensic/Correctional Emphasis Area of the Psy.D. Program at Spalding University is to offer, within the curriculum of a doctoral program in general clinical psychology, training in the competencies (knowledge, skills and attitudes) essential to working with individuals involved within the legal system. The School of Professional Psychology is committed to identifying state-of-the-art concepts, models and practices in the forensic field, selecting high-quality and well-matched graduate students, and training them in these concepts, models and techniques to meet the needs of today’s society and to advance the field of Forensic Psychology.
Practica & Internships
The School of Professional Psychology has had a long-standing practicum training relationship with the Kentucky Department of Corrections. Many of the psychologists employed by the KDOC are Spalding MA and PsyD graduates. In addition, some of our graduates and adjunct faculty are private practice in the Louisville community, specializing in forensic and court work. All FCEA students will have placement in forensic and/or correctional sites in their third or fourth practicum. Students are required to complete their clinical skills portfolio, a part of which is to develop a conceptual model to direct the delivery of psychological services in Practicum III or IV. Their model will need to incorporate a Forensic and/or Correctional orientation.
The Association of Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) website lists 102 internships nationally that report having a major rotation in Forensic/correctional psychology. Students should have no trouble continuing their training at the internship level. There is currently an internship in the Department of Juvenile Justice in Metro Louisville. Between 1989 and 2007, the PsyD program has had a 97% match rate of interns to sites.
The expectation is that special projects, such as research (including the dissertation) and program evaluations, will be conducted related to forensic/correctional issues. The student will be expected to seek an internship that offers at least some partial experience in forensic/correctional psychology.