Inbar Cohen's research focuses on the interchange between criminal law and mental health, examining the mutual effects the two discourses have on each other, primarily in sexual assault and in prostitution criminal proceedings. Her main scholarship concerns are therapeutic jurisprudence and critical discourse analysis. Her interest in the interchange draws from her 20 years of social work practice in the Israeli Sexual Assault Crisis Centers, ten of them as the head of the Witness Assistance Program, assisting victims throughout criminal proceedings and facilitating courses for prosecutors and judges about sexual assault trauma. In addition, for the past eight years Dr. Cohen has been teaching socio-legal courses in the School of Criminology at the University of Haifa, and in the school of law at the College of management, in Israel.
Cohen earned her PhD in Criminology at the University of Haifa, Israel. She holds a BSW from the University of Haifa as well and her MA in NGO management and in Criminology (supplemental) is from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In her PhD dissertation, Dr. Cohen examined the interchange between law and mental health focusing on sexual assault criminal cases that require expert testimonies of mental health professionals. Her study revealed a fundamental change in the legal discretion of lawyers, applying therapeutic concerns, which occasionally override legal considerations.
Cohen is a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Social Work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, on the Israeli prestigious "Haruv" scholarship. She is working with Dr. Corey Shdaimah, furthering her research on the mental health – legal interchange focusing on Prostitution Diversion Programs. In her study, Dr. Cohen examines the effect of punitive goals on court-mandated therapeutic interventions.