In this issue

Message from the chair

Criminal Justice Section Chair of Div.18 introduces this issue of The Gavel.

By Sheila Brandt, PsyD

Hello Colleagues and Friends,

I hope you all had a great summer. I enjoyed meeting some of you at the recent annual convention of the American Psychological Association (APA). I would like to start with special thanks to Erica Fitzgerald (Criminal Justice [CJ] Section) and Erica Lee (Community and State Hospitals Section) for their leadership in establishing solid Div. 18 APA convention programming; now Past President Anne Klee for hosting a welcoming hospitality suite and, again, to Erica Fitzgerald for her coordination of the many events occurring within the hospitality suite.

I also want to thank Lauren Lussier for her time reviewing our nominations for the CJ Section awards. I was honored to present our awards and meet some family members of our awardees during our CJ Section meeting at APA.

Jason Smith was selected to receive the Outstanding Dissertation Award for his comprehensive work, “Female Psychopathy: A Rorschach Investigation of Personality Structure.” Jason's dissertation focused on clarifying and expanding previous findings, including some corrections of past methodological flaws, with regard to the psychodynamics of female incarcerated with women. From their letters of nomination, Dr. Ted Cunliffe and Dr. Carl Gacono concurred that Jason's scholarly work represents critical and applied implications for the assessment and treatment of female offenders, which has often been based on transferring conceptualizations from work with males. Jason recently graduated with his PsyD in clinical psychology, forensic concentration, from Carlos Albizu University in Florida. Look for Jason's work to in a future issue of the Journal of Personality Assessment.

Our Outstanding Student Award was presented to Konstantinos Papazoglou for his exceptional work in, and dedication to, exploring trauma and resilience within the criminal justice and emergency professional fields. Konstantions worked as a police officer and mental health counselor in Greece before moving to the United States to complete his master's degree at New York University. He is currently a doctoral student at the University of Toronto. He has already presented nearly 30 research and professional projects throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. However, his research is not limited to the lab or journals. He is skilled at translating his research findings to the development of resiliency in law enforcement professionals, where complicated territorial issues and apprehension about mental health interventions can be tough to navigate. In her nomination letter, Dr. Judith Anderson commented, “Konstantions has the potential to become a key player in this research area by mobilizing funding and forging collaborations with local and international agencies. It was an honor to meet both these rising stars and to encourage them to become even more involved in our section.

Then, I would like to thank Nicole Bartholomew (formerly Gross – congrats Nicole) for sharing her energy with the CJ Section as our student representative for the past few years. This is a critical role in providing continuity in our perspectives on training for, and career development of, psychologists. But I am also thrilled to announce that Ashley Oliver, a third-year counseling psychology doctoral student at Cleveland State University, has been selected to serve as our new CJ Section student representative. She has trained with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. While Ashley is involved in several areas of research, her primary interest is in vocational needs of, and barriers to employment for, ex-offenders.

I confess, this past convention had been my first convention in several years. With social media and interactive technology, I had almost forgotten how professionally invigorating conventions and conferences can be in terms of creating synergy within an organization. I know, this is odd to hear coming from a psychologist. It is also these experiences that provide opportunities for us to be informed by the most current research, challenged to address the changing social and political context in which we practice and expand networks and venues in which we can apply our science for the betterment of the public good.

With that, I am strongly encouraging all of you to consider presenting at, or attending, the third annual North American Correctional & Criminal Justice Psychology Conference (NACCJPC) in Ottawa on June 4-6, 2015. This conference is really “the” conference that focuses on emerging trends, best practices, cutting edge research and public policy related to the work of psychologists in correctional and criminal justice settings. The conference is extremely “presenter” friendly. Whether you are a student researcher, intern, postdoc fellow, early career psychologist, established in your practice or using your expertise for consulting, there are opportunities for you to share your research and experience and to learn from others'. Finally, this conference will truly expose you to international issues in criminal justice and psychology. NACCJPC is a joint endeavor of our CJ Section and the CJ Section of the Canada Psychological Association. In addition, attendees and presenters from several countries come together here to network and learn from each other. There is no other international conference in our specialty area that you will find so accessible. And who doesn't love Canada? Check out the Facebook page – the call for papers is now open. I will see you there.