In This Issue

Criminal justice section report

To increase the section’s sense of community the first Criminal Justice Section newsletter will be developed and distributed in the next year

By Femina P. Varghese, PhD

The Criminal Justice Section had a wonderful year last year and initiated several projects to increase our visibility and membership. Our Facebook page continues to attract attention as well over 100 people have liked the page since it went online last spring. Melody Brown has been doing a wonderful job managing this page. In addition, we spent the last year reaching out to various groups including mailing membership applications and fliers to the chief psychologist at each prison within the Federal Bureau of Prisons, hosting brown bags and growing our student representative program. Further, our first Criminal Justice Section lunch in Orlando at APA was well-attended. We met several new faces that have never before been involved with the section. Good work to Nicole Gross for organizing this event.

I am delighted by the interest and excitement in our section. The business meeting at APA was well attended with several new faces. During the business meeting we recognized winners for our third annual Criminal Justice Section awards. Tess Neal won the Dissertation Award and Alana cook won the Outstanding Psychology Student Award. Both of these individuals displayed excellence in their achievements and are now serving in our Criminal Justice Section ad-hoc committee. I want to thank Lauren Lussier for doing a wonderful job chairing the Criminal Justice Section awards committee for the last three years. During the section business meeting, Abigail Tucker shared the results of the Criminal Justice Section member survey we conducted in the spring. Results indicated that overall, members felt satisfied with the section and would recommend the Criminal Justice Section to others. Members stated that they liked the listserv and networking opportunities it offered. Considering these results, I want to encourage each of you to invite at least one person to join the section who has an interest in criminal justice populations. I personally have found my experience in this section valuable to my career and I know others have stated the same.

During the business meeting we discussed the possibility of interdivisional collaboration with APA’s Divison 41, the American Psychology and Law Society (AP-LS). As a result of these discussions we have formed a subcommittee for interdivisional collaboration consisting of Alana Cook, Nicole Gross, Tess Neal and Sarah Manchak. I believe such interdivisional collaboration will increase the visibility of the section to members within AP-LS.

In our desire to be helpful to psychologists early in their career, we contacted criminal justice experts, mostly from within our section, to provide advice that would be relevant to students and early career professionals entering the criminal justice field. Sarah Manchak did an excellent job gathering and organizing the responses from such seasoned professionals including Robert Morgan, Steve Norton, Bob Ax, Joel Dvoskin, Phil Magalaetta, and Jennifer Skeem. The questions and the responses will be posted on our Facebook page on a weekly to biweekly basis. Having read each response given, I can assure you that you will find timely and relevant advice for success in career and in life. We will inform the section when we will begin posting these responses.

Consistent with my goal to increase our section’s sense of community, we are planning to develop and send our first Criminal Justice Section newsletter this year, by Mid-winter (January/February). We hope that this newsletter will serve as a way to disseminate section relevant news as well as spotlight various members. Melody Brown and Shannon Griswold have agreed to serve as our first newsletter editors. Please watch for emails soliciting newsworthy information from members. We hope this newsletter will not only be informative, but will honor and recognize our members and their achievements.

Finally, I want to encourage section members to submit presentations to APA as it will be nice to continue to see our section well-represented at this national conference.

Thank you again for allowing me to serve as the chair of this vibrant and growing section. I look forward to another productive year. If you have any interest in becoming involved in the section, feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.