Volume 52   Number 4 Fall 2019

Criminal Justice Interest Group

Edited by Kristy Shockley, University of Massachusetts Lowell 

The Criminal Justice Interest Group Column features the work and ideas of our members. We encourage readers to reach out to the authors if they are interested in learning more or exploring potential opportunities for collaboration. We also invite readers to join one of our upcoming Learning Community Series presentations in which Criminal Justice Interest Group members share their work virtually to foster a learning community. More information, and recording of prior presentations, can be viewed at

Criminal Justice Interest Group Reflections and Biennial Updates

Written by Candalyn B. Rade (

Building on the momentum from our inaugural meeting in 2017, the Criminal Justice interest group had an excellent second Biennial experience this past summer.  Since that time, we solidified our vision and mission as community psychologists who intersect with the Criminal Justice system in many ways, but united in our values of equity, collaboration, creative maladjustment, social justice, and science in the service of social justice. Over the past two years, the Criminal Justice interest group has grown in both membership and participation primarily thorough our regular learning community sessions online (for more information see: 

During this year’s Biennial, the Criminal Justice interest group meeting was well attended, and we took the time to plan for the next phase of our group. The group reflected on the role of difference lenses that we bring as community psychologists to the criminal justice system, and the value this can contribute to our work. Conversations during this meeting focused on our goals to extend outside of a US-focused approach; learning from and collaborating with international justice colleagues. Finally, we discussed ways to foster support within the group, though possible mentoring opportunities, informal ways of connecting, and shared documents of members who may be future collaborators. Additionally, the interest group was represented across roundtable, poster, symposium, and ignite sessions. These presentations reflected the interest group membership and investigated a diverse range of topics including victimization, corrections, reentry, policing, human trafficking, policy change, and community safety. Many of these sessions were born out of collaborations and idea exchanges formed within the interest group and its regular meetings. 

We thank our first president, Jessica Shaw, for her service and leadership that fostered growth of the interest group. We also welcome our new president, Kristy Shockley. Kristy is a doctoral student at UMass Lowell in the Applied Psychology and Prevention Science program. Her work primarily focuses on the prosecution of child sexual abuse, dynamics within disclosure of sexual abuse, and what does/can justice look like in these contexts? Welcome, Kristy! 

If you’re interested in joining the Criminal Justice interest group or presenting for a learning community, let us know (