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Welcome to the December 2017 
American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS) Newsletter.

Our monthly Newsletter provides information about activities, upcoming events, and resources to connect the psychology-law community.
AP-LS aspires to excel as a valuable, effective, and influential organization advancing the science of psychology-law and the translation of psychology-law knowledge into practice and policy.  


The University of Nebraska Lincoln Department of Psychology and Law is pleased to invite you to The Social Psychology and Law: In the Courtroom and Beyond Preconference at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, 2018. The preconference will take place on Thursday, March 1, 2018 in Atlanta, GA.

This preconference features the role of social psychology in court and beyond. In two separate symposia, presenters will review their own and others’ research pertaining to attribution models of social judgment, jury decision-making, attorney behavior, mediation and other issues of psychology which inform dispute resolution decisions. Presenters will show how social psychology research findings can influence policy making as well as practice, and attendees will have the opportunity to engage with speakers during our featured symposia, datablitz presentations, and a poster session.

For submission information, click here.

For information about the preconference, including the featured speakers and registration, click here.



The expert opinion column has historically served a clinical focus geared toward the practice of forensic-clinical psychology. This focus is intended to be all-encompassing, including topics about treatment protocols, research findings, recent changes in the law, ethical issues, first-hand experiences, creative insights, and other related topics.

We are looking for contributors! If you have an interest in contributing to the expert opinion column, please contact content editor Melinda Wolbransky (Melinda.wolbransky@gmail.com) with questions or ideas!


NEW for APLS 2018:
a pilot program offering Childcare Grants for attendance at the conference! The AP-LS Professional Development of Women committee will award 25 grants of up to $300, with priority to first authors and presenters. (Eligibility: open to AP-LS student and non-student members, men and women. Funds can be used for child care needs at the conference or at home during AP-LS).

Deadline to apply is December 31.

To apply, please click here


The AP-LS Minority Affairs Committee (MAC) is seeking applicants for its three award programs.  As part of the MAC initiative to increase diversity within AP-LS, and the profession as a whole, these award programs support research and travel for undergraduate and graduate students. Please review the program descriptions and consider if you or any students you know might be eligible, and encourage them to apply. Please feel free to forward this information to any colleagues who might be interested in these award programs. 

To read the program descriptions, please click here

The deadline for submitting proposals for this funding cycle is December 15, 2017.


Archives of the 2017 newsletters are now available at http://ap-ls.wildapricot.org/Newsletter


Email addresses for all current EC members and Committe Chairs can be found here.


Margaret Bull Kovera, Editor-in-Chief

As 2017 draws to a close, so does my term as Editor-in-Chief of Law and Human Behavior.  With my term ending, I have been reflecting on the changes the journal has undergone during the time I have been a member of the leadership team at LHB, which includes seven years as Associate Editor and six as Editor-in-Chief.  Submissions to the journal have almost doubled. The number of Associate Editors has grown from three to four (and soon five) to keep pace with the growing submissions to the journal. We remain selective in our publication decisions, with rejection rates hovering around 80%.  However, the increasing number of submissions has allowed us to publish more high-quality content per issue, with articles published per issue increasing by almost 50% since I started as Editor-in-Chief. Our impact factor is now 2.822, the highest it has been in more than a decade; the five-year impact factor of 2.919 is the highest ever. I feel comfortable that our team is passing off a healthy journal to the new editorial team.

During this time, we negotiated several new publishing contracts, including one that saw us move our production from Springer to the American Psychological Association.  Much in that move was positive, including increased page allotments, better marketing of the journal, and improved production services.  There were a few hiccups, most notably the loss of our placement in Westlaw and Lexis-Nexis during the transition. Although APA was able to negotiate our re-entry into Westlaw relatively rapidly, restoring the inclusion of our content in Lexis has proven to be more difficult. During my term, we have continued to push APA to resolve this issue and I am delighted to report that as of last week Lexis once again has agreed to publish our content, increasing our reach to legal professionals.  Contracts still need to be signed but I have been assured that the deal will be finalized before the end of the year.

I have learned so much during my time at the journal, not only about research but about people. I am sure that I made mistakes.  I have tried to correct them when I realized that I had and ask for your forgiveness for those I did not notice. One decision that I am certain was not a mistake was the composition of my editorial team: Amy Bradfield Douglass, David DeMatteo, Bradley McAuliff, and Patricia Zapf. Their decisions were thoughtful and measured, improving the manuscripts that were published in the journal as well as those that eventually were published in other outlets. I am so grateful to them for making this job easier and for making me and the journal look good.

It has been a great privilege to serve at the helm of our field’s journal. Thank you all for the honor and please continue to send Law and Human Behavior your best work. 


Every year The American Psychology-Law Society confers two awards for Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring in the field of psychology and law to recognize teaching excellence in a variety of contexts: The Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award and the Early Career Teaching and Mentoring Award. The winner of the awards will be announced at the annual meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society.

For more information about these awards, please click here.

The deadline for

nominations has been extended until December 15, 2017.

Nomination packets should be emailed to Melinda Wolbransky (melinda.wolbransky@gmail.com).


- Amanda Bergold, Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice: "Facial Recognition Algorithms: A New Filler-Selection Method".

- Sarah Manchak, Assistant Professor at the University of Cincinnati, School of Criminal Justice: "Factors Influencing Technical Violations on Probation: A Comparison of Offenders With and Without Mental Illness".

- Dawn Weatherford, Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Science & Mathematics at Texas A&M University-San Antonio: "You shall not pass: How professional security expertise shapes visual search for fake IDs".

- Lindsey Wylie, Research Faculty in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Nebraska Omaha: "Examining Procedural Justice in Youth Diverted from the Juvenile Justice System".


The AP-LS Book Award Committee invites nominations for the 2017 book award to be presented at the upcoming conference in Memphis from March 8-10, 2018.   

Books are evaluated on five criteria: 

1. Research and theory meet high standards.;
2. Psychology and Law issues are substantive and timely.;
3. The book clearly articulates the implications of the research for psychology and law; 

4. The book is well organized and written in clear, succinct and cogent language that powerfully communicates its concepts; 

5. The book breaks new ground with either innovative conceptual analysis, or novel data analytic procedures, or presentation of new data.

Please send nominations by December 13, 2017 to the Chair of the Committee, Marie Comiskey at Marie.Comiskey@utoronto.ca.


The Journal of Experimental Criminology invites submissions for a forthcoming special issue on Problem Solving Courts, with publication anticipated March 2019. 

The traditional justice system is a complicated machine that often takes a one-size-fits-all approach in dealing with defendants. Problem solving courts (PSCs) were developed in the late 1980s to address criminogenic risks and behaviors associated with law breaking, and now exist in the criminal, civil,and family court systems in many nations.

This special issue will assemble rigorous experimental and quasi-experimental research to deepen our understanding of problem solving courts’ mechanisms and outcomes after almost thirty years of study. We invite empirical and theoretical articles, and systematic reviews of specialty courts as both systems reforms and discrete interventions. Preference will be given to empirical articles with data.

For more information, please click here.

The deadline for submission is July 31, 2018.


For information about the 2018 AP-LS Conference workshops, please click here

Please note that the early bird rates only apply until January 31, 2018.



Check out AP-LS's Job Postings Page for up-to-date information on available psychology-law positions here.

Note that new positions are available.

Newsletter Editorial Board

 Editor Marc Patry
 Associate Editor
 Leah Georges
 Student Assistant Editor
 Sarah Shaw
 Content Editors -
 Research Briefs
 Charles Stone &
 Rebecca  Weiss

 Content Editor -
 Legal Update
 Christopher King  kingch@mail.montclair.edu
 Content Editor -
 Expert Opinion
 Melinda Wolbransky melinda.wolbransky@gmail.com
 Content Editor -
 Teaching in Psych &
 Christina Riggs Romaine
 Content Editor -
 Advances in Psych &
 Dave DeMatteo  dsd25@drexel.edu
 Content Editor -
 Career Corner
 Amanda Reed aplsstudents@gmail.com

Membership Services

        AP-LS seeks to advance the science of psychology - law and the translation of psychology-law knowledge into practice and policy.  Our mission is to enhance well-being, justice, and human rights through science and practice of psychology in legal contexts.