Welcome to issue 6.3 of the journal. As always, we are pleased to present papers that address
a broad range of issues, and use samples drawn from various countries around the world.
The first paper, by Gavel and Mandracchia, examines the effects of ego identity development
processes and criminal associations on thinking patterns associated with criminal behaviour
(i.e. criminogenic thinking) in a sample of 104 male prisoners. As predicted, each of the four ego
identity statuses(i.e. identity achievement,foreclosure, moratorium,identity diffusion) werepresent
in their sample of prisoners, suggesting that incarcerated offenders engage in similar identity
developmentprocesses as non-prisoners. Also, as predicted, criminal associations were found to
positively predict overall criminogenic thinking as well as the cognitive immaturity subtype of
criminogenicthinking. Finally, individualscategorised as either identity achievement or moratorium
were found to engage in significantly lower levels of criminogenic thinking, a finding counter to
predictions.The authors conclude that thereis a need for further researchto understand the ability
of identity exploration to protect against, or even negate, the influences of criminal associates.
It is widely acknowledged that lineup construction is an important factor in explaining
identification performance. Despite this, the merits of different approaches have not been
thoroughly investigated. Responding to this gap in the literature, Levi reviews the empirical
support for the match-to-description vs the similarity-to-suspect methods of choosing lineup
members. He finds that whilst the match-to-description approach might be the generally
accepted one, only very rarely does this strategy prove superior in correctly identifying culprits.
However, given that the rate of false identifications is greater when the similarity-to-suspect
method is used, Levi concludes that the American Psychological Association’s White Paper
recommendation (Wells et al., 1998) to use the match-to-description should remain in place.
The third paper (Greer) considers whether sex traffickers should be subject to sexually violent
predator (SVP) laws in order to protect victims and hold traffickers fully accountable for their
crimes. Greer notes the similarities between human sex traffickers and sexually violent offenders
in terms of predatory behaviours, victimisation tactics, and personality traits, before drawing on
case studies to build an argument for applying SVP civil commitment statutes to particularly
heinous sex trafficking cases. He contends that the implementation of SVP laws (modified if
needed), when appropriate (e.g. when individuals are a present and on-going danger to society),
would protect society from the predators they were designed to restrain.
The final paper in this issue (Sherretts and Willmott) examines the psychometric properties of the
Measure of Criminal Social Identity (MCSI) in samples of prisoners drawn from the USA (n¼501),
Pakistan (n¼319), and Poland (n¼351). Four alternative factor models, with uncorrelated
measurement error terms, are specified and tested using confirmatory factor analysis and
bifactor modelling techniques. The authors find that the MCSI is best conceptualised as
measuring three distinct dimensions (cognitive centrality, in-group affect, and in-group ties) in
each of the samples tested. Although substantial support for the measure’s reliability and utility
across diverse offender samples is found, the need for further scale development
(item rewording and the addition of items), in order to enhance our understanding of the
processes that underlie criminal thinking and pathways to offending behaviour, is noted.
As ever, we hope you find the papers in this issue interesting. We would encourage you to
recommend the journal to colleagues and give thought to submitting papers for consideration.
Author guidance can be found at: http://emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/
Our final issue of the year, “Self-harm and suicidal behaviour in forensic settings”, will be brought
to you by Dr Karen Slade. As such, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our contributors,
reviewers, and readers for their support in 2016 and to wish you all the very best for 2017.
DOI 10.1108/JCP-08-2016-0021 VOL. 6 NO. 3 2016, p. 101, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited, ISSN 2009-3829
JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL PSYCHOLOGY
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