NIJ Conference 2010: Plenary Panels
Plenary panels at the 2010 NIJ Conference examined the circumstances of the Cameron Todd Willingham case, tackled the issue
of cell phones in prisons, and examined the achievements that were made possible because of Violence Against Women Act.
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|Rising From the Ashes: What We Have Learned From the Cameron Todd Willingham Case
The Monday plenary panel examined the circumstances of the Cameron Todd Willingham case.
Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in 2004 for setting his home on fire, resulting in the deaths of his three young children.
The case gained renewed attention in 2009 as a result of investigative reporter David Grann’s article in The New Yorker, which described contradictions and controversies surrounding the case. The panel discussed not only the facts of the case
but also the lessons learned from it.
|Cell Phones in Prison
The Tuesday plenary panel tackled the issue of cell phones in prison.
Criminals are using cell phones illegally in prisons and jails to conduct their business and intimidate witnesses. Although
technology solutions to this problem are available, they can create new challenges, such as legal and implementation issues
associated with cell phone use in correctional facilities.
Panelists discussed various aspects to consider: prisoners' use cell phones, day-to-day operations, and legal and regulatory
|VAWA: Celebrating 15 Years of Moving Forward Together
Passed in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act marked the first major investment by the federal government in state and local
efforts to address violence against women.
Over the past 15 years, VAWA-funded research and programs have had a significant impact. Lives have been saved, survivors
have been heard, families have been protected, and the criminal justice community has received training on the complex responses
to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking.
During Wednesday’s plenary, panelists examined the achievements that VAWA made possible and discussed ways to further improve
the lives of girls, women and families across the country.
Date Reviewed: April 5, 2011