I’m going to let you in on a secret. Each year, the National Institute of Justice holds a summer conference in Arlington, Virginia. NIJ is the research, development and evaluation agency of the United States Department of Justice. This year’s conference (link above) is scheduled for June 18-20. Registration is free. Let me repeat: registration is free.
Sessions at NIJ conferences cover all kinds of criminal justice issues. This year, they include topics like:
- Applying an Action Research Framework to the Problem of Untested Sexual Assault Evidence
- The Role of Science in Policing
- Protecting Officers by Taking NIJ Body Armor Research to the Field
- Molecular Autopsies: It’s all in the Genes
- W.E.B. Du Bois Fellows and the American Immigrant: Crime Victimization Experiences of Immigrant Populations
- Whodunnit? Latent Fingerprints: Making a Powerful Crime Fighting Tool Even Better
- Sexual Assault Forensic Practices
- Crowd Sourcing Crime Fighting
- Automation as a Cost Efficient Addition to the Forensic DNA Laboratory
And that’s just a small sampling of what is offered.
I’ve attended a couple of these conferences in the past, and I hope to attend at least some of the sessions this year. If you are a thriller writer, this is a fantastic and free (FREE!) way to keep abreast of the lastest criminal justice research and technological developments. It will make you writing seem more authentic; it will give you ideas for plots.