November 01, 2017

Washington, D.C., lawyer Heather Cartwright to receive ABA 2017 Carrington Award Crime Victim Attorney Award

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2017 — The American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section will honor Washington, D.C. lawyer Heather L. Cartwright with its Frank Carrington Crime Victim Attorney Award at the CJS Awards Luncheon on Friday, Nov. 3 in Washington, D.C. 

The award recognizes attorneys, legal service providers or organizations that represent specific victims in criminal, juvenile or appellate courts, or worked to promote or implement policies to improve the treatment of crime victims in the criminal justice system. The award will be presented during the 2017 CJS Tenth Annual Fall Institute at the Westin Washington Hotel.

“Throughout her career, Heather has worked with foreign governments to advocate for victim’s rights,” said Morris “Sandy” Weinberg, chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section. “Her work has helped ensure victim’s rights are included as part of the criminal justice system beyond U.S. borders and has been of great benefit to numerous victims. To honor her work, Heather will receive the Frank Carrington Crime Victim Attorney Award.”

Since June 2007, Cartwright has served as the director of the Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism (OVT) in the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.  OVT was created by Congress and established by the attorney general in May of 2005 in part to ensure that the rights of U.S. citizen victims of overseas terrorism are honored and respected.  The office provides direct services to those victims by helping them navigate foreign criminal justice systems and it also advocates for their voices to be heard around the world.

From Aug. 2010 to Aug. 2011, Cartwright served as the coordinator of the deputy attorney general’s Victims of Crime Working Group, where she oversaw the revision of the Attorney General Guidelines for Victim and Witness Assistance. From 2002-07, Cartwright was chief of the Victim Witness Assistance Unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, managing the largest prosecution-based victim assistance program in the federal system, serving victims and witnesses in cases before the D.C. Superior Court and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Prior to that appointment, Cartwright spent five years in the Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime.

Cartwright received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Ill. She served as law clerk to the George M. Marovich, U.S. District Judge, Northern District of Illinois, and as an assistant U.S. attorney general for the District of Columbia for eight years.

Through the Justice Department’s international rule of law programs, Cartwright has worked extensively with foreign governments advocating for the inclusion of victims’ rights and services as part of the criminal justice process.  Countries assisted include:  Japan, Kosovo, Romania, Poland, Latvia, Kenya, Albania, and Colombia.

Click here for a photo of Cartwright.

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