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Oscar-winner Hilary Swank to Join Panel Discussion on Wrongful Convictions at Prison Fellowship's Virginia Headquarters

Contact: Kimberly N. Alleyne, Prison Fellowship, 703-554-8459, 845-616-8115 cell, Kimberly_alleyne@pfm.org

LANSDOWNE, Va., Oct. 27 /Christian Newswire/ -- Hilary Swank, star of "Conviction," will share her views on wrongful convictions and the important role churches can play in fighting injustice during a panel discussion on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010, at Prison Fellowship. The talk will follow the 7 p.m. screening of "Conviction." Swank carries the lead role in the movie that is based on the gripping true story of Betty Anne Waters who spent 18 years trying to clear her brother, Kenneth, from a wrongful murder conviction.

"Conviction", executive produced by Swank, chronicles Betty Anne's journey as a single mother to earn her GED, undergraduate degree and then a law degree -- all so she could prove Kenneth's innocence. He was freed in 2001.

"I have seen how important faith can be in helping prisoners through difficult times. I wanted to share the movie with churches to remind them of the important role they play in reforming our justice system and helping prisoners and their families," said Swank, a two-time Academy Award winner and producer.

The movie highlights a timely subject of injustice said Pat Nolan, vice president of Prison Fellowship, a national Christian organization that helps prisoners and their children through a variety of programs. Nolan is president of Justice Fellowship, its advocacy and social justice arm.

"For every person who has been falsely convicted, there is a guilty person who is walking the streets of our communities as a free citizen -- that is a serious threat to all of us." Nolan said.

There are 2.3 million prisoners sitting in U.S. prisons and jails. (Bureau of Justice Statistics) There are likely many more stories of wrongful convictions among them.

"The issue of wrongful convictions needs the urgent attention of our communities, churches, government and policy makers. Prison Fellowship's mission to transform prisoners' lives through faith in God guides our passion to advocate for critical reforms such as this in our prison system. We are delighted that Ms. Swank used her talents to interpret this poignant story that so brilliantly underscores the devastation that wrongful convictions cause," Nolan said.

Those who wish to attend this special event may click here to RSVP.