About the Innocence Network

About Us

The Innocence Network is an affiliation of 69 organizations from all over the world dedicated to providing pro bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted, and working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions. Currently, the Innocence Network consists of 56 U.S. based and 13 non-U.S. based organizations.

The majority of the Innocence Network’s members are based in the United States and are mainly focused on criminal justice reform in the United States, but the Network also includes non-U.S. organizations that meet its membership criteria. The Network maintains an International Committee, and we strongly encourage the development of sister networks across the world, such as Red Inocente, recognizing them as critically important partners in this work globally.

 


Network Statement on Exoneree Rights

As advocates for exonerees, we recognize the great need to make their transition easier by enhancing the availability of and access to the necessary assistance and resources. We are committed to that effort and believe exonerees should have the right to the following resources and services upon their release from prison, as needed or desired by the exoneree.

Read more.


 

Network Statement Concerning Victims

In seeking the exoneration of innocent individuals who have been convicted of crimes, the Network is acutely aware that our representation may understandably concern victims of those crimes, as well as family and friends of those victims. We recognize that our involvement in many cases may create pain or anguish. Although these consequences are unintended, the Innocence Network seeks to minimize them, while remaining devoted to its mission to exonerate innocent individuals and reform the system. In so doing, the Network believes that it shares several fundamental values with victims.

Read more.

History  

The advent of new DNA testing methods in the early 1990s gave rise to a number of organizations dedicated to proving claims of innocence that had been almost impossible to prove without DNA. As research on the causes of wrongful convictions, including eyewitness misidentification and false confessions, proliferated, claims of innocence based on non-DNA evidence were on the rise, as were the number of innocence organizations, largely housed in law schools in clinical programs. By 2000, there were 10 programs that met in Chicago for what would be the first Innocence Network Conference, now held annually each spring.

In 2004, the member organizations decided to define their association as a loosely affiliated network. A group of organization directors developed a planning committee to create membership criteria and a structure to guide the work of the members. The first 15 official members of the Network were admitted in November 2005, and a Network Executive Board was established.

Over the past eight years, the Network has more than quadrupled in size with members in the United States as well as Australia, Canada, Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Taiwan, Argentina, South Africa, Italy, and France. Its members include independent nonprofits as well as organizations affiliated in varying degrees with law schools or other educational institutions, units of public defender offices, and pro bono sections of law firms.

Job Openings at Network Organizations

Administrative Assistant, Executive, Innocence Project

The Administrative Assistant is responsible for providing administrative and logistical assistance to the Executive Director and other members of the Executive department. The Assistant will work closely with the Project Specialist & Board Liaison to support the Executive team. This position is a great opportunity for strong admin candidates who are passionate about criminal justice reform or who want to learn about how a non-profit organization and its board operate. Read... read more

Chicago Contract Attorney, Exoneration Project

The Exoneration Project (EP) is seeking a full time contract attorney to assist with a new initiative and partnership with the Iowa State Public Defender’s Office, Wrongful Conviction Division (WCD), and the Midwest Innocence Project. The EP contract attorney will be assisting these projects in conducting a statewide review of Iowa criminal cases that rely on overstated forensic analysis. Read... read more

Digital Fundraising Manager (Part-time/Temporary), Innocence Project

The Digital Fundraising Manager supports the Innocence Project’s year end digital fundraising efforts by implementing strategies to bring in new online donors and upgrade and retain existing donors.  This position will work closely with communications staff and with an outside consultant to implement fundraising strategies for year end, and will report to the Deputy Director of Development. Read... read more

Administrative Assistant, Development, Innocence Project

The Administrative Assistant provides administrative support to the Development Department and is primarily responsible for gift entry and donor acknowledgment letters, as well as assisting the Director of Development and External Affairs. The Administrative Assistant reports to the Director of Development and External Affairs and works closely with the other members of the Development Department. This is a full-time position that requires no travel. Read... read more

State Policy Advocate, Innocence Project

The State Policy Advocate leads campaigns to change the laws, policies, and practices that contribute to the wrongful conviction of innocent people.  A central goal of the Innocence Project is to reform the criminal justice system to prevent future injustices, and the advocates work state by state to pass laws that address deficiencies in the system that have been identified through the exoneration of innocent people.  Working in legislatures, with law enforcement, local advocacy organizations and other stakeholders, the advocates lobby, build coalitions and create pressure for reform. Read... read more