About the Innocence Network

About Us

The Innocence Network is an affiliation of 68 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 12 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.

Please contact the Innocence Network Support Unit with any questions about Network membership or the membership process. If you are seeking legal assistance, please contact the Network member in your area.

Important Note: the Innocence Network Support Unit does not review claims of innocence. If you or a family member are reaching out with an inquiry for legal help or assistance, please click here to find an Innocence Network member organization in your area.


 

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.

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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.

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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

State Policy Advocate, Innocence Project

The Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University to assist the wrongly convicted who could be proven innocent through DNA testing. The Innocence Project’s groundbreaking use of DNA technology to free innocent people has provided irrefutable proof that wrongful convictions are not isolated or rare events but instead arise from systemic defects. Now an independent nonprofit organization closely affiliated with Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, the Innocence Project’s mission is to free the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring substantive reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment. To learn more, please visit www.innocenceproject.org. 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

Program Director, Korey Wise Innocence Project

The Program Director will direct the Korey Wise Innocence Project at Colorado Law School.  The Colorado Innocence Project at Colorado Law has existed at the law school for approximately eight years.    The Innocence Project at Colorado Law receives requests for help from inmates in the Colorado Department of Corrections who assert that they are innocent and have been wrongly convicted and evaluates these claims to see if there are factual and legal grounds that support their innocence claims and could be used to reverse their convictions.   The Director will be responsible for recruiting, training and supervising law students, volunteer lawyers, and volunteer investigators in managing and maintaining the work of the project on a daily basis. Read... read more

Development and Communications Associate, Georgia Innocence Project

The Georgia Innocence Project (“GIP) is a non-profit, legal services organization with a mission to: exonerate the imprisoned innocent in Georgia and Alabama; educate others about the causes and consequences of wrongful imprisonment; advance practices to reduce wrongful imprisonment; and provide support to exonerees. The Development and Communications Associate reports to GIP’s Executive Director (“ED”) and provides fundraising, development and communications support to advance GIP’s mission. FUNDRAISING AND DONOR DEVELOPMENT (70%) Collaborate with ED to implement annual fundraising plan. Cultivate relationships with existing donors, through writing, calls and in-person meetings. Support the ED’s and Board’s fundraising efforts: help identify potential donors and provide support and materials to facilitate effective donor-centered fundraising. Assist in special event planning and execution. Help develop, plan and execute Georgia Gives Day / Giving Tuesday and End of Year giving campaigns. Maintain donor records and effectively utilize donor database. Oversee system for timely donation processing and acknowledgment. Maintain volunteer database and current email and mailing lists. Oversee direct mail campaigns: help develop content, work with mail houses, maintain current lists, conduct analytical analyses and adjust accordingly. Assist ED in writing government, corporate and private foundation funding proposals. Read... read more

Staff Attorney Supervisor, Kentucky Innocence Project

The Kentucky Innocence Project is seeking a strong leader with a commitment to justice to direct the Project as Staff Attorney Supervisor. The Kentucky Innocence Project was developed by the Department of Public Advocacy to provide incarcerated men and women who have legitimate claims of innocence with a resource through which their claims may be investigated and presented to the courts of the Commonwealth for relief.  KIP serves the entire state by not only addressing each case of wrongful conviction but also addressing much broader concerns in the criminal justice system. KIP seeks to introduce innovative social policies, to create progressive legislative and constitutional reforms, and to establish itself as a conduit for progress. The Program operates primarily through externships at the Northern Kentucky University’s Salmon P. Chase School of Law, the University of Kentucky College of Law, and the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. Students who participate in this program receive the opportunity to sharpen professional skills while performing a valuable service to the wrongfully incarcerated men and women of the Unlike many other innocence projects across the country, KIP does not limit cases only to those where DNA evidence exists. Instead the Kentucky Innocence Project strives to release all wrongfully convicted Kentuckians.  The Kentucky Innocence Project is seeking a qualified attorney to lead the Program as Staff Attorney Supervisor. In addition to meeting minimum state requirements, the Staff Attorney Supervisor must have a demonstrated commitment to criminal justice issues either as a prosecutor or defense attorney, strong legal writing and public speaking skills, and a capacity for teaching. If you are that person, please apply... read more

Development & Communications Manager, New England Innocence Project

The New England Innocence Project (NEIP) is a non-profit dedicated to correcting and preventing wrongful convictions throughout the six New England states. We represent people with claims of actual innocence and use litigation, training, public education, and policy efforts to create systemic changes to the criminal legal system. With New England having a prison population of roughly 32,000 on any given day, we certainly have our work cut out for us! NEIP seeks a candidate for a full-time Development & Communications Manager position beginning immediately in its Boston office.  This position reports directly to and will work closely with NEIP’s Executive Director.  The Manager will have day-to-day responsibility for marketing and development, including donor solicitation and donor relations, donor database management, grant applications and grant management, and special events.  In addition, the Manager will maintain and update NEIP’s website, oversee social media, develop and execute a communications plan, be responsible for a quarterly e-newsletter, issue press releases, and coordinate communications with prospective and existing donors with oversight from the Executive Director.  The Manager will have some additional administrative responsibilities to assist the Executive Director with the efficient and effective operation of the organization. Read... read more

Paralegal, Innocence Project

The Paralegal provides administrative assistance to the Innocence Project’s attorneys on case management and time-sensitive litigation matters, and organizes and maintains our litigation resources to efficiently and effectively meet the needs of both our own DNA exoneration cases and those of outside counsel who seek our assistance.  This is not a “traditional” paralegal position in the sense that we ask our paralegals to engage in tasks and make decisions that require enterprising, out-of-the-box thinking.  We seek mature, self-motivated individuals who can be effective communicators with different stakeholder groups (supervisors, colleagues and clients), who can take initiative, are self-starters, and are able to manage multiple demanding tasks simultaneously. The Paralegal reports to one Senior Staff Attorney and also works closely with the staff attorneys to administer the Innocence Project clinic, working in close collaboration with clinic students from Cardozo Law School. Read... read more

Clinical Law Fellow, Michigan Innocence Clinic

The University of Michigan Law Clinical Fellows Program seeks applicants for a fellowship in its Michigan Innocence Clinic. This is a two-year appointment with the possibility of extension for a third year. The Clinical Fellows Program is designed to allow attorneys to explore the possibility of a career in clinical teaching and fully support them in that endeavor. Michigan Clinical Fellows gain valuable experience and mentoring in clinical pedagogy and in their substantive area of practice. Their duties include clinical teaching and student supervision in conjunction with a clinic director, and participation in the operation and development of the clinic in which they teach. Support is provided for professional development and scholarship. Read... read more

Staff Attorney, Pennsylvania Innocence Project

The Pennsylvania Innocence Project is a public interest law firm organized as a non-profit corporation. We are dedicated to exonerating those who have been convicted of crimes they did not commit, and preventing innocent people from being convicted. The Staff Attorney will work with, and be supervised by, the Executive Director, Legal Director, and Managing Attorney of the Project’s Pittsburgh Office (“Supervisors”). The Staff Attorney will take part in the investigation and litigation of cases at the trial and appellate levels. The Staff Attorney will assist his/her Supervisors with supervision of law students enrolled in clinical programs with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project. Some travel and evening and weekend work is required. The Staff Attorney will be based in the Philadelphia office, but will support case work throughout Pennsylvania. The position will be available in August/September 2018. Read... read more

Staff Investigator, The Pennsylvania Innocence Project

The Pennsylvania Innocence Project is a nonprofit innocence organization dedicated to exonerating those who have been convicted of crimes they did not commit, and preventing innocent people from being convicted. The Staff Investigator is responsible for conducting and overseeing all investigations at various stages during the review and litigation process. The position will be available starting in July, 2018. Salary is commensurate with experience. Read... read more

Communications Coordinator, Innocence Project of Florida

The Innocence Project of Florida, Inc. (IPF) is seeking a Communications Coordinator with a demonstrated passion for social justice issues, beginning September 2018 in its Tallahassee, Florida office. The Communications Coordinator will be a full-time position and will report directly to the Executive Director. The Innocence Project of Florida is a 501(c)(3) non-profit legal defense organization dedicated to representing Florida prison inmates who can prove their innocence through the use of DNA testing and other newly discovered evidence. IPF is the premier criminal justice organization in Florida and has helped secure the release of numerous individuals who collectively spent over 350 years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit. Read... read more