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 55 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.

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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

Paralegal/Project Coordinator, Innocence Project Northwest

INNOCENCE PROJECT NORTHWEST, founded in 1997 at the University of Washington School of Law, has an immediate opening for a Paralegal/Project Coordinator to help manage efforts to conduct case investigation, obtain post-conviction DNA testing and litigate prisoner’s claims of innocence. The Paralegal/Project Coordinator will support implementing federal grant initiatives to expand access to DNA testing for eligible prisoners and coordinate IPNW’s case processing and management systems. Applicants must have 3 or more years’ paralegal, legal assistance, or other relevant experience and possess excellent organization, analytic, research, communication and computer skills. A  Bachelor’s Degree or Paralegal certification is preferred, as is experience in a criminal or public interest law setting and fluency in Spanish. IPNW is committed to inclusive hiring, and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage people from all groups and communities to apply. To apply, please email a cover letter and resume as one attachment to ipnw@uw.edu, and please include “Paralegal” in the subject line.  Applicants should also review the complete job description and submit requested assessments through this link Paralegal-Project Coordinator at UW... read more

Staff Attorney/DNA Fellow, Innocence Project Northwest

INNOCENCE PROJECT NORTHWEST, founded in 1997 at the University of Washington School of Law, has an immediate opening for a Staff Attorney to serve as our DNA Fellow. This position is funded by a two-year NIJ/Bloodsworth grant and will manage an active caseload of post-conviction DNA cases while working to expand access to DNA testing for eligible prisoners.  In addition to litigating post-conviction DNA motions throughout Washington, the fellow will conduct prisoner outreach and help recruit, train and coordinate with our pro bono partners.  Applicants must be admitted or eligible for admission to the Washington State Bar and have experience litigating motions in criminal, innocence or post-conviction matters.  Attorneys familiar with Washington’s post-conviction DNA testing laws, forensic science and DNA evidence, as well as those fluent in Spanish are desired. IPNW is committed to inclusive hiring, and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage people from all groups and communities to apply. To apply, please email a cover letter and resume as one attachment to ipnw@uw.edu and include “DNA Fellow” in the subject line. Applicants should also review the complete job description and submit requested assessments through this link Staff Attorney-DNA Fellow at UW... read more

Development and Communications Director, Arizona Justice Project

The Arizona Justice Project (“AJP”), a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to seeking justice for the innocent and correcting cases of manifest injustice in the Arizona criminal justice system. With a mission to seek justice for the marginalized and forgotten, the AJP provides pro bono legal representation to indigent individuals who have been wrongfully convicted in Arizona. The Development and Communications Director will be responsible for the direction, coordination and implementation of the Arizona Justice Project’s fundraising operations. This position will work closely with the AJP’s Executive Director (“ED”) to increase the AJP’s visibility to external constituents in order to increase its capacity to raise money, expand its funding base, reach new constituencies, identify and engage additional partners in the community. This position will also help strengthen and expand the AJP’s communications and visibility in the community with a goal to develop further leadership and awareness of the AJP’s work. This position will be part-time or fulltime, depending on applicants’ experience. Read... read more

Staff Attorney, Arizona Justice Project

The Arizona Justice Project (“AJP”), a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to seeking justice for the innocent and correcting cases of manifest injustice in the Arizona criminal justice system. With a mission to seek justice for the marginalized and forgotten, the AJP provides pro bono legal representation to indigent individuals who have been wrongfully convicted in Arizona. We are currently seeking a full-time Staff Attorney to assist in case review, investigation and post-conviction litigation proceedings. Read... read more

Strategic Litigation Counsel, Arizona Justice Project

The Arizona Justice Project (“AJP”), a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to seeking justice for the innocent and correcting cases of manifest injustice in the Arizona criminal justice system. With a mission to seek justice for the marginalized and forgotten, the AJP provides pro bono legal representation to indigent individuals who have been wrongfully convicted in Arizona. The Strategic Litigation Counsel position will work on individual cases and use multiple litigation strategies to inform criminal justice stakeholders, including judges, attorneys and policy makers, of common factors that have led to wrongful convictions with the goal of improving the system to prevent future wrongful convictions. This litigation position will focus on cases where unvalidated forensic disciplines including forensic odontology, microscopic hair comparison, tire track and shoe print comparison, and some forms of firearms comparison, which lack scientific validity, have previously led to wrongful convictions. This attorney will seek to strengthen the system by working through the courts and engaging policy-makers to prevent future injustice. Read more.... read more

Administrative and Development Director, Pennsylvania Innocence Project

The Pennsylvania Innocence Project seeks a candidate for the position of administrative and fiscal management as well as marketing and development. Pennsylvania Innocence Project is an independent nonprofit which is housed and supported by Temple University Beasley School of Law, at its principal office in Philadelphia and a second office at Duquesne School of Law, Pittsburgh. It has an annual operating budget of approximately $600,000. Job Description and Responsibilities The Administrative and Development Director will have day-to-day responsibility for management and administration, including budgeting and financial reporting, taxes, procurement, human resources, payroll, property and risk management, office technology, and such other matters as may be assigned by the Executive Director for the administration of the Project. In the Development role, will have day-to-day responsibility for marketing and development, including donor solicitation and donor relations, donor database management, grant applications and grant management, special  events,  maintaining and updating website and social media and communications with prospective and existing donors. Read... read more

Network Organizational Development Specialist, Innocence Project

The Network Support Unit, a department within the Innocence Project, works to strengthen the impact of the Innocence Network and its member organizations. The Network seeks an Organizational Development Specialist who will report directly to the Director of the Innocence Network Support Unit who will provide training and coaching to Network members on all aspects of organizational development, including fundraising, board engagement and strategic planning. The Organizational Development Specialist will also provide high-level facilitation services to members to contribute to the advancement of the Unit’s organizational development goals. Read... read more

Paralegal, Innocence Project

The Innocence Project is a not-for-profit organization that works to exonerate innocent prisoners through post-conviction DNA testing and develop and implement policy changes to prevent wrongful convictions and otherwise reform the criminal justice system. 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 two Staff Attorneys and works in close collaboration with clinic students from Cardozo Law School. The duties of this position require approximately 40 hours of work per week to be performed in-office. Read... read more

Development Director, Witness to Innocence

Witness to Innocence (WTI) is the only national organization in the United States composed of and led by exonerated death row survivors and their family members. The mission of WTI is to abolish the death penalty by empowering exonerated death row survivors and their loved ones to become effective leaders in the abolition movement. WTI actively challenges political leaders and the public to grapple with the reality of a fatally flawed criminal justice system that sends innocent people to death row. WTI also seeks ways to support death row survivors and their loved ones as they confront the challenges of life after exoneration. Summary: The Development Director will be responsible for developing and sustaining financial support for WTI from individuals, small businesses, congregations, corporations, and organizations. The Development Director will not be responsible for grant development from foundations and government sources. The WTI Grants Manager is responsible for all grant development and grant management. Responsibilities: The Development Director will be responsible for: Researching, identifying, and cultivating effective relationships with prospective individual, corporate, and congregational/organizational donors on a continual basis. Maintaining gift recognition programs for individual, corporate, and congregational/organizational donors. Developing and sustaining a major gifts program including research, identification, cultivation, and solicitation of major donors. Directing the annual fund appeal program, including mailings and annual fundraising drives. Organizing and coordinating fundraising special events. Oversee fundraising database and tracking systems. Oversee creation of publications to support fundraising activities. Collaborating with the WTI Executive Director and Grants Manager to coordinate and integrate WTI’s fundraising strategy. To learn more, click... read more

Media Relations Manager, Innocence Project

Working with other members of the Communications Department, the Media Relations Manager will work to increase awareness and build public support for the work of the Innocence Project by securing media attention for our work and policy initiatives. The Media Relations Manager reports to the Communications Director, but will also work closely with members of the Policy Department. The duties of this position require approximately 40 hours of work per week to be performed in-office. Read... read more