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.

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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

Innocence Network Summer 2017 Intern, Innocence Project

The Innocence Network is an affiliation of 69 organizations dedicated to providing pro bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted, working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions, and supporting the exonerated after they are freed in the United States and abroad. The Innocence Project, a not-for-profit organization that works to exonerate the innocent through post-conviction DNA testing and develop and implement policy changes to prevent wrongful convictions and otherwise reform the criminal justice system, is one of the founding members of the Innocence Network and provides support for the Innocence Network Support Unit, a team of four employees who help facilitate the work of the Network. The Innocence Network Support Unit is seeking an intern to support the operational activities of the Innocence Network. The Network Intern will report to the Network Operations Associate and will work with other members of the Network Support Unit. The intern can expect to gain direct exposure to various areas of non-profit management as well as exposure to a national coalition of criminal justice reform organizations. This is an unpaid internship, but letters of recommendation and documentation of the internship for course credit can be provided upon completion. The internship is based in the Innocence Project office in lower Manhattan and requires a minimum commitment of at least two full days a week; however, the time frame and schedule are flexible. Please note that this is not a legal internship and is better suited for individuals looking to pursue careers in the non-profit management sector. Read... read more

Case Analyst, 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. There are five Case Analysts responsible for the evaluation of all potential innocence claims according to the mission and protocols of the Innocence Project. Case Analysts review claims of innocence that have passed through a pre-screening process. These cases are presorted and require varying levels of review. Analysts may specialize in a particular type of review and therefore the detail below is over-inclusive to the particular job functions of an individual analyst. The Case Analysts report to the Case Director and work in close collaboration with all staff in the department, in particular the Document Manager and the Investigations Attorney. The duties of this position require approximately 40 hours of work per week to be performed in-office. Read... read more

Deputy Director of Development, 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 reform the criminal justice system. The Deputy Director of Development is a new position being created to help manage a growing and dynamic department. Reporting to the Director of Development and External Affairs, the Deputy Director will supervise the Managers for Individual Giving and Special Events and have significant responsibility for expanding support for the annual campaign including a significant role in managing the annual benefit. In addition the Deputy Director will provide the Director of Development with support in overall decision making related to the strategic direction of the department. Read... read more

Staff Attorney, Strategic Litigation, 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 Strategic Litigation Department’s goal is to reduce courts reliance on faulty and unreliable evidence. Focusing on the leading causes of wrongful convictions, the team litigates in the areas of forensic science, eyewitness identification, and unreliable confessions. The Staff Attorney, Strategic Litigation reports to the Director of Strategic Litigation and works closely with the Innocence Project’s Co-Directors, and other members of the department, including a paralegal.  Staff attorneys also collaborate with staff in the Legal, Policy and Science/ Research Departments. The staff attorney hired to fill this position will work primarily on the Innocence Project’s eyewitness identification law reform initiatives. This is a full time position and requires some travel. Read... read more

Contract Attorney, Wrongful Conviction Division, Iowa State Public Defender

The State Public Defender’s Office is seeking to contract with up to two attorneys to be part of the Wrongful Conviction Division as an independent contractor.  The opportunity is based in Des Moines and work can be done remotely.  The contract would begin June 1, 2017 and end December 31, 2017, with the possibility of renewal terms dependent on additional grant funding.  The Wrongful Conviction Division (WCD) is partnered with the Midwest Innocence Project to review cases in which a particular type of forensic analysis was conducted. Based on new information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, lab analysts may have been trained to over-state the significance of their findings. A thorough review of all of the cases affected is needed. In consultation with the WCD Director, contract attorneys will review documents, determine the location and existence of evidence, and draft motions for post-conviction testing.  Candidates should have substantial experience in criminal law, superior appellate and postconviction litigation skills, and the ability to work independently, as well as in close coordination with WCD staff. The ideal candidate will have familiarity with DNA and forensic evidence. Applicant must have a strong commitment to representing indigent clients and excellent legal research, writing, and presentation skills. Candidates must be admitted to practice in Iowa. Experience with an innocence organization/clinic preferred. Rate of pay is $5,000 per month with a minimum requirement of 84 hours of work invoiced per month.  If interested, please submit a resume and cover letter (e-mailed PDF as one document is strongly preferred) by May 1, 2017, to: April Barkley Brown Office of the State Public Defender Lucas State Office... read more

Program Development Manager, Innocence Project Northwest

Innocence Project Northwest seeks a committed development professional with 2-3 years of experience in a non-profit setting and a proven track record of success in inspiring a range of supporters to serve as our Program Development Manager.  The Development Manager will report to the Executive Director and work with Board members and staff to advance IPNW’s strategic plan to establish a sustainable non-profit entity in collaboration with the UW School of Law.  Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume online via UW Hires at Program Development Manager. Read... read more

Communications Manager, Engagement and Special Projects, 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 Communications Manager, Engagement and Special Projects, works closely with the Communications Director to develop and implement the organization’s outreach events and engagement strategies with artists, exonerees, and external partners in order to increase public awareness about issues that the wrongly convicted face in the criminal justice system and build public support for the Innocence Project. This position will report to the Communications Director, work closely with the other members of the communications team and development staff. The duties of this position require approximately 40 hours of work per week to be performed in-office. 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