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

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

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

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