About the Innocence Network

About Us

The Innocence Network is an affiliation of 67 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 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

Case Analyst, the Innocence Project

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION: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. JOB SUMMARY:The Case Analyst is responsible for the evaluation of all potential innocence claims according to the mission and protocols of the Innocence Project. The Case Analyst reports to the Intake Director. The Case Analyst works in close collaboration with the Document Manager, the Case Associate, and the Intake Assistants. The duties of this position require approximately 40 hours of work per week to be performed in-office.**The ideal candidate is a college graduate with 1-2 years of work experience in a criminal justice or social justice organization. This position is perfect for someone looking for 2-4 years of work experience prior to law school or other graduate education.** ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:CASE EVALUATION• Review and analyze correspondence and documents related to criminal cases to determine whether DNA testing could prove the innocence of an individual convicted of a crime.• Produce a written evaluation for each case including analysis... read more

Staff Attorney, Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project

Job Summary The Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project’s (MAIP) Staff Attorney represents clients in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia who have been convicted of crimes they did not commit and is part of a team that helps evaluate cases. The Staff Attorney works under the direction of the Legal Director and on a team that includes a post-graduate legal fellow, a staff investigator, a paralegal, and two attorneys at a Baltimore affiliate. The Staff Attorney’s docket includes: cases that still are in the investigative stage, requiring extensive factual development to determine whether there is a valid innocence claim; and cases in which an innocence claim already has been developed and are being litigated through a variety of avenues, including freestanding innocence claims, post-conviction DNA testing, federal habeas, state post-conviction, and the pardon process. In addition to their own docket, the Staff Attorney is an active part of the legal team. This involves helping to manage the externship program with law students from George Washington University Law School, actively participating in weekly case meetings to help determine which cases MAIP should investigate, and to brainstorm with colleagues about their cases. Essential job functions Manage investigative and post-conviction docket Craft litigation strategy Develop investigative plans in conjunction with staff investigator Conduct some investigations and manage witness relationshipsWork with experts as appropriate and necessaryWrite extensive motions & briefsNegotiate with prosecutors Conduct hearings Communicate with Clients and family members regarding casesWork collaboratively with co-counsel from large law firmsSupervise investigators and paralegals on your cases MAIP’s legal team Attend and participate in a weekly case meetingCarefully read screening memos and be prepared to offer... read more

Associate Director, Center for Criminal Justice

Job Description This position oversees the day to day operations of the Earl Carl Institute’s Center for Criminal Justice. This position is primarily responsible for the Thurgood Marshall School of Law Innocence Project providing oversight of investigations and representation and/or litigation support in bringing actual innocence claims. Essential Duties Summary Manages day-to-day operations of the ECI-Center for Criminal Justice. Oversight of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law Innocence Project including investigations and litigation of actual innocence cases. Develops and implements an organizational plan/plan of action for the ECI Center for Criminal Justice. Develops programs and alliances with various governmental entities at a local, state and federal level to advance the Center’s mission and the development of the students. Assists other ECI staff with research and writing projects related to criminal justice reforms. Serves as the primary source for coordination of community education programs related to indigent defense. Serves as the primary source for the research and development of criminal law and public policy articles, studies, papers, and reports in related areas. Performs other job-related duties as required. Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Requires excellent legal skills as well as superior organizational, written and oral communications skills. Must have the ability to use personal computers and Microsoft Office software such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher; as well as other software typically used in the professions such as Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, ProDoc or similar. Experience using CLIO and Google Forms is a plus. Work Experience Requires five (5) to seven (7) years of related experience. The successful candidate should be able and willing to explain all legal issues and options in a... read more

Innocence Network Coordinator

JOB SUMMARY The Innocence Network Coordinator works to strengthen the 68 organizations that comprise the Innocence Network, oversees operations of the Network, and supports the overall work of the Network Support Unit (NSU), Network Executive Board (the steering committee that guides the Network), and the Network’s five standing committees and ad hoc working groups. They serve as the primary point of contact for applying organizations and facilitates resource sharing and communication among Network member organizations. The Innocence Network Coordinator collaborates with other members of the Network Support Unit to produce organizational development resources and training materials to further the aims of Innocence Network members. This position requires 40 hours of work per week to be performed in-office. ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS COORDINATION OF THE INNOCENCE NETWORK: • Oversee application process for organizations applying to the Network and onboarding process for new members • Schedule and oversee the logistics of meetings for the Innocence Network Executive Board, Membership Committee, and visitors from allied organizations; prepare meeting agendas and materials and record minutes • Manage the work of the Membership Committee, including review of membership applications and evaluation of the health of existing members, as well as issues concerning membership compliance and criteria • Oversee submission of annual report surveys and the calculation and collection of membership dues from all Network member organizations • Manage the administration of Salesforce database and the Network’s member directories • Manage administration of the Edmondson Walking Fund grant that supports Network exonerees upon release: determine eligibility of applicants, conduct outreach to Network members with eligible clients, track funding, and compile materials needed for renewal report •... read more

Executive Director, Pennsylvania Innocence Project

SECTOR: Human Rights FUNCTION: General Management / Strategic Planning LOCATION: PA – Philadelphia metropolitan area ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION The Pennsylvania Innocence Project was founded in 2008 to exonerate persons convicted of crimes they did not commit and prevent innocent people from being convicted. Over the last decade, the Project has been involved in 14 exonerations, secured the release of three individuals who are still fighting to prove their innocence, and secured new trials for two men who remain incarcerated as their legal proceedings continue. In addition to identifying and litigating cases, the Project: Consults on pre-trial cases involving forensic science issues (i.e., promoting the use of DNA evidence)Works to improve the criminal justice system to prevent innocent people from being convictedEducates stakeholders within the criminal justice system on the reasons for wrongful convictionsPromotes policies and legislation that will prevent such tragedies from occurringRuns clinical programs in conjunction with law schools in both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Learn more about their work at www.innocenceprojectpa.org/us/ ABOUT THE POSITION The Pennsylvania Innocence Project is seeking a strong, farsighted full-time leader, with a passion for criminal justice reform, to serve as its Executive Director. The ED will act as the organization’s chief executive, leading fundraiser, external advocate, and team leader, overseeing the organization’s continued growth. In addition to serving as the organization’s key external voice, the ED will manage the development and implementation of a strategic plan, working with the Board to set goals and develop an operating plan to achieve them. Reporting to an active and engaged Board of Directors, the ED will manage the team across the Commonwealth including its two current sites... read more

Office Administrative Office Assistant, Pennsylvania Innocence Project

PIP Mission: The Pennsylvania Innocence Project is a statewide non-profit organization in Pennsylvania dedicated to exonerating those who have been convicted of crimes they did not commit, and preventing innocent people from being convicted. Organizational Overview: The Pennsylvania Innocence Project is the only organization in Pennsylvania dedicated to freeing the convicted innocent. To date, the Project has helped to free 14 men and women wrongly convicted in the state. In addition, the Project works to develop policies and legislation aimed at preventing wrongful convictions from happening as well as assisting clients once they are released with their societal re-entry. Position Overview: The Pittsburgh Administrative Office Assistant will provide direct assistance to the Managing Attorney of the Pittsburgh office, to whom the position will report. The Administrative Assistant will help with overall operations of the office, file management, volunteer and student oversight and support, communications, and general office organization. The position is anticipated to be based almost entirely within the office; minimal travel may be required. Specific duties include: ● Maintaining paper and electronic case file organization; ● Reviewing all mail received by the Pittsburgh office. When appropriate: forwarding to the Philadelphia Office, creating an electronic copy for case file, filing, and/ or organizing into categories for attorney; ● Assisting with the coordination of community and pro bono lawyer volunteers; ● Assisting in the coordination and scheduling of community outreach programs, guest lectures, and information sessions; ● Maintaining tracking system for all cases detailing the stage of review, the attorney or student assigned to the review, and current status; ● Providing monthly check-ins with volunteer attorneys conducting case reviews; ●... read more

Legal Director, Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project

MAIP’s Legal Director plays an integral part in the organization’s mission, representing clients in investigations and as we litigate compelling innocence claims that are uncovered during those investigations. As head of the Legal Department, the Legal Director is responsible for the overall management of the department and management of the Legal staff. The Legal Director is responsible for the department’s overall strategic direction, and reports directly to the Executive Director. Read... read more

Intake Assistant, Innocence Project of Florida

The Innocence Project of Florida, Inc. (IPF) is seeking candidates for a full-time Intake Assistant position beginning in May 2019 or earlier in its Tallahassee, Florida office. 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 using DNA testing and other newly discovered evidence of actual innocence. IPF is the premier criminal justice organization in Florida and has helped release of numerous individuals who collectively spent hundreds of years in prison for crimes they did not commit. Essential Functions of Position: The Intake Assistant, under the direction of the Intake Analyst and Intake Coordinator, will be responsible for the clerical duties associated with IPF’s case-decision-making process. The Intake Assistant is expected to: • Log, open, and review all incoming correspondence from inmates and their advocates seeking assistance; • Prepare responses to incoming correspondence; • Facilitate translation of incoming and outgoing correspondence from Spanish to English and English to Spanish; • Participate in legal calls and visits to facilitate interpretation for Spanish-speaking clients; • Pack, post, and mail correspondence; • Create and maintain digital and paper case files; • Maintain and replenish office supplies; • Perform additional tasks or duties at the direction of the Intake Analyst and Intake Coordinator. Read... read more

Staff Attorney Fellow, California Innocence Project

California Western School of Law (CWSL) is looking for a Staff Attorney Fellow to work for the California Innocence Project (CIP). This position will be responsible for reviewing claims for innocence arising from convictions occurring within San Diego County. The Staff Attorney Fellow will train under the CIP Staff; supervise interns, volunteers, and students; supervise intake in the office, including intake management; engage in habeas petitions and legal writing; and participate in litigation and case preparation as assigned. This is a fulltime grant position. For more information about the California Innocence Project (CIP), please view CIP’s website at https://californiainnocenceproject.org/ Primary Responsibilities (include but not limited to): Review claims of innocence arising from convictions occurring within San Diego County. Train under CIP staff in the areas of post-conviction work, avenues for relief, and other related legal issues. Supervise interns, volunteers, and student in case review, managements, and investigations. Supervise intake of mail and correspondence, including intake management of potentially viable innocence cases. Engage in legal writing of habeas petitions, post-convictions motions, and case memoranda. Review the written work of interns, volunteers, and students during the grant period. As needed, participate in litigation preparation and case preparation on activated cases where CIP has been retained as counsel. Read... read more

Development and Communications Director, Pennsylvania Innocence Project

Pennsylvania Innocence Project was founded in 2009 and works to exonerate and free those convicted of crimes they did not commit and to prevent innocent people from being convicted. The Project also works to improve the criminal justice system by educating all stakeholders on the reasons for wrongful convictions and promoting policies and legislation that will prevent such tragedies from occurring. In addition to representing individuals directly, the Project provides support, training, and guidance to other lawyers litigating post-conviction claims of innocence. Finally, the Project works to support clients upon release as they re-enter society. DESCRIPTION The Pennsylvania Innocence Project seeks a well-qualified candidate to serve as Development and Communications Director to oversee all aspects of the Project’s state-wide fundraising, public relations, marketing, and communications programs. This position also reports on all fundraising and communications related activity to the board of directors on a quarterly basis. As the Project is a statewide organization, some travel is required. Read... read more