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.

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 21 official members of the Network were admitted in November 2005, and a Network Executive Board was established.

Over the last fifteen 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

Law Fellow – Innocence Project New Orleans

Innocence Project New Orleans (IPNO) is hiring a law fellow for a one-year fellowship with the possibility of renewal. We are looking for an energetic individual with relevant experience to help us free people serving long sentences for drug offenses from Louisiana’s prisons. This is a full time position. Staff are currently working remotely. The physical office is located in Mid City, New Orleans. The UPP law fellow will, in coordination with the UPP project team, work to free people serving long sentences for drug offenses in Louisiana’s Department of Corrections through litigation and other advocacy. This requires: Identifying people in DOC custody eligible for relief under the mandate of UPP; Determining avenues for possible sentencing relief and drafting appropriate petitions, motions, briefs and/or mitigation letters; Conducting hearings on legal motions and re-sentencing as needed; Working with investigators and social workers to formulate a sentencing mitigation and re-entry plan; Coordinating records collection from the Department of Corrections and other agencies as appropriate; Corresponding regularly and, when possible, meeting with clients; Providing other program support as identified by the direct of special projects; and Providing assistance as needed to the legal director and/or other IPNO attorneys on post-conviction cases of factually innocent people. IPNO is a small nonprofit so, in addition to performing the programmatic tasks, the fellow will be expected to assist as necessary with other aspects of IPNO’s work such as fundraising, public education and advocacy, special events, policy efforts, office administration, and post-release assistance of clients. IPNO is a client-focused office where teamwork and collaboration to ensure IPNO’s overall effectiveness and success are expected and valued. Requirements... read more

Staff Attorney – California Innocence Project

California Western School of Law (CWSL) is looking for a CIP Fellow to work for the California Innocence Project (CIP). This position will be responsible for reviewing claims for innocence arising from convictions occurring within Southern California. The CIP Fellow will train under the CIP Staff; supervise interns, volunteers, volunteer attorneys, and students; supervise intake in the office, including intake management; engage in habeas petitions and legal writing as needed; and participate in litigation and case preparation as needed. The Staff Fellow position is a one-year position with the possibility of a second year depending on experience and performance during the first year. This is a full-time position funded by grants and/or private foundation resources. 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): Supervise interns, volunteers, volunteer attorneys, and students in case review, case processing, and investigations. Also responsible for supervising volunteers and interns during CIP-sponsored events. Supervise intake of mail and correspondence, including intake management of potentially viable innocence cases. Review the written work of interns, volunteers, and students during the grant period. Review claims of innocence arising from convictions occurring within Southern California. Train under CIP staff in the areas of post-conviction work, avenues for relief, and other related legal issues. Preparing and delivering educational presentations on the criminal justice system and the work of CIP to local groups, classes, and interested individuals and supporters. As needed, engage in legal writing of habeas petitions, post-convictions motions, and case memoranda. As needed, participate in litigation preparation and case preparation on activated cases where CIP has... read more

Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney – Georgia Innocence Project

Position type: Salaried, exempt Salary: $50,000 – $52,000 (depending on experience) Benefits: Generous flexible spending benefits, time off, and professional development Georgia Innocence Project (GIP) is a non-profit legal organization dedicated to preventing and correcting the wrongful conviction of innocent people in Georgia. The Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney position is a two-year Department of Justice grant-funded position. The Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney is responsible for working with pro bono lawyers and legal professionals to assist in the screening stage of GIP cases, in order to evaluate those cases and advance them toward exoneration or other resolution. The Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney would work with the Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) at the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office (FCDA). The Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney also will work closely with GIP’s legal team, and will report directly to GIP’s Executive Director or her designee. PRIMARY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES ● Work with GIP’s legal team to design and implement a system and associated trainings for volunteers to assist in case file review, digest, and assessment of GIP’s screening-stage cases ● Work with FCDA CIU to identify cases with highest chances of wrongful conviction ● Work with GIP’s Paralegal to submit and track Open Records Act requests and responses ● Draft co-counsel agreements and memorandums of understanding as appropriate ● Streamline work product templates, documents and file sharing methods for pro bono counsel ● Create check-in and accountability systems and implement the same ● Create written procedures and manuals to standardize trainings and GIP’s pro-bono program ● Train pro bono counsel and provide continuing support as needed ● Interact routinely with pro bono coordinators... read more

Korey Wise Innocence Project: Post-Graduate Fellowship Program

THE KOREY WISE INNOCENCE PROJECT The Korey Wise Innocence Project (KWIP) at Colorado Law is dedicated to correcting and preventing wrongful convictions in Colorado. We represent people with claims of actual innocence by reinvestigating their cases and then bringing new evidence of innocence to court. In addition to litigating individual cases, we also use public education and legislative reform to push for systemic change in the criminal legal system.   KWIP receives requests for help from inmates in the Colorado Department of Corrections who assert that they are innocent and have been wrongly convicted. KWIP screens these applications to assess whether (1) the applicant has a credible claim of factual innocence, and (2) there is a reasonable possibility of uncovering new evidence and overturning the conviction. In promising cases, KWIP conducts factual investigation, consults with experts, and pursues litigation. As a project of the law school, KWIP incorporates volunteers from the law school, undergraduate programs, and the general community in the screening, investigation, and litigation of cases.  KWIP is also involved in legislative and community reforms based on the lessons learned from the cases we investigate and litigate.  FELLOWSHIP BRIEF DESCRIPTION KWIP’s post-graduate fellowship is a two-year position. Through the fellowship, a recent law graduate committed to serving the public good will have the opportunity to work with wrongfully convicted individuals and their families.  KWIP seeks applicants for its inaugural fellowship beginning Fall 2020 or early 2021.   DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES The Post-Graduate Fellow will have a host of responsibilities and opportunities for growth, including the following: Assist in screening applications. The fellow will learn how to critically review a... read more

Supervising Attorney – New England Innocence Project

The New England Innocence Project (NEIP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to correcting and preventing wrongful convictions throughout the six New England states. We represent people with claims of innocence and use litigation, training, public education, and policy efforts to create systemic change in the criminal legal system. We endeavor to approach our work with an anti-racist and intersectional lens, and use consensus-based decisionmaking wherever possible. NEIP seeks a candidate for the new position of Supervising Attorney. This person will work closely with incarcerated and exonerated people, staff attorneys and legal fellows, pro bono partners (including law firms), public defenders, law school clinics and law students, other innocence network organizations, community organizations, and other stakeholders (conviction integrity units, forensic laboratories, legislators, etc.). The Supervising Attorney will maintain a small caseload of clients; supervise the legal team, including staff attorneys, legal fellows, and legal interns/volunteers; and manage and expand pro bono partnerships. Duties and Responsibilities:   Casework: Identify, investigate, and litigate post-conviction claims of innocence in the service of primarily incarcerated individuals (screen applications for assistance; make prison visits; interview witnesses; litigate motions for post-conviction forensic testing and post- conviction relief; conduct evidentiary hearings; present cases to Conviction Integrity Units; handle appeals; participate in retrials where necessary). Supervise Staff Attorneys and Legal Fellows on their cases, including participating in strategy discussions, collaborating on written work product, and assisting with preparation for hearings; in addition, identify educational opportunities to build on the strengths of the current staff, individually and collectively Manage pro bono partnerships: Train and collaborate with pro bono partners on screening and litigation matters; develop additional pro bono partnerships as needed... read more

Assistant Public Defender 2 – Wrongful Conviction Project at the Ohio Public Defenders Office

2/28/2020 Assistant Public Defender 2  Job Description  Primary Location United States of America-OHIO-Franklin County Organization Public Defender Commission Classified Indicator: Unclassified Bargaining Unit / Exempt: Exempt Schedule Full-time Compensation: $17.89 – $50.98 Unposting Date Mar 10, 2020 Job Function Attorney/Legal  Agency Contact Name: Cherish Berry  Agency Contact Information: cherish.berry@opd.ohio.gov  Assistant Public Defender 2(190007WE)  Description  The Office of the Ohio Public Defender seeks a committed, compassionate advocate for an Assistant Public Defender 2 (APD2) position for the Wrongful Conviction Project (WCP). The WCP is dedicated to identifying, investigating and litigating cases of actual innocence for incarcerated people in Ohio. The Project also works to educate others on the causes and consequences of wrongful convictions.  A successful APD2 in the Wrongful Conviction Project must exhibit a strong commitment to indigent defense. They possess excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrate compassion for the WCP’s clients, their families, and all people who ask the WCP for assistance. They must have strong analytical skills, think creatively, be adept at legal research and writing, and have comfort advocating for clients in court. The WCP takes a collaborative approach to the analysis and investigation of innocence claims. The APD will work closely with the Project’s supervising attorney, as well as our investigator and law students as cases are reviewed and investigated.  Essential job duties include but are not limited to:  Screen and evaluate claims of wrongful conviction  Research, analyze, and interpret complex issues of law. Prepare briefs, memoranda, motions, and other pleadings subject to review (e .g., work as co-counsel or lead-counsel on criminal cases at the trial, appellate, and post-conviction level)  Participate with other attorneys in... read more

Finance and Human Resources Manager – Innocence Project of Florida

The Innocence Project of Florida, Inc. (IPF) is seeking a Finance and Human Resources Manager with a demonstrated passion for social justice issues, beginning as early as March 2020 in its Tallahassee, Florida office. The Finance and Human Resources Manager 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 460 years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit. ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS: MANAGING ORGANIZATIONAL BUDGETING, ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE ACTIVITIES: • Work with IPF’s Executive Director to develop IPF’s annual budget; • Manage IPF’s budget, using an approved electronic software, by timely reconciling all accounts each month, timely depositing received checks into appropriate bank accounts, and providing quarterly budget reports and projections to the Executive Director; • Develop monthly and quarterly bill-paying calendar, to ensure timely payment of all vendor bills; • Generate checks for payment to litigation-related and other vendors, upon approved requests from employees; • Maintain IPF’s payroll system, including management of the employee leave program, the timely payment of bi-weekly paychecks, timely distribution of employee W-2s and vendor 1099s, and timely payment of all payroll taxes; • Facilitate the quarterly and annual closing of IPFs books with an approved accountant, and ensure that the timely completion and filing of IPF’s taxes and any other government-required submissions; • Oversee,... read more

Staff Attorney – 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 Staff Attorneys in the Post-Conviction Litigation Department represent convicted individuals around the nation seeking to overturn their convictions based on evidence of innocence, including through post- conviction DNA testing. Staff attorneys work with a wide-range of forensic and other experts and investigators to re-investigate and litigate post-conviction innocence claims, with a heavy motion practice involving a variety of avenues for relief (including ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, false evidence, newly discovered evidence). In addition, the Staff Attorneys are clinical law teachers who select, instruct and supervise students participating in a year-long clinic associated with Cardozo School of Law. The Staff Attorneys work under the supervision of the Director of Post-Conviction Litigation, and work closely with a Paralegal, two to three clinic students, and with other members of the Legal and Intake departments. Staff attorneys collaborate across the project. They provide legal support... read more

Latino Initiative Attorney – Illinois Innocence Project

The University of Illinois at Springfield Illinois Innocence Project (IIP)will be hiring a staff attorney with a specific focus on developing its Latino Innocence Initiative. This individual should be licensed to practice in Illinois, reside in Northern Illinois and be bilingual in Spanish. Duties will include: Working on post-conviction cases, many of which are already identified, of Latino inmates who IIP believes have a meritorious innocence claim and some potential for having their convictions overturned. Networking with law firms, the Mexican Consulate, and other legal organizations to obtain support and/ or collaboration in pursuing such cases. Networking with community organizations that have an interest in furthering the legal rights of Latinos in prison to educate them about the work of IIP and identify individuals in prison who have been convicted of serious felonies and are actually innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted. Helping IIP begin planning for discussions, meetings or a conference-either regional or national in nature-to identify proposed policy to help minimize the wrongful conviction of Latinos in Illinois. Given the receipt of grant funding, IIP is ready to move forward in this work as soon as we can identify and hire a qualified individual. Please call or write Larry Golden, IIP Founding Director, as soon as possible: 217-553- 7171 or... 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.  In Arizona, people in prison seeking help to prove their innocence in the post-conviction setting often turn to the AJP. In the AJP’s eighteen years of operation, the AJP has secured the release of 26 individuals in Arizona. There is an ongoing need for the legal services of the AJP, as well as a need to examine how these wrongful convictions occurred and improve the system to prevent such injustices from continuing to occur.  Title: Strategic Litigation Counsel Position Type: Full-Time, Salaried Employee Contract Length: 24 Months, Renewable depending upon funding Salary: $65,000+ (based on experience) Benefits: Health Insurance, PTO, Holiday Pay, and Paid AZ Annual Bar Dues  Objectives for Strategic Litigation Counsel This position will focus on improving the accuracy of the justice system by employing avenues of strategic litigation and collaborating with lawyers, judges and policy makers on issues highlighted in wrongful conviction cases. The work will include identifying cases that must be re-examined based on flaws in the underlying conviction. Counsel will also be involved in pending cases addressing specific issues critical to the AJP’s mission and providing support in cases involving unreliable forensic evidence. Finally, counsel will collaborate with criminal justice stakeholders, such as law enforcement agencies and policy makers, to strengthen the system by implementing best practices and... read more