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 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

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

Database Administrator, Pennsylvania Innocence Project

The 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 part-time Database Administrator to administer all aspects of the Project’s DonorPerfect database. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES This position reports to the Executive Director and performs the following duties: • Manages the processing and accurate coding of all cash, stock, in-kind and soft-credited gift made in support of the Project • Produces donor acknowledgment letters, solicitation letters, and other related correspondence • Builds complex queries as needed to prepare reports for appeals, donor recognition, and all other development office functions • Performs revenue reconciliation with the finance department on a monthly basis • Performs regular data clean-up, maintenance, and constituent record updates • Updates and edits donor database files, and performs other information-handling functions • Trains staff on the effective use of the database on an as-needed basis Read... read more

State Policy Advocate, Innocence Project

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. The State Policy Advocate leads campaigns to change the laws, policies and practices that contribute to the wrongful conviction of innocent people.  A central goal of the Innocence Project is to reform the criminal justice system to prevent future injustices, and the advocates work state by state to pass laws that address deficiencies in the system that have been identified through the exoneration of innocent people.  Working in legislatures, with law enforcement, local advocacy organizations and other stakeholders, the advocates lobby, build coalitions and create pressure for reform. Read... read more

Program Director, Korey Wise Innocence Project

The Program Director will direct the Korey Wise Innocence Project at Colorado Law School.  The Colorado Innocence Project at Colorado Law has existed at the law school for approximately eight years.    The Innocence Project at Colorado Law receives requests for help from inmates in the Colorado Department of Corrections who assert that they are innocent and have been wrongly convicted and evaluates these claims to see if there are factual and legal grounds that support their innocence claims and could be used to reverse their convictions.   The Director will be responsible for recruiting, training and supervising law students, volunteer lawyers, and volunteer investigators in managing and maintaining the work of the project on a daily basis. Read... read more