About the Innocence Network Research Review Committee 

The Innocence Network is comprised of more than 60 organizations in the United States and other countries working to exonerate people who have been wrongfully convicted. Each organization is an independent entity, typically serving clients in a particular geographic area. The Research Review Committee was set up to provide a single review process to alleviate the burden on individual Innocence Network organizations with respect to requests to conduct research with exonerees or staff.


The Review Process

Specifically, this review is required for research that collects information from clients or people working for an organization in the Innocence Network. Research that uses secondary data sources, such as data from the National Registry of Exonerations, does not need to undergo this review process. 
By undergoing this review, the researcher can benefit from the insights of those who are part of or have worked with people who have been wrongfully convicted. Furthermore, the review is meant to address the 1) potential risks or burden on study participants, and 2) the potential benefit of the research. The suggestions offered may facilitate outreach and participation and reduce potential confusion and inadvertent misunderstandings. 
Organizations in the Innocence Network have agreed that they will not participate in research projects that have not been reviewed by the Innocence Network Research Review Committee. It is important to note, however, that approval by the Committee does not confer an agreement to provide contact information for exonerees. Once a study has been approved, the decision of whether or how to provide information about the study to clients is made by each individual organization. 
We request that any approved research include a statement in participant recruitment and consent materials indicating that the research proposal was reviewed and approved by the Innocence Network Research Review Committee  

How to Submit an Application 

  1.  Read through the application guide to ensure your request fits the particular criteria for review.  
  2.  Fill out the Innocence Network Research Request Form. 
  3.  Await response from the Innocence Network Research Review Committee. 

Frequently Asked Questions 


Approved Research Topics

Researcher Organization Topic Exonerees, Staff, Other Proposed sample size Approval Contact information
Janani Umamaheswar Southern Connecticut State University Wrongful Convictions and the Pains of Imprisonment Exonerees 20 February 2021
Marissa Bluestine Quattrone Center Innocence Oganizations Experiences Working With Conviction Integrity Units Legal Staff up to 50 January 2021 mbluestine@law.upenn.edu
Elizabeth Webster Loyola University – Chicago Court Legitimacy through the Experiences and Perceptions of the Exonerated Exonerees 50-60 January 2021 ewebster1@luc.edu
Loretta Jackson Walden University African American male exonerees’ reintegrating into their spousal/intimate role in the family system Exonerees 10 to 12 December 2020 loretta.jackson@waldenu.edu
Kathryn Thomas University of Wisconsin – Madison (Psychology Dept The psychological impact of wrongful convictions: The role of meaning making in recovery from trauma Exonerees 80 July 2020 kthomas28@wisc.edu
Valeena Beety Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Innocence Network Survey on Gender and Sexual Orientation Directors 50 April 2020 valena.beety@asu.edu
Michelle Estes Oklahoma State University Navigating the Job Market After a Wrongful Conviction Exonerees 30 April 2020 michelle.estes@okstate.edu
Keith Findley University of Wisconsin Law School (+ Wisconsin IP) Plea Bargaining in the Shadow of Retrial Staff 50 organizations March 2020 keith.findley@wisc.edu
Jennifer Weintraub SUNY-Albany The Dark Figure of Wrongful Convictions: How Intake Decisions Impact Exonerations (Innocence Organization survey of caseload and intake policies) Staff 20 organizations March 2020 jweintraub@albany.edu
Katherine Rozad University of Toronto Spoiled Identity? Exploring Identity and Stigma among Exonerees Exonerees 50 March 2020 kate.rozad@mail.utoronto.ca

For any further questions, please contact the Research Committee at researchinfo@innocencenetwork.org.