CENTURION MINISTRIES

Hope. Justice. Freedom

aka Centurion   |   Princeton, NJ   |  www.centurion.org

Mission

Our mission is to vindicate and free from prison those individuals in the United States and Canada who are factually innocent of the crimes for which they have been unjustly convicted and imprisoned for life or death.

Ruling year info

1987

Executive Director

Kate Germond

Main address

1000 Herrontown Road

Princeton, NJ 08540 USA

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EIN

22-2563979

NTEE code info

Administration of Justice, Courts (Court Administration, Court Reform, Alternatives to Litigation and Sentencing) (I50)

Law, International Law, and Jurisprudence (V26)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Seeking freedom for the factually innocent wrongly imprisoned

Investigation/Research: conducts a thorough investigation in order to develop the new evidence required to overturn a false conviction. Legal: Retains and works hand in hand with the best attorneys in the region who work tirelessly with Centurion to obtain judicial relief for our beneficiaries. Financial: Raises and disburses whatever funds are required to meet all investigative, legal, and administrative costs necessary for the successful completion of our work. Help Center: Serves as a center for the thousands of North America's convicted innocent who petition Centurion Ministries' assistance. Reintegration: Centurion takes upon itself the difficult task of helping those we free integrate back into society which takes several years. We provide them with financial assistance, employment opportunities, psychological counseling and other amenities of life to ease their adjustment to a world that has turned upside down since they were last in it. Legal Reform: Advocates legal reforms to prevent wrongful convictions and promotes long term change.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our primary goal is to free and exonerate men and women sentenced to life, death or lengthy prison terms for crimes they did not commit. Freeing the innocent also involves helping the freed person make the difficult adjustment to life outside the prison. We consider our freed people our family and seeing them thrive is a touchstone for everyone involved. We seek to provide them with everything needed to ease the challenging transition from incarceration to a thriving existence, including clothing, medical care, housing, employment, and financial support. We have also begun to focus on advocating policy changes to a criminal justice system where wrongful convictions can so readily occur and where an innocent person is so easily thwarted from obtaining freedom.

We receive over 1600 new requests for help each year and we read and respond to every request. We look for cases of actual innocence and, from that group, select cases we can take on to free that person from the wrongful conviction. Our work began in 1980 with the exoneration of the first person in 1983. We have since freed 61 people. We work to free the innocent by conducting independent investigations, obtaining legal representation and by providing related services. We thoroughly study the complete case record before committing to a case and then we go into the field and knock on doors to interview witnesses. We hire experts and lawyers to get the case back into the courts. Once the person is freed, we work with them wherever they are to find employment, housing, and medical care. We have 35 years of experience with the criminal justice system. From this experience we will be able to work on policies to change the way the system assesses and treats people accused and convicted of crimes for which they are innocent. It is with this same biography that we have learned to work more effectively with our freed clients.

We are a fiscally conservative organization with a dependable base of contributors who have supported us consistently for years. In addition, our board actively attracts new donors. At times we have found donors willing to fund the costs of a specific case. Costs for any given case, however, vary widely. A simple DNA exoneration can cost as little as $30,000 but an exoneration resulting from a full field investigation and court procedure can cost upwards of $500,000. A field investigation can take between 4 to12 years to complete. There are additional costs associated with supporting freed individuals, which costs vary wildly depending on their base of support. Our current donor base provides us with the financial capability to serve our present caseload, but we seek to hire another full time investigator to increase the number of cases we handle, and thus will be initiating a nationwide capital campaign in 2016.

We have a full-time paid staff of nine, a part-time paid staff of five, and 23 retired people and university students who volunteer anywhere from 10 to 30 hours per week reviewing and developing cases. Of the full-time staff, we have two full-time investigators, a legal director, three staff who manage the case development and volunteers, the Executive Director who oversees the organization and leads fund raising activities, and a development person. All of these people enable us to work on our mandate. Everyone who works here is dedicated and enthusiastic about our goals to identify cases of wrongful conviction, investigate to free the wrongly convicted, and then to support them once freed. Our 35 years of experience gives us a broad foundation for this work.

While we have freed 53 people, we are currently working to free another 24 inmates. Countless others seek relief from wrongful incarceration. To more effectively fulfill our purpose, we need to immediately hire another full-time investigator. We could also improve our capabilities for assisting our freed exonerees. We are presently developing a comprehensive program that will be a much more systematic pro-active way to work with them. When we have the budgeted funds, we want to hire a social worker to help in this effort. We are in the formative stages of considering how to best effect policy changes in the criminal justice system. With the recent addition of a full-time legal director with over 40 years of experience as an attorney working within the criminal justice system, we will able to put together a reasonable and necessary plan for making a foray into the world of policy making.

Financials

CENTURION MINISTRIES
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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CENTURION MINISTRIES

Board of directors
as of 3/30/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Rob Mooney

Snowden Lane

Term: 2016 -

James McCloskey

Centurion Ministries, Inc.

Kate Germond

Centurion Ministries, Inc.

Charles Crow, III

Crow & Cushing

Edwin Pisani

Ernst & Young LLP

Rob Mooney

Snowden lane

Rob Connor, PhD.

Christina Seix Academy

Stephen Pollard

Merrill Lynch/The Pollard Group

Kenneth Javerbaum

Attorney

Jozelyn Davis

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No