Innocence Project, Inc.

aka The Innocence Project   |   New York, NY   |  www.innocenceproject.org

Mission

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 prisoners 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.

Ruling year info

2007

Executive Director

Christina Swarns

Main address

40 Worth St. Suite 701

New York, NY 10013 USA

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EIN

32-0077563

NTEE code info

Legal Services (I80)

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)

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?

Exoneration Casework

For more than 20 years, the Innocence Project has served the needs of a unique population: innocent men and women wrongfully imprisoned by our criminal justice system. By utilizing DNA technology as part of our post-conviction legal strategy, we have been able to free more prisoners than we ever thought possible. Our litigation efforts represent our core program and the activity from which all of our other policy and reform work flows.

With our national profile continually on the rise, we face an unprecedented demand for our services and expertise. Since 1989, more than 335 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 30 who plead guilty to crimes they did not commit, and 18 who served time on death row. The Innocence Project provided direct representation or critical assistance in more than 175 of these cases.

Currently, we have a full-time staff of more than 70 and two dozen volunteer law students who handle more than 250 active cases. Our Intake Department has approximately 10,000 requests under various stages of evaluation. Although we have had many victories in the past decade, each exoneration only shows us how much more needs to be done to free the other innocents with DNA evidence who remain in prison.

Population(s) Served
Adults

After more than twenty years of working to free the innocent, the Innocence Project has identified many of the systemic causes of wrongful convictions. In response, we have created thoughtful policy initiatives centered on recommended protocols for law enforcement, courts, and legislatures that seek to prevent wrongful convictions.

Our Public Policy program focuses on five areas, developing significant, sustained programs in each to effect legislation and policy at the local, state, and national level:
-Preventing mistaken eyewitness identifications.
-Preventing careless or disreputable forensic science.
-Assuring access to DNA evidence and testing, but building in safeguards to protect civil liberties.
-Achieving a moratorium on executions and other key reforms to the death penalty that will significantly reduce the risk of executing the innocent.
-Developing and advocating for legislation to secure compensation for the wrongfully convicted.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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Awards

#1 in Criminal Justice Reform 2011

Philanthropedia Top Non-Profits

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.

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.

The Innocence Project pursues an integrated strategy for justice by combining casework, communications and policy to free the innocent and advance reforms rooted in fairness and informed by science. The DNA exonerations serve as a learning moment, creating a groundswell of support for reform by increasing awareness about wrongful convictions and their underlying causes. With each new exoneration and policy achievement, the Innocence Project helps shape a criminal justice system based on fairness and informed by science.

Financials

Innocence Project, Inc.
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Innocence Project, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 8/2/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Jack Taylor

Pine River Capital Management L.P.


Board co-chair

Vered Rabia

Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom LLP

Marvin Anderson

Hanover Fire Department

Jason Flom

LAVA Records

Jack Taylor

Pine River Capital Management L.P.

Eric Lander

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

John Grisham

Author

Gordon DuGan

Gramercy Property Trust

Vered Rabia

Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom LLP

Jessica Roth

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University

John Kaneb

HP Hood LLC

Ekow Yankah

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University

Denise Foderaro

Frank and Denise Quattrone Foundation

Steven Reiss

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Andrew Tananbaum

Capital Business Credit, LLC

Tony Goldwyn

Actor, Director and Producer

Charles Ramsey

Philadelphia Police Commissioner (Ret.)

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