Innocence Project, Inc.

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

Mission

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 is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating innocent people who are wrongfully convicted — primarily through DNA testing — and reforming the criminal legal system to prevent future injustice. First launched as a legal clinic in 1992 by co-founders Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, the Innocence Project became an independent nonprofit in 2004 and maintains an affiliation with Cardozo today.

Ruling year info

2007

Executive Director

Christina Swarns

Main address

40 Worth Street 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

Blog

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?

Free the Innocent: Post-Conviction Litigation Program

The Innocence Project’s post-conviction litigation team represents more than 170 clients across 43 states and the District of Columbia at any given time — freeing or exonerating six to 12 innocent people each year.

Clients are primarily identified by the intake team, which reviews, investigates, and assesses more than 2,000 requests for assistance each year. Over the last three decades, the intake team has assessed 70,000 cases and 234 innocent people have been freed or exonerated by the legal team.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Wrongfully incarcerated people
Low-income people
Children and youth

The Innocence Project’s policy and strategic litigation teams drive impactful state and federal reform across the country to address the root causes of wrongful convictions and prevent future injustice.

Through identification of critical case law for reform directly in the courts, the strategic litigation team establishes legal precedents to ensure scientific integrity and prevent wrongful conviction.

The policy team advocates at state and federal legislatures to establish reform law that challenges prosecutorial misconduct, increases mechanisms to ensure police transparency & accountability, regulates forensic science, establishes compensation laws for those wrongfully convicted, and much more — securing over 200 reform policy victories to date.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

We recognize the brilliance and resilience of each individual and their family and community who are at the center of these cases. The Innocence Project’s social work team provides wraparound support and flexible financial assistance to each freed or exonerated client during and after their release and return to their communities.

Knowing that solutions to the injustices of our criminal legal system must come from those directly impacted; the Innocence Project works with exonerees to build their power and amplify their voices via trauma-informed story sharing, public policy advocacy, and representation on the IP’s Exoneree Advisory Council (EAC).

Population(s) Served

Through the Innocence Network’s movement of almost 70 organizations working together to free the innocent and prevent wrongful convictions, we build power in local communities to join this movement for true justice. Established in 2005, the Network has collectively exonerated more than 650 people.

Exoneration cases have radically expanded public understanding of the fallibility of the criminal legal system. Together, we are building a national movement for change.

Population(s) Served
Wrongfully incarcerated people
Wrongfully incarcerated people
Low-income people
Adults
Children and youth
Wrongfully incarcerated people
Low-income people
Adults
Children and youth

Where we work

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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Innocence Project, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 1/18/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Jack Taylor

CEO, President and Director, Granite Point Mortgage Trust Inc.


Board co-chair

Vered Rabia

Partner, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates

Marvin Anderson

Hanover Fire Department

Jason Flom

LAVA Media

Jack Taylor

Granite Point Mortgage Trust Inc.

John Grisham

Author

Gordon DuGan

Gramercy Property Trust

Vered Rabia

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates

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

Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice

Steven Reiss

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Andrew Tananbaum

AHT Partners, LP

Tony Goldwyn

Actor, Director and Producer

Cedric Alexander

Retired Police Administrator

Cynthia Augustine

FCB

Valerie Jarrett

University of Chicago Law School

Greg O'Hara

Certares

Yusef Salaam

Yusef Speaks

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? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • 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? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/08/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data