The Illinois Innocence Project is guided by three objectives to bring justice to the wrongfully convicted:
- To evaluate and investigate cases for credible claims of an Illinois inmate’s actual innocence, and, when appropriate, provide legal representation and/or other assistance toward proving the inmate’s actual innocence;
- To educate the public and provide important educational and experiential opportunities for students about wrongful convictions
- To encourage meaningful reforms toward preventing the conviction of innocent persons in the future;
What We Do
The Illinois Innocence Project (IIP) is dedicated to releasing innocent men and women imprisoned in Illinois for crimes they did not commit. We advocate on behalf of this silenced population by researching and investigating claims of innocence, and providing legal representation and other assistance to prove credible claims of actual innocence.
The Project reviews over 300 requests for help from Illinois inmates each year. Undergraduates at the University of Illinois Springfield, and law students from the state’s three public law schools, work alongside and at the direction of IIP attorneys to review, evaluate and, where strong evidence of actual innocence exists, investigate and legally pursue claims of innocence.
To date, the Illinois Innocence Project has been intimately involved in the freeing of eleven innocent individuals who were wrongfully imprisoned in Illinois.
The project staff not only teaches classes at the University of Illinois Springfield but also makes presentations at the public university law schools and other institutions of higher education throughout the state. The project raises awareness to the issues of the wrongfully convicted by appearing at community and regional groups, speaking at national conventions, and utilizing social media.
By informing and meeting with representatives of local, state and national government, the project has paid a meaningful role in the enactment of legislation to improve the justice system within the state of Illinois.