Illinois Innocence Project

The Illinois Innocence Project conducts research and investigative activities in cases where there is a strong likelihood that an inmate is actually innocent. The Illinois Innocence Project, housed in the Institute for Legal, Legislative and Policy Studies, was recognized as the only undergraduate innocence program at the National Innocence Project conference in San Diego in mid-January of 2002. It is still one of a few acknowledged undergraduate innocence programs in the country.

Students in the Legal Studies program and other degree programs provide research and investigative assistance to individuals who have been arrested, tried, found guilty, and imprisoned for crimes they most likely did not commit.

Nathan Frisch

Legal Studies students also have the opportunity to participate in the Illinois Innocence Project by:

  • Taking the course LES 488: Conviction of the Innocent.  The LES 488 course (four credit hours) is a multi-disciplinary examination of the conviction of people for serious crimes who are likely to be innocent. In the course students examine policies that contribute to this system and explore alternative solutions that minimize the chances of convicting innocent people.
  • Through credit-generated tutorials or clinicals
  • Through an Internship (undergraduate students)
  • Through a Graduate Assistantship (graduate students)