Help Free the Innocent

The California Innocence Project has freed 37 people since 1999.

What Are Innocence Organizations?

Innocence organizations around the world provide free legal services to the wrongfully convicted and work to improve justice systems. They are independent organizations that often work together. The Innocence Project (located in NYC) is an independently funded organization, as are all innocence organizations (including those that use “Innocence Project” in their names). The California Innocence Project receives no funding from the Innocence Project nor any other innocence organization. As a nonprofit organization, the California Innocence Project relies on volunteer and donor support to do its work.

California Innocence Project

The California Innocence Project is a law school clinic, founded in 1999 at California Western School of Law, dedicated to freeing the innocent, training law students, and changing laws and policies in the state of California. The California Innocence Project has freed many innocent people from prison, trained hundreds of outstanding law students who have gone on to become excellent attorneys, and changed multiple California laws to improve the justice system. We are a founding member of The Innocence Network and have helped launch organizations throughout Latin America.

Why Is Your Support Needed?

Our clients do not have the resources to prove their innocence. The California Innocence Project provides pro bono services and pays all of the investigation and litigation costs for all of our cases—more than 1,500 cases each year. As an independent organization, we must raise funds to continue our valuable work. We cannot free the innocent without help from the public. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the California Innocence Project here.

Take Action

We need your help!


The California Innocence Project needs volunteer attorneys, investigators, interns, and expert witnesses.  If you have the ability to assist us in our effort to free the innocent, please help!


Impact Lives. Take Action Now. All donations are 100% tax deductible and go towards investigation and litigation expenses to free our innocent clients. Please donate today!

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 Freed Clients

Justice finally served.

Nationwide Exonerations

Death Row Exonerations

CIP Clients Freed

Years CIP Clients Spent In Prison

If it weren’t for the California Innocence Project I wouldn’t have played football, I wouldn’t be working. 

Brian Banks

6 Years Wrongfully Incarcerated

I always maintained my innocence. The California Innocence Project believed in me and fought with me for my freedom.

Uriah Courtney

8 Years Wrongfully Incarcerated

I truly appreciate the hard work that you all have done to help with my case and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Kimberly Long

7 Years Wrongfully Incarcerated

How to Submit a Case

The California Innocence Project accepts cases from those claiming wrongful conviction in Southern California. Learn how to submit a claim of innocence to the California Innocence Project.

Innocence Network

There are more than 60 innocence organizations around the world.  For help outside of Southern California, refer to the list of other innocence organizations in the United States and the world.

Other Resources

The California Innocence Project does not handle civil cases, sentencing issues, or complaints regarding prison conditions. For other services and groups that may assist in various legal matters, see our list of resources.

Meet the Staff

A new generation of freedom fighters.

Innocence Project Staff

Message from the Director

In 1999, we founded the California Innocence Project with 3 goals:

1) To free innocent people from prison

2) To provide outstanding training to our law students so they will become great lawyers

3) To change laws and procedures to decrease the number of wrongful convictions and improve the justice system

I am very proud of the accomplishments we have achieved with all of these goals.  We have brought home many innocent clients over the years and experienced the joy of reuniting them with their families.  We have seen our law graduates go on to do great things.  And, we have participated in changing many laws that assist our work and improve the lives of our clients.

Over the years it has given me great joy to see our work go global in an “innocence movement” that grows bigger and stronger every day.  Our project has been deeply involved in Latin America, launching Red Inocenté, a network of innocence organizations throughout the region.  We have also been involved in international cases, helping to free Jason Puracal from Nicaragua, Scott McMahon from the Philippines, and representing Grace and Matthew Huang in their wrongful incarceration case in Qatar.

There is still a great deal of work for us to do and it’s not cheap.  Simple expenses like gas money for us to visit our clients in remote prisons,  our phone bill so clients can call us from prison, and copies of transcripts and crime scene photos can add up. I encourage you to explore our website and consider donating.  Your generous contribution is 100% tax deductible and will be used to further the work of our project.

Justin Brooks

Director, California Innocence Project

Our Work



California Innocence Project: Law Students Work to Free the Innocent

Michael Hanline Released After 36 Years Wrongful Imprisonment

The Justice Society

Make a greater commitment to innocence.

Join our donor networking group for $50 per month.
The California Innocence Project’s Justice Society is a donor network for individuals who are interested in criminal justice and innocence-related issues. Members will be given monthly opportunities to develop their understanding of the criminal justice system while connecting with individuals with similar passions and interests.

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