Policy Reform

The Innocence Project’s policy department works with Congress, state legislatures and local leaders to pass laws and policies that prevent wrongful convictions and make it easier for the innocent to receive justice.

Improving the system benefits everyone. Innocent people avoid wrongful arrests and convictions, police and prosecutors are given better tools to catch the real assailants, victims receive justice, and the public has greater confidence in the system.

The Innocence Project’s policy priorities reflect the lessons learned from DNA exonerations. Our policy work addresses each of the contributors to wrongful convictions –eyewitness misidentification, misapplication of forensic science,  false confessions, incentivized witnesses, government misconduct and inadequate defense. In addition, the Innocence Project promotes laws that ensure robust access to post conviction DNA testing and evidence retention, as well as legal mechanisms for the wrongfully convicted to achieve relief based on new, non-DNA, evidence of innocence. The Innocence Project also advocate for laws that compensate innocent people for the harm experienced by wrongful conviction and incarceration.