Founded in 2008 and working closely with law students who help screen and evaluate cases, the Pennsylvania Innocence Project works to exonerate individuals convicted of crimes they didn't commit and prevent innocent people from being convicted. Since its inception, the organization has secured or helped secure the exoneration of twenty individuals and has gotten three individuals out on parole while the Project continues to fight for their exoneration. The Pennsylvania Innocence Project has offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and works with area law school students to help screen and evaluate cases.
The work of the Project goes beyond exoneration. After a client is exonerated, the Project's social worker provides reentry services to help individuals adjust and reintegrate into society. The Pennsylvania Innocence Project also works to reform the criminal justice system and prevent wrongful convictions through education, advocacy, and trainings. The Project educates various stakeholders in the criminal justice system, including law enforcement agencies and courts, to address the underlying causes of wrongful convictions and promotes policies that will prevent wrongful convictions from happening in the first place. The Project also supports legislation to amend state laws that make it difficult for convicted individuals to challenge their case in court, like updating post-conviction DNA access laws. In courts, the Project supports other lawyers fighting to exonerate individuals who were wrongfully incarcerated.