INNOCENCE PROJECT OF FLORIDA INC

Rating: 5 stars   16 reviews

Issues: Human Services, Crime & Law

Location: 1100 E Park Ave Tallahassee FL 32301 USA

Mission: The Innocence Project of Florida, Inc. helps innocent prisoners in Florida obtain their freedom and rebuild their lives. We screen and investigate cases in which meritorious innocence claims are identified; secure DNA testing when biological evidence exists; advocate for the release of each inmate excluded from criminal responsibility by this highly critical analysis; provide transitional and aftercare services to those releases after decades of wrongful imprisonment; and advocate for necessary criminal justice reform to avoid wrongful incarcerations in the future.
Results: Florida has freed 14 men after DNA testing proved their innocence. Collectively, they spent 268 years in prison for crimes they did not commit.
Target demographics: people who have been convicted of crimes they did not commit,
Geographic areas served: Florida
Programs: Investigation & Litigation: The Innocence Project of Florida (IPF) screens and investigates cases in which credible innocence claims are identified, secures DNA testing through litigation when biological evidence exists, and advocates for the release of each inmate proven innocent by this highly critical scientific analysis. Exoneree Support: The Florida exonerees, those whose innocence has been proven and who have been released from prison, spent an average of 19.5 years wrongfully incarcerated. Upon their release, the State of Florida provides them nothing – not a change of clothes, not a bus ticket, no support through a re-entry program. IPF has a full-time social worker on staff who arranges for and provides aid to exonerees, which may include medical, psychological, and social support; occupational training and assistance; housing assistance; family support; and education. Criminal Justice System Reforms: IPF works with people from across the criminal justice system – including prosecutors, victims, law enforcement agencies and defense advocates – to enact meaningful reform. Improving fairness and accuracy in the criminal justice system benefits all segments of society. Victims and their families can see justice; prosecutors and police can have the tools to do their jobs well; the public can have more confidence in the system; and innocent people and their families can avoid the tragedy of wrongful convictions.

2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I have had no personal experience with the Innocence Project of Florida, however, from the things I have read, I have to say this is perhaps one of the greatest testaments to justice that America could have. What could compare with the efforts to clear a person's name of wrongdoing and bring about the freeing of a person wrongfully deprived of their livelihood and indeed life? It is a calling, not just a job. I applaud their work and commitment to remembering that although the wheels of justice grind slowly and sometimes out of sync, someone is paying attention to the grinding and making sure they turn for the eventually for justice to be served.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My experience with the Innocence Project of Florida is relatively small compared to some others who have reviewed though I know the innocence project is a worthy and important cause. IPF serves those in need. The goal to insure justice for all is a lofty one and IPF excels in every way possible.

The Innocence Project of Florida is staffed by wonderful employees and volunteers who all care deeply about those they are helping. This nonprofit works under some difficult conditions set by the nature of the work and considering this the number of people who have been exonerated from wrongful convictions is staggering. I hope that the Innocence Project of Florida can continue to perform this important work.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a supporter of--and volunteer at--the Innocence Project of Florida organization for over two years, and my association with this wonderful non-profit has been one which has brought me a newer insight into the legal, social and political plight of society's most vulnerable and disenfranchised citizens.

I had always aspired to reach out to an organization whose primary goals and objectives were akin to my beliefs that there are multitudes of people in society whose circumstances and places in life may be in dire straits and who are in need of assistance far beyond their legal, political and/or social capabilities. The Innocence Project of Florida is such an organization. Their wealth of expertise, experience and professionalism, coupled with their sense of dedication, honesty and truth are all wonderful assets which help foster an atmosphere of humanity to the clients across Florida.

I am both honored and proud to be associated with such a fine organization, and I trust that their work in helping those less fortunate continues for years to come. I enjoy my association with this non-profit and wish to continue supporting them for many years. Their good work across the state of Florida speaks for volumes.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

There are no changes that I would make.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I became interested in Innocence Project of Florida while we lived in Tallahassee. We attended a couple of their functions, including one to celebrate the release of an innocent man who lost almost two decades of his life behind bars. It was a total eye-opening experience for my husband an myself.
I am so impressed with everyone I have met at Innocence Project. Their work is so terribly important and I am thankful there is now someone fighting for the injustices in our flawed penal system. Most of us rarely think about how many wrongful convictions there are in the U.S., until one of them hits the news or becomes a top story. The IPF helps these innocent people get released from prison and then to re-start their lives. What an incredible job they do!
I cannot think of an organization I hold in higher regard.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand to have an IPF office in every major city of this country!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I served on the Board of the Innocence Project of Florida, Inc. ("IPF") for several years, during its earliest, formative stages. It has been incredibly inspiring to watch the organization grow and prosper. The staff, lawyers, social workers, administrators, student interns, volunteers and "exonorees" are among the most hard-working and courageous, and inspirational, people one could ever hope to encounter. IPF has now freed 13 genuinely innocent men from Florida's prisons, including the one who served the longest of anyone in the U.S. I was there to witness him walk out of the courthouse a free man, into his mother's arms in time for Christmas 2009: it was truly one of the most uplifting sights I have ever beheld. This is a truly phenomenal organization which deserves as much support as we can all give it.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Fund it adequately and with public dollars. It deserves full funding and adequate pay for the heroic folks who work there.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

The Innocence Project of Florida is an incredibly important organization that provides life-changing assistance to wrongfully convicted persons incarcerated in Florida prisons. This state leads the nation in the number of innocent people released from death row so the work of IPF is essential in order to prevent the execution of an innocent person; given the current political climate the recent Timely Justice Act, the work of the Innocence Project is of the utmost importance.

Not only does IPF provide legal assistance and fight the uphill battle to release innocent people from prison, but they provide much needed assistance to exonerees after release. Our criminal justice system provides more reentry assistance to parolees than to innocent people, so the help of the IPF is vital. I believe that many of the wrongfully convicted men in Florida would not be nearly as successful after release without this help from IPF. This is possibly one of the most important non-profit organizations in the state of Florida.

I have personally found the people at IPF to be exceptionally generous with their time and extremely helpful. I teach college courses on wrongful convictions and have had at least one student intern with IPF. I have also had the opportunity meet several of the men that IPF has helped release. I hope to continue educating my students to the problems with the criminal justice system and encourage them to get involved with IPF and help right the wrongs of the criminal justice system. I only wish that I could do more to help IPF!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been aware of The Innocence Project for some time, but only in the last several years have I learned more about it.

One of my old and dear college friends is heavily involved and since becoming aware of that, I've evolved into a real fan of the organization. Another dear friend was the department chair in the school of criminology at a major university and his involvement in The Innocence Project has strengthened my resolve.

There are few scourges more egregious than the incarceration of innocent people. The very idea of executing someone is anathema to me on a personal basis. It is my opinion that The Innocence Project is essential to our society. It delivers a check and balance to an intermittently corrupt prosecutorial system.

I view the work of The Innocence Project as one of the greatest services to the country and I fully support their efforts.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I see no immediate need for change and would be reluctant to offer a suggestion since my involvement is peripheral.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I absolutely loved my time working at the Innocence Project of Florida. The staff members were incredibly warm and open to me, and helped me to learn about their work and all of the nuance behind innocence work. I worked as a development and outreach intern, working with Jackie Pugh to advance knowledge of innocence issues through the IPF blog and to coordinate the planning of IPF's inaugural gala.
The work of IPF is incredibly important and cannot be understated. It is a tragic reality that our justice system does not deliver fairness and equal treatment to all people, and we therefore need organizations to fight against corruption, stereotypes and inequalities within the legal system.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Help them to get more funding so that they can have more regular staff to help even more people!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Our system was established primarily to deliver unfettered freedom to all. The founders established a concept that 100 guilty parties should go free to avoid the conviction of 1 innocent. Times have changed. Without the tireless, brilliant workers in innocence projects, hundreds of men and women would still be imprisoned even though they are factually innocent. Great work, great mission statement. I wish I could do more to help.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Take all the money spent on college and professional sports in Florida and use it instead to review every single conviction of every inmate in the Florida Department of Corrections.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

The Innocence Project of FL is an amazing organization, driven by a passionate and caring staff. They are standing in the gap for those who have no one to speak for them. People who are innocent of a crime, yet spend upward of 25 years in prison! I cannot imagine a more important mission.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

help them with funding for more staff!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?