Innocence Matters

Rating: 5 stars   41 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights, Education, Crime & Law

Location: PO Box 1098 (physical address given for appointments) Torrance CA 90505 USA

Mission: We believe the innocent should not be incarcerated and when mistakes are discovered we should all join forces to correct the error and free the innocent quickly. Our work is primarily focused on the broader goals of education, prevention and reform. We are particularly interested in improving the quality of indigent defense services and implementing systemic changes that will better protect the innocent and encourage the legal community to more quickly acknowledge and correct errors. Our preventative programs are designed to bring about lasting change and provide a broad toolkit for the innocent and their attorneys.
Results: September 24, 2012: John Edward Smith was reunited with his family after serving 19 years for a murder he did not commit. October 10, 2014: Susan Marie Mellen was reunited with her family after serving 17 years for a murder she did not commit.
Target demographics: the innocent
Programs: the I Am Innocent seminar that teaches the innocent how to prevent their wrongful conviction and the Ganging Up on Innocence investigation program to help people who have already been wrongfully convicted.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
Write a Review

See How $25 Can Help

See How 3Hrs Can Help

More Info

EIN 27-0840481
310-755-2518
Invite people to share their experience with this nonprofit!

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

It is good to know that there are people out in the world that really cares about the people and will help fight for what is right. Deirdre O'Connor you are a true blessing to the Mellen family.
Thank you

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Innocence Matters is an absolutely necessary non-profit these days. There is so much corruption and innefficiency in our justice system. I would NEVER want to be in a position where my innocence was questioned, without having a resource like "Innocence Matters" to help. There are just too many mistaken cases nowadays. Please consider supporting "Innocence Matters" to ensure justice for ALL.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I found Susan through Friend-2-Friend at my church. That was 8 years ago. In those years I have come to believe in Susan's innocence. When Innocence Matters stepped in and Deirdre O'Connor took over things began to happen--positive, definitive, exciting and encouraging events. After serving 17 years in prison for a crime she did not commit, Susan felt renewed hope for the first time.

Deirdre O'Connor is an exemplary attorney committed to justice. Her due diligence is unmatched; her dedication tireless and impressive; her success rate is to be acknowledged and applauded; and her spirit of giving in fulfilling the Mission Statement of Innocence Matters is unequaled.

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

.....recruit volunteers to: ... write and apply for grants; ... to scout websites that solicit donations for worthy causes (i.e. Susan's and others freedom); ...organize fundraisers for Innocence Matters; and ...solicit/find in-kind contributions (like office space, utilities, furniture, computers, copiers, etc)

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?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I was a legal intern for Innocence Matters this past summer. What an impact it has made made in my life! It was one of the best experiences I have had with a nonprofit. The work that this organization does is incredible. This organization changes people’s lives. The Innocence Matters’ team fights for what is right and fights for the truth. Deirdre O’Connor and her team help the people that everyone else has given up on. O’Connor and her team work nonstop, around the clock and produce amazing quality work! This organization is filled with an unbelievable amount of passion, determination, dedication, and heart. The way O’Connor and her team handle their client’s cases is truly inspiring. This organization works extremely hard for its clients. And do you know why they work so hard? Because they truly care about their clients and making a difference in the world, one case at a time!! I CANNOT wait to see what the future has in store for Innocence Matters. Thank you for inspiring me, Innocence Matters!!!

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?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I was a summer extern at Innocence Matters for the Summer of 2014. Not only did I gain valuable legal experience, but the organization also furthered my desire to focus my legal career in criminal law. I was inspired by Deirdre O'Connor's dedication and manner in which she handled her cases. As a third-year law student, I can truly say that my experience at Innocence Matters will help me tremendously in expanding my opportunities in this field. I am excited about the upcoming developments in the cases, which I had the opportunity to work on this summer, and will be keeping in touch with the organization throughout my legal career.

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?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

During my time at Innocence Matters I was overwhelmed by the level of dedication and grit organisation members showed. Day in and day out members worked tirelessly to see justice served for a number of people that the system has simply forgotten.

Working on tight budgets, the organisations' output to resource ratio was impressive and their dedication to work from early in the morning until well into the night was inspirational.

Travelling from Australia in order to take up my position, I did not know what to expect upon my arrival. However, after spending two months full-time with Deirdre and the team I would gladly dedicate my time again, to what is a truly worthy cause and a sincerely honourable organisation.

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

Provide the valuable support (financial and otherwise), which the organisation requires to further expand their work and the truly life-changing outcomes they achieve.

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?

2014

Was this review helpful? 

Say the word, my Aussie friend, and we'll save you a seat! We miss you!

Rating: 5 stars  

My passion to set free an innocent man from a sentence of life without the possibility of parole encouraged me to network by attending the reception for John Smith, Innocence Matters’ first client to be freed by their wonderful, expert and thorough work. Then I got a phone call from Deirdre about doing volunteer work for this outstanding and warm group of people who forget themselves and go full steam ahead doing the nitty-gritty work needed to reach their goal of justice. I said yes and then was able to help them secure a much needed grant. Since then I have had opportunities to work with the entire Innocence Matters team and what a great feeling it is to know that even the small things I do are going to help free innocent people from prison and prevent wrongful convictions. Join us and be a part of this great organization and see what you, too, can do to support us and our work!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would make sure people knew that immediate funding would help Innocence Matters secure larger office space so they can serve more people more efficiently.

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

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would make sure people knew that immediate funding would help Innocence Matters secure larger office space so they can serve more people more efficiently.

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?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I've never experienced an organization like INNOCENCE MATTERS. The opportunity for learning, for working and actively participating in events that will bring about change are many. There are many ways to get involved depending on what your goals are. An intern might one day be working on an investigation and the next day speaking at a neighborhood school sharing our education and prevention programs. INNOCENCE MATTERS is not for wimps, it's serious people about serious things. And, make no mistake, you must have a really good sense of humor.

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

The organization is growing and needs a bigger space to accommodate the Interns, volunteers, committees, files etc.

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?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Words cannot even describe the passion emanating from each and every person involved with or touched by Innocence Matters. Becoming a part of this organization helped me grow and as a person and expand my knowledge on the little steps people can take in helping to prevent wrongful conviction from occurring. Starting with the founders, to the Board members, to the staff, and the interns there is not one person within the organization that isn't soulfully passionate about the mission. My eyes have been opened and I have never felt so lucky to have this opportunity to be a part of something so life changing. I had never realized that the love I have for Innocence Matters would grow to such extremes, but I am overjoyed that it has. This organization has touched many lives with its positive goals, and I have no doubt that Innocence Matters will be a part of my life for a very long time.

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  

1 person found this review helpful

InnocenceMatters.Org is a stellar organization whose main goal is to help exonerate those wrongrully convicted... the forgotten. There is nothing more precious than our freedom and the one thing that we all take for granted. I am finally a part of an organization where my support/work really matters and is significant. Along with my counterparts, we are saving lives in ways that most of us can only imagine. What better way to spend my time than to give selflessly for a worthy cause?!

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

I would increase marketing efforts and the level of financial support that the organization is receiving.

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?