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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

New England Innocence Project

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Crime & Law, Inmate Support, Public Interest Law

Mission: The New England Innocence Project (NEIP) provides pro bono assistance to inmates who have claims of actual innocence. The New England Innocence Project’s mission is to assist persons wrongly convicted in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island or Vermont and to advocate for the reform of our criminal justice system. The New England Innocence Project was founded in 2000. NEIP considers cases in which a conviction is final and in which scientific testing or other investigative leads could establish a strong likelihood that the individual is factually innocent. In addition to its work on behalf of individual inmates, NEIP also seeks to raise public awareness of the prevalence, causes, and costs of wrongful convictions, and advocates for legal reforms that will hasten the identification and release of innocent prisoners. It is the New England Innocence Project’s vision that no one in New England will ever go to prison for a crime he or she did not commit.

Results: In June we hosted our annual litigation training, with over 120 attorneys and other criminal justice experts in attendance. This summer we assisted with Vermont's first ever DNA exoneration and were able to walk an innocent man out of prison. Recently, we have moved offices and are now on our own for the first time, and have been devoting time to creating a functional and productive NEIP environment.

Geographic areas served: New England States: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Lincoln R.


Rating: 5

"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

For many who are wrongly convicted, the NEIP is the very last resort and life line for legal representation to be exonerated. In our too often fallible and discriminatory criminal justice system, they represent the last glimmer of hope for justice to prevail when our system has failed to do so. They are uniquely qualified, given its record of hundreds of exonerations, to be that safety net we may one day find ourselves in the unfortunate position that many of its clients have. That's why I support their noble, honorable and just cause, and proudly make my modest contributions to their efforts, for justice denied to the one is justice denied to us all.


Rating: 5

Many organizations have great missions, but not many have as great a staff as NEIP. I will always donate to NEIP, for a donation to NEIP, no matter how small, will have a great impact on someone's life.


Rating: 5

I've been fortunate enough to know Libby Wilcosky on both a personal and professional level. She is the Outreach Coordinator at NEIP. I have seen her tireless efforts to the Innocence mission on a first-hand basis. She has exposed me to the plight of wrongfully convicted prisoners and some of the struggles they face when they get out of confinement. The stories profiled in the brochure are awe-inspiring. They are stories of triumph in the face of tremendous tragedy.