The Midwest Innocence Project (MIP) is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the investigation, litigation, and exoneration of wrongfully convicted men and women in our five-state region. Recent studies conservatively estimate that between 2% and 5% of all inmates in America are innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted, with some estimates reaching up to 7%. This means that somewhere between 2,000 and 7,000 moms, dads, sons, and daughters in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Arkansas are locked behind bars this very moment for crimes they did not commit.
After a conviction, it takes roughly seven to ten years for an innocent person to be exonerated, and the process is very expensive. As of August 2016, the 343 men and women across the country who have been exonerated through DNA served an average of 14 years in prison. The MIP staff, along with our Board of Directors, Advisory Board, Next Gen Board, and volunteers, works diligently to give freedom back to those whom the legal system has failed. Thanks to our partnerships with law schools at the University of Missouri in Kansas City and Columbia and the University of Kansas, our presence in the classroom gives us the opportunity to teach the next generation of lawyers and investigators how to identify and prevent these injustices.
The Midwest Innocence Project was founded a decade ago through the UMKC School of Law and is part of the national Innocence Network. In addition to our university partnerships, we also work in conjunction with the Nebraska Innocence Project, Innocence Project of Iowa, and Iowa Public Defender’s Wrongful Conviction Division. Read more about our partners here. We are based in Kansas City, Missouri.