Loyola Project for the Innocent Secures $230k Grant from Dept. Of Justice to Add Attorney, Investigator to Team
The Loyola Law School, Los Angeles Project for the Innocent (LPI) has been named the recipient of a competitive quarter-million dollar grant by the U.S. Department of Justice for its ongoing advocacy efforts.
The $223,500 grant will allow the LPI to hire additional staff to investigate and litigate on behalf of defendants who were wrongfully convicted. The new LPI members – an attorney and investigator -- will join a team that includes Legal Director Paula Mitchell, Program Director Adam Grant, founder Laurie Levenson and a team of student advocates.
“This grant is a wonderful opportunity to expand our services to the hundreds of individuals who have written to us claiming that they are innocent,” said Levenson. “We are thrilled and honored that the Department of Justice has made it possible for the LPI to grow so that we can fulfill our mission of helping all individuals who may have been wrongfully convicted.”
The Justice Department grant comes from the Wrongful Conviction Review Program, part of the Bureau of Justice Assistance in the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs. The initiative supports organizations that provide representation to potentially wrongfully convicted defendants with innocent claims. LPI secured the coveted grant after a lengthy application process in which it demonstrated its objectives could effectively be met with the DOJ funds.
“Pursuing claims of wrongful conviction is resource-intensive. Our students, attorneys and investigators spend countless hours interviewing, researching and writing claims in support of our clients,” said Mitchell, noting that the timeline for success is often measured in years, not months. “Being attorneys for others is not easy, and we are grateful to have the Justice Department’s support.”
In addition to receiving the new grant, LPI has launched a Campaign for Justice to fund the Kash Register Fellowship. The new fellowship was created by former client and exoneree Kash Delano Register, who spent 34 years in prison for a murder he did not commit before LPI students and attorneys secured his release in 2013.