Innocence Project New Orleans (IPNO)

Fellowship Announcement

Police and Prosecutor Accountability for Community Trust (PPACT) Fellow

Innocence Project New Orleans (IPNO) is hiring a fellow for its new program: Police and Prosecutor Accountability for Community Trust (PPACT).  IPNO is looking for a thoughtful and innovative individual with relevant experience to assist in designing and building PPACT, which will enable IPNO to identify cases of potential wrongful conviction. The PPACT Fellowship is a  grant-funded position, with an eye toward phasing a permanent position into IPNO at the end of the grant period.

About IPNO

Innocence Project New Orleans (IPNO) is a non-profit legal office that represents innocent prisoners convicted in Louisiana. IPNO also assists freed clients with transition into the free world upon their release. IPNO uses its cases to expose the causes of wrongful convictions and advocates for policies and practices that will prevent or reduce the number of wrongful convictions.

Since its inception in 2001, IPNO has freed or exonerated 36 wrongly convicted prisoners. IPNO takes the hardest cases—cases that others are not equipped to handle. We devote the majority of our time and resources to freeing poor people who would otherwise die in prison for crimes they did not commit.


PPACT is a new initiative aimed at changing how communities hold police and prosecutors accountable by providing tools to identify and address official misconduct. The tools being developed and implemented by PPACT will also serve IPNO’s screening process, allowing us to identify cases of wrongful conviction due to police and/or prosecutorial misconduct. The PPACT Fellow will serve an instrumental role in designing, implementing, and improving the infrastructure necessary to achieve PPACT’s goals, working closely with IPNO’s executive director and case manager.

Further, PPACT’s database aims to shift power to communities to demand greater transparency and accountability from police and prosecutors by providing data based analyses of corrupt patterns, practices, and actors in the criminal justice system. This will serve to build public trust by promoting systemic change in the institutions that most negatively impact our communities when they fail.

About the Fellowship

The core role of the PPACT Fellow will be designing and seeding the PPACT database as well as reviewing identified cases of potential wrongful conviction. This requires working closely with IPNO’s case manager to conduct case reviews, document investigation, interviewing of individuals and advocates, and producing detailed memos. The Fellow must learn, synthesize, and apply knowledge from many fields in order to successfully carry out the position’s many responsibilities and expectations: law, history, forensics, social justice, information technology, and government.

The PPACT Fellow will research and identify reliable sources of information, then negotiate and expand IPNO’s access to these sources. This aspect will require the Fellow to foster IPNO’s collaborations with other agencies who are administering their own accountability programs, as well as serve as the front line of communication and coordination with technology providers, government entities, and consultants. The Fellow will necessarily liaise with attorneys to determine what information is privileged and confidential. The PPACT Fellow will provide support to any necessary records litigation efforts. The PPACT Fellow will emerge from the fellowship with a wealth of experience in coordinating information, people, and organizations to serve a goal greater in scope than any of those component parts.

Skills and Qualifications

IPNO will pay particular attention to demonstrated excellence in prior work or experience requiring outstanding organizational skills, ability to work both independently and collaboratively, attention to detail, strong oral advocacy skills, and excellent research and writing.

The ideal candidate will have the following personal and professional qualities:

– Associate’s Degree or 2 years of relevant experience

– Demonstrated commitment to social justice

– Experience in criminal legal, government, and/or archival fields

– Experience with databases and/or case management systems, high level of computer literacy

– Knowledge of/experience with the criminal legal system or government agencies

– Experience reviewing cases and/or social science data

– Experience and demonstrated skill undertaking a significant role in complex projects

Salary and Benefits:

The salary for this fellowship for the first year is $30,000, with competitive benefits package, including medical/dental and five weeks of paid vacation, 401k match, and cellphone reimbursement. IPNO provides a work environment that encourages health and self-care. IPNO is a family and pet friendly workplace.


The Fellowship will be open until filled. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Please e-mail a cover letter, a resume, and three references to Please include the job title in the e-mail subject line. Please do not call. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

IPNO is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse work force reflective of the diverse communities we serve and support, with regard to race, culture, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, caregiver status. IPNO works to advance racial justice and equity. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and legal system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.