Help for Prisoners

Cases the Institute Accepts

The Institute for Actual Innocence assists prisoners with post-conviction relief. For the Institute to consider taking a case, individuals must meet the following requirements:

  • Have been convicted of a felony in the Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Currently be incarcerated in the Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Have at least 10 years remaining on the sentence
  • Have a valid claim of innocence

Cases the Institute Cannot Accept

Due to the nature of our program, the institute cannot assist everyone. Some examples of cases the institute cannot accept are:

  • Persons convicted of criminal cases in a state other than Virginia
  • Civil cases
  • Cases in the appeal process

If the Institute cannot assist you and you are interested in finding about an organization in your area that can help you, please refer to the Institute’s resources.

Submitting a Case for Consideration

If you or a prisoner you know claims innocence and the case meets the criteria listed above, please complete the Client Intake Form. If you do not have the ability to print this form, please write to the institute and we will supply the form to you.

For the Institute to consider your claim, a Client Intake Form must be submitted. While the Institute will thoroughly review all claims properly submitted, we are unable to pursue all of the cases due to limited staff and resources. Once we receive your completed Client Intake Form, the institute will evaluate your claim to see if we may be able to help. If an incomplete form is received, we will not process the request.

Send all correspondence to the following address:

Institute for Actual Innocence
University of Richmond School of Law
203 Richmond Way
Richmond, VA 23173

Case materials submitted along with the client intake form will not be reviewed or returned by the institute.