U.S. Department of Justice: Upholding the Rule of Law and Preventing Wrongful Convictions ProgramDeadline: July 2, 2019
The Upholding the Rule of Law and Preventing Wrongful Convictions (URLPWC) Program is committed to protecting the integrity of the criminal justice system and the consistent application of due process for all. The URLPWC Program supports efforts by both conviction integrity or review units (CIUs) and wrongful conviction review entities (WCR entities) that represent individuals with post-conviction claims of innocence to review individual cases.
The URLPWC Program supports state and local policymakers and practitioners, including CIUs and WCR entities that represent individuals with post-conviction claims of innocence to review their potentially legitimate cases and enact measures to prevent future errors and ensure justice. The program also promotes partnerships between CIUs and WCR entities, where appropriate, to support comprehensive approaches that both review wrongful conviction claims in topic areas, such as eyewitness identifications where the risk for error is higher, and reduce the risk for future error. Where possible, the URLPWC Program seeks to identify actual perpetrators of crimes, and to bring justice to victim(s), thereby enhancing public safety. URLPWC funding will support both the review of post-conviction claims of innocence and prosecutorial efforts to address violent crime and improve criminal prosecution, resulting in safer neighborhoods.
URLPWC funding will support two categories:
- Category 1: Prosecutor/Conviction Integrity Unit-Led Partnerships with Wrongful Conviction Review Entities. A strategy led by prosecutor offices or conviction integrity units (CIUs) that focuses on the prevention of wrongful convictions and the review of post-conviction claims of innocence, which must include partnerships with WCR entities.
- Category 2: Wrongful Conviction Review Entity-Led Strategy. A strategy lead by a WCR entity that focuses on review of post-conviction claims of innocence.
Amount: Approximately $3,350,000 is available to make up to 11 awards of up to $275,000 each across both categories. The period of performance is 24 months.
Eligibility: State and local governments with authority over offices that work to prevent, identify, and correct false or wrongful convictions; state and local public defender’s offices; nonprofit organizations (including tribal nonprofit organizations) dedicated to judicial verdicts that comport to the rule of law; and institutions of higher education (including tribal institutions of higher education). All applicants (or the partners conducting the work) must have demonstrable experience and competence in litigating post-conviction claims of innocence.