"Rebuilding the Lives of the Wrongfully Convicted"


Importance of Peer Support
Exonerees are amongst the most powerful sources of support for each other, but rarely do they have the opportunity to connect. There is no substitute for sharing a life-threatening experience with someone who has been in the same position, someone who really knows what it is like to live a nightmare that is unfathomable for most. Because exonereesare spread out across America and have neither the funds nor the means to contact other exonerees, they are often deprived of the camaraderie, support, and opportunity afforded by an active network of the exonerated.

Creating Group Opportunities
The Life After Exoneration Program has built a network of exonerees around the country. The program has paired recently released exonerees with those exonerated some time ago, built a system of mentors, and organizes periodic gatherings of exonerees, along with creating an online community of exonerees.

Council of the Wrongfully Convicted
The Life After Exoneration Program helped launch the first operational exoneree-led organization - the Council of the Wrongfully Convicted (CWC) - in a three-day meeting of California’s wrongfully convicted. The CWC is now an exoneree network advocating for reform in criminal procedures to reduce the risk of wrongful convictions and to promote the right of the exonerated to just financial compensation.

Men's Healing Circle
The first Men’s Healing Circle for Northern California’s exonerees, with professionally guided monthly sessions, was held in 2008 with the support of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice Violence Prevention. The meetings provide the opportunity for sustained exoneree peer support and guided exploration in a supportive atmosphere. The Circle also provides valuable insight into designing exoneree services by reinforcing the exoneree’s need for basic financial stability as a pre-requisite for long-term psychological healing.