The Nashville-based Tennessee Innocence Project has opened a Memphis office as an anchor to “take on the challenges of the Mid-South region.”
A non-profit law firm that works to free wrongfully convicted Tennesseans, the Tennessee Innocence Project (TIP) is the first full-time innocence organization in the state. The Memphis office is located at 2029 Peabody Avenue.
“We are thrilled to bring our mission to this incredible city and fight for justice and exoneration alongside the Memphis community,” said Jessica Van Dyke, TIP’s executive director and lead counsel.
TIP has worked since 2019 in pursuit of justice for prisoners who served time for crimes they did not commit.
“After months of hard work and planning, we can finally say that we are ready to take on the challenges of the Mid-South region,” said Van Dyke. “We couldn’t have done it without the support of our amazing sponsors, donors, and allies.”
Since 1989, over 3,400 people in America have been found innocent after being imprisoned for crimes they did not commit, according to the National Registry of Exonerations. Thirty of those have come from Tennessee, including six found innocent as a direct result of the Tennessee Innocence Project.
Tennessee, which has the 18th highest prison population in the US, has only one percent of exonerations nationally. Shelby County has the highest number of submitted applications in the state.
“There is no way to make up for the time that these individuals lost due to injustices in the legal system,” said Van Dyke. “But the Tennessee Innocence Project is determined to give them the justice that they deserve.”
(To learn more about the Tennessee Innocence Project, visit, www.tninnocence.org.)