A Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) is a division of a prosecutorial office that works to prevent, identify, and remedy false convictions. They are sometimes called Conviction Review Units (CRUs).
Several Conviction Integrity Units have accomplished a great deal in a short period of time, and there has certainly been an uptick in the number of offices that claim to have formed CIUs. It is still too soon to know whether this trend will produce a change in the way prosecutors operate generally. For more information on the history of CIUs, please see the annual report excerpts linked below.
Guide to the Registry's List of CIUsThe Registry maintains two lists:
The Registry maintains two lists:
Each table is sorted by state, and the units are listed alphabetically by county.Clicking the "County" name hyperlink will take you directly to that unit's website, or the website of that State/District Attorney's office, if they do not have a dedicated webpage to their CIU.Clicking the "Exonerations" hyperlink will take you to an up-to-date exoneration count.The following tables reflect data recorded in the Registry as of August 13, 2020.
The following tables reflect data recorded in the Registry as of August 13, 2020.
A. OPERATIONAL CIUs with RECORDED Exonerations
NOTE: In addition to the CIUs listed above, the Orleans Parish, LA CIU that operated from 2014-2016 participated in 1 exoneration.
B. CIUS WITH No Exonerations RECORDED
NOTE: Utah Co., UT was removed from this list in 2020 when our national survey could not confirm an active unit. In addition to the listed CIUs, the State of New Jersey Office of the Public Defender opened a unit that is named a "Conviction Integrity Unit" in 2018 that provides representation for indigent defendants who file a post-conviction relief (PCR) petition.
Professional Exonerators (Excerpt from Exonerations in 2017 Report) - 14 March 2018 This excerpt from the 2017 Report reviews 33 Conviction Integrity Units existing at the end of 2017 and discusses the impact of both CIUs and Innocence Organizations on exonerations.
Conviction Integrity Units (Excerpt from Exonerations in 2016 Report) - 7 March 2017 In this excerpt from the 2016 Report, we review the 29 Conviction Integrity Units in existence as of 2016. As of the publication of the report, there were 225 CIU exonerations. We look at where these 225 exonerations came from, which prosecutorial offices have CIUs in name only, and the accessibility of the programs.
Conviction Integrity Units - 3 February 2016 A look at the rapid rise in Conviction Integrity Units and their wide range in performance. The report concludes: “What we can say is this: In a few counties, CIUs have become important, active on-going operations. For several CIUs, it’s too early to say. And for others, we found no evidence that they have done anything much at all.”
The National Registry of Exonerations is a project of the Newkirk Center for Science & Society at University of California Irvine, the University of Michigan Law School and Michigan State University College of Law. It was founded in 2012 in conjunction with the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law. The Registry provides detailed information about every known exoneration in the United States since 1989—cases in which a person was wrongly convicted of a crime and later cleared of all the charges based on new evidence of innocence. The Registry also maintains a more limited database of known exonerations prior to 1989.
We welcome new information from any source about exonerations already on our list and about cases not in the Registry that might be exonerations.