Our current COVID-19 policy has changed as we continue in hybrid work arrangements in our Philadelphia and Pittsburgh offices. All staff are required to have a full set of up-to-date COVID-19 vaccinations. Mask wearing is currently optional. We will continue to adhere to local and University facility rules for pandemic response.
As you can imagine, the COVID-19 pandemic and these uncertain times have been particularly stressful for incarcerated and exonerated clients. People in prison have worried about living in such close quarters with the threat of contracting the virus, and about court and other delays during pandemic-related shutdowns. People on the outside who have been exonerated or are still fighting to prove their innocence have struggled during civil unrest and financial strain.
Our team is still here, working hard to help. We have continued work remotely when necessary and we maintain a supportive approach to work with clients through these difficult times. Some of the steps we are taking include:
- Speaking with our incarcerated clients regularly to see how they are coping in prison with the threat of COVID19 and advocating for medical care when needed.
- Providing support and resources to freed and exonerated individuals through regular phone calls by our social worker.
- Holding the Transition to Innocence support group - now back in person - which participants have told us they find incredibly important to their wellbeing.
- Providing financial support when possible for exonerated clients including those in low-income households and thoes affected by pandemic-related income loss.
- Providing legal representation to exonerate people who are wrongly convicted and are often serving long sentences. This includes electronically court filings and working with other attorneys, district attorneys, and judges via conference calls.
- Teaching and coordinating student intern work remotely and in-person as needed in order to maintain educational programming throughout the Commonwealth.
We hope that you and your loved ones are all safe, healthy, and able to take the necessary precautions to protect your community.
Thank you for sharing our mission and please stay in touch.