The Chicago Innocence Project ("ChIP") is a nonprofit organization devoted to investigative reporting of wrongful convictions. ChIP engages college students, community residents, private investigators and journalists in reporting, exposing and remedying mistakes by the criminal justice system. The Chicago Innnocence Project investigates cases in which prisoners may have been convicted of crimes they did not commit, with priority to murder cases that resulted in sentences of death or life without parole. We involve college students, community residents, private investigators and journalists in the reporting process. Volunteer lawyers later bring new evidence of innocence to court. Our fundamental goal is to expose and remedy wrongdoing by the criminal justice system.



Office Location:205 West Monroe St., Suite 315 Chicago, IL

501 (c)(3) organization status pending


David Protess

Executive Director:

David Protess (president)

Approximate number of full-time staff:


Number with prior professional journalism experience:


Annual operating budget:

Not Available

Annual salaries posted, or accessible via 990 form:

Not Applicable

Editorial/ethics policy statement:

"We adhere to the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists"

Diversity statement:


IRS 990 form posted on website:

Not Applicable

Major donors disclosed:


INN Member:



Protess's work has been recognized by ABC Network News, which named him "Person of the Week," and by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, who proclaimed a day in his honor. He also has recieved awards fom Amnesty Internation, the Southern Center for Human Rights, the Clarence Darrow Commemorative Committee, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Court TV, the Newspaper of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Natonal Education  Association; In 2003, Protess recieved the prestigious Puffin/Nation Institute Prize for Creative Citizenship, and in 2009 he was named among the 30 "most notable" investigative reporters since World War I in the six-volume Encyclopedia of Journalism.


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iLab Projects

Coverage of arming teachers

Over that last eight years, interest in arming teachers with guns is the result of school shootings. News coverage and Google searches reflect these trends.