Beyond Guilt began as an idea by Ohio Justice & Policy Center Executive Director David Singleton, a celebrated civil rights attorney and law professor.
For a long time, OJPC described itself as an unofficial “Guilty Project,” or a group that represents people who are not claiming to be wrongfully convicted, but who are in need of advocacy. After seeing the popularity of Innocence Projects around the country — and seeing the good that those networks do for exonerees — David and OJPC decided to make this project a reality.
“Beyond Guilt” is meant to help incarcerated people who have been rehabilitated and are ready to rejoin society. This project will help these individuals see that their story doesn’t end with a guilty sentence.
OJPC Attorney Tiffanny Smith represents a specific subset of Ohio’s incarcerated population: Women, particularly those who are survivors of domestic violence. Tiffanny will also represent some Beyond Guilt clients alongside David.
Tyra Patterson will also play a crucial role in Beyond Guilt, primarily relating to mentorship and a “Reentry Corps” the project hopes to establish. As a returning citizen herself, Tyra understands the unique hurdles returning citizens face.
To learn more about OJPC’s other areas of work, visit ohiojpc.org.