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Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants
 

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Compensation for Unjust Conviction and Imprisonment

Claims for Compensation for Unjust Conviction and Imprisonment 

Pursuant to the Unjust Conviction and Imprisonment Compensation Amendment Act of 2017, any person who was unjustly convicted and imprisoned for a felony offense in the District may present a claim for damages and petition the District for compensation as a provided under this act.  

Any person filing a petition under must allege and prove the following: 

  • The person was incarcerated following a conviction for a felony offense contained in the District of Columbia Official Code; 
  • The conviction for the offense has been reversed or set aside by the Superior Court on the stated ground of innocence and unjust conviction; and 
  • The person has obtained a certificate of innocence from the Superior Court. 

Submission Overview  

A person seeking compensation for unjust conviction and imprisonment must submit a petition to OVSJG within two (2) years of the date a certificate of innocence is issued. The submission must include:  

  1. A completed petition.
  2. Copy of the certificate of innocence issued by the Superior Court.  
  3. Statement from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) or the Department of Corrections (DOC) verifying the lengths of incarceration.  
  4. Statement from the Court Supervision and Offender Services Agency (CSOSA) verifying the length of time spent on parole, probation, supervised release, or as a registered offender if applicable. 

Submit the aforementioned documents to Jessica Harris at with the subject: UCICP for (fill in petitioners name).  

Once the required documents are received by OVSJG the petitioner will receive an email with a confirmation that their application has been received within five business days of the submission. From the date of submission, OVSJG has 45 days to review and approve or deny and provide a decision to the petitioner via email.  

If a petitioner is aggrieved by the director's determination, the petitioner may bring an action in the Superior Court for mandamus relief within 45 days after the petitioner receives written notice of the determination 

Approval Process and Compensation 

Within 60 days after a petition for compensation is approved, the Director shall compensate the petitioner as follows: 

  1. $200,000 for each year incarcerated and $40,000 for each year on parole, probation, supervised release and registered sex offender for the physical injury of wrongful conviction and incarceration. 
  2. Reimbursement for child support payments that became due during the time the person was incarcerated, but were not paid, including any interest on child support arrearages associated with those child support payments, as well as reasonable attorney's fees for legal proceedings required to remedy outstanding obligations associated with those child support payments. 
  3. $10,000 to immediately assist with housing, transportation, food, reentry services, and mental and physical care. 
  4. Lifelong physical and mental healthcare from the DC Healthcare Alliance or any successor comprehensive community-centered health care and medical services system established pursuant to § 7-1405 or through another locally funded comprehensive health care and medical services program offered by the District.  
  5. Reimbursement for any tuition and fees paid to the University of the District of Columbia or the University of the District of Columbia Community College for the petitioner's education, including any necessary assistance to meet the criteria required for admittance or a vocational or employment skills development program. 
  6. If mandamus relief is granted under § 2-423.01(c), reasonable attorney's fees to be paid by the District of Columbia, as ordered by the Superior Court. 
  7. Compensation awarded pursuant to this act shall not be subject to any taxes or treatment as gross income under District law. 

The director of OVSJG will provide written notice on the amount owed to the petitioner. 

Contact Information  

For any questions about the application process please contact Jessica Harris  
[email protected]  
Office: (202) 727-9541 
Cell: (202) 746-1070 

Contact TTY: 
711