GrassRoots Investigation Project

Learn about our historyThe GrassRoots Investigation Project (GRIP) is a project of the Quixote Center that works with families of people on death row or facing life without parole.  The program provides educational resources and trainings to help people navigate the criminal justice system, and initiates investigation for people with claims of innocence.  Each year GRIP’s small staff responds to hundreds of requests for information and assistance.  GRIP provides valuable investigative services to attorneys and Innocence Projects working on individual capital cases.

We are also expanding the “investigation” part of the program to include tracking other criminal justice areas in need of reform, including a current project mapping “reentry” programs for people leaving incarceration on a state-by-state basis.


Capital Defense Handbook for Defendants and their Families:  A handbook for people trying to navigate the criminal justice system. Geared toward families looking to take a role in investigations of innocence claims.

Reasonable Doubts: Is the U.S. Executing Inoncent People:  Landmark 2000 report detailing 15 defendants executed despite considerable “reasonable doubts” about their convictions.

National Reentry Survey: A state-by-state survey of reentry programs, with emphasis on official programs, and some non-profit projects.

Prisoner Resource Guide: Survey of programs that provide services to people incarcerated around the country


Claudia Whitman has been the coordinator of the GrassRoots Investigation Project since 2000.  Claudia is the lead investigator on innocence cases, and leads workshops around the country using the Capital Defense Handbook.  She is also the director of The National Death Row Assistance Network, based in Colorado.

Ericka Holland is the GRIP staff person on site at the Quixote Center.  Ericka overseas correspondence with prisoners and their families, and is the primary researcher for our reentry program.


Contact us:

Email: GRIP[at]