Bringing Hope to the Innocent Our Story
The Miscarriages of Justice Organisation (MOJO) is a unique human rights organisation dedicated to assisting innocent people, who are in prison, and following their release. Our objective is to offer advice and support to people in prisons throughout the UK who are fighting to establish their innocence.
The organisation was founded in 2001 by Paddy Joe Hill, one of six innocent men wrongfully convicted in 1975 for the Birmingham pub bombings. The Birmingham Six’s convictions were finally quashed, and they were rereleased in March 1991.
Paddy made a pledge to campaign for those he had left behind, to bring a voice to the voiceless. He thought he might have had to take a year out of campaigning on their behalf before trying to build a life outside prison, but has now been campaigning for over twenty years. MOJO’s aim is to carry on his work.
We currently deal with hundreds of enquires each year. Many people thought that the problem of miscarriages of justice in the British judicial system had been resolved after the high profile cases in the eighties and nineties. This, sadly, is not the case. There have been over six thousand miscarriages of justice in the UK since the release of the Birmingham Six, but miscarriages of justice have faded from the political agenda. Our aim is to ensure that this is not allowed to continue.
Our work falls into two categories. Supporting those in prison fighting to clear their names, and supporting those who have had their convictions quashed, and are trying to put the pieces of their lives back together.
On their release from prison, we provide those who have successfully had their convictions overturned practical support, assisting in their reintegration back into their communities. We run an aftercare project which provides hands-on assistance with legal issues, benefits advice, housing, daily support needs; as well as support with addressing their medical needs which is funded by the Scottish government.
Those who use our service have been diagnosed as suffering from chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We have found that mainstream mental health services do not meet the needs of miscarriages of justice victims. It is our belief that to help our clients effectively, treatment for P.T.S.D should be offered at an early stage, post release.
The British government has consistently failed, and continues to fail, in its duty of care to innocent people who have had their conviction quashed. We have campaigned for years about this, but nothing has changed, and lives are still being ruined because of the inadequacies of the judicial system. Successive governments have acknowledged that they have a duty of care to victims of miscarriages of justice, but have failed to provide the services, or the resources, required to meet the victim’s needs.
We currently support over 55 individuals, together with their family members; both in prison, and in their communities. We also process over 100 new inquiries a year.
The work we do falls into four areas: Legal, Educational, Medical, and Campaigning.
Legal: We have set up a legal team consisting of trained lawyers, who provide their time on a voluntary basis, which allows us to assess and investigate claims of innocence. Our eventual objective is to employ our own Solicitor.
Educational: We provide services which provide our clients with opportunities to develop skills that will help them to achieve success in the future. We have offered participation in literacy skills, music, and outdoor activities.
Medical: One of the UK’s top Clinical Psychologist provides pro bono support to our clients. We would like to be able to raise adequate funds to formalise this arrangement.
Campaigning: MOJO backs family support groups, and affiliate organisations, championing the wrongfully convicted. Campaigning to reform the judicial system to ensure that those who suffer a miscarriage of justice are not brushed off and pushed aside is of the utmost importance. We strive to ensure that the issue of miscarriages of justice remains on the political agenda.
Unfortunately we only receive partial funding from the Scottish Government to carry out our work, so we require your help to ensure we can provide the best service possible for the victims of miscarriages of justice; but also to allow us to continue the fight to ensure that miscarriages do not occur, and that the voices of the victims are not silenced.