Nikki Pope is a co-founder of The Pruno Fund and author of “Pruno, Ramen, and a Side of Hope: Stories of Surviving Wrongful Conviction.”


When I joined the advisory board of the Northern California Innocence Project in 2005, I did not foresee getting so involved in the innocence movement that I would launch a nonprofit organization to help exonerees through the transition from prison to civilian life. Yet here I am, working with an amazing group of people, including my writing and business partner, Courtney Lance, about to launch The Pruno Fund.

It was the many stories I’ve heard over the years that convinced me there is a need for emergency funds to help exonerees get over a rough patch, or help with tuition to learn a trade or earn a degree, or assistance finding a job that provides a sustainable income.

This journey has been one of the most rewarding of my life and my expectations of The Pruno Fund are high. We haven’t launch and we’ve already received our first major grant from a family foundation! We awarded our first emergency grant to help an exoneree keep the car he needs to get to work and earn a living to support his family. We’re also working on our first of what we hope will be an annual fundraising event in Los Angeles – an evening of comedy, because if anyone needs a laugh, the people we work with do. Just imagine what we can accomplish once we’re live!

I’m inviting you to come along for the ride, but don’t just be a spectator. If you are or if you know an Exoneree, tell her or him to check us out. Make a donation. Buy the Pruno book. Spread the word! We’re here to help.

Nikki Pope, co-Founder