COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Those who feel they’ve been wrongly convicted of a crime will soon be able to appeal their case to the Franklin County prosecutor’s office.

It’s called a Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU), and the prosecutor’s office and local justices said it’s a necessary addition to their agency.

“We do want to put those policies and procedures in place, that way everything that we do is done right,” said Kayla Merchant, the public information officer at the Franklin County prosecutor’s office.

The unit is funded through a $551,727 grant from the Department of Justice and Franklin County Commissioners.

“We are now able to be one of the first 100 prosecutor or district attorney offices in the country to have a CIU,” Merchant said.

Under the program, people will be able to appeal to the prosecutor’s office if new evidence or information comes to light in a case. Then the office will allocate resources toward investigating and determining whether the person was wrongfully convicted.

“This unit will assist us in processing those petitions if there are credible bases for relief that the court may not see,” said Judge Kimberly Cocroft, with the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.

Cocroft said the unit will be an essential part of cases moving forward, because it provides checks and balances on the criminal justice system, holding those in positions of power accountable.

“Anything that can be done to assure the public that judges, that prosecutors, that law enforcement personnel, are taking these matters seriously, I think that it’s an important tool that we need to use as readily and as frequently as we can,” Cocroft said.

The conviction integrity unit plans to take on cases later this year, but the prosecutor’s office said they don’t expect to fully get off the ground until 2023.