255 Research and Investigation is a Social Enterprise founded in 2012 with the aim of providing the highest level of investigation and research services to those facing criminal charges and their legal teams.
Our aim is to improve fact and mitigation investigation and in turn raise the level of legal representation being provided to those facing criminal charges. By raising those levels we hope to bring defendants closer to a fairer space within justice systems around the globe and reduce the risk of injustice.
We also investigate wider Human Rights issues and issues relating to Human Rights and Rights abuses across the globe often through partnerships with trusted network partners and organisations.
Outside of individual casework, and in regards the wider mission of 255 we train people to be criminal defence investigators, we also train established investigators and those conducting criminal defence investigation, and we have developed best practice guides for frontline investigation. And we train practitioners to understand culture and race, better than they do.
There is nothing like a 255 training program, real talk, as we say here, and our initiatives really are cutting edge in all senses of the words. So get in touch and let’s see what we can do together.
We provide training that looks at the work that we do through a cultural lens. A view into the frontline and from the frontline. 255’s founder Chris has developed an approach to this work that looks at culture and community and draws on traditions of storytelling to craft impactful narratives for client cases and wider projects that we are involved in. We also cannot and must not forget the racial bias that exists within many justice systems, and within the area of Human Rights and Civil Rights, bias that affects people and their communities and the examination of race and racism features heavily in the work of 255.
And we work with a very simple equation: the more people investigating well = more people being represented well.
Founder, Cultural Expert, Mitigation Specialist and Fact Investigator
255 Research and Investigation was founded in 2012 by Chris Chang. Chris worked for over 7 years as Senior Investigator at the London-based legal action charity Reprieve. During his time there he worked both in Reprieve’s Secret Prisons and Death Penalty teams. He has worked on over 50 cases of individuals detained in Guantanamo and over 40 Death Penalty cases.
Chris was part of the first Guantanamo defense team to travel to pre-revolution Tunisia, where he and others conducted groundbreaking investigation on behalf of the Tunisian Guantanamo detainees. Investigation work that he conducted on behalf of one of the youngest prisoners in Guantanamo contributed largely to the victory in his habeas corpus case and his subsequent release from Guantanamo. Chris’s investigation work on behalf of Guantanamo detainees who were in a factual and legal black hole has been a major factor in the release of many prisoners held there.
His capital case investigation has contributed to death sentences being averted in several cases, and also helped to obtain new sentencing hearings for some individuals. He has led capital case investigation missions in the US, Europe and the Caribbean and in his role as senior investigator at Reprieve Chris co-wrote a chapter on investigation for a manual produced by Reprieve, with financial assistance from the EU, to instruct US attorneys representing individuals facing capital charges or those already on Death Row in the US that have ties to Europe.
Chris has extensive experience conducting fact investigation and mitigation investigation across Europe, North and Central Africa, the U.S, Central America and the Caribbean.
In addition to being a skilled investigator Chris is a skilled advocate with experience conducting multi-level advocacy for the individuals whose cases he has worked on: from grassroots public speaking at press conferences, conferences, rallies and campaign events, to multi level government advocacy.
Chris has also had extensive media experience and has appeared on Sky News, CNN, Al-Jazeera, Radio France International, France 2, Russia Today, and on local Television and Radio broadcasts, and in Internet and print media in Germany, Italy, Norway, Chad, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.
Chris possesses a very natural understanding of cultural competency and its undeniable necessity in the field of criminal defense investigation and moves effectively through diverse communities, gains trust with ease and gets results, plain and simple. A natural communicator, upon his graduation from university in 2000 he was awarded the European Institute of Education and Social Policy Prize for the best interpreter of the year.
Chris now continues his investigation work through 255 Research and Investigation but is also working actively to address the challenges in the field of criminal defense investigation through partnerships with other legal professionals, academics and NGOs.
Chris is also now widely regarded as a global expert on culture, and takes a unique yet highly effective cultural approach to the work that he is involved in. There is no client, no community without culture and for Chris in the work that we do culture must never be an afterthought.
And for Chris, still, investigation continues to be conducted badly, he continues to be committed to changing that.
Lennox Da Silva
Mitigation Specialist, Frontline Investigator
After receiving his B.S. in Criminal Justice from Towson University, Baltimore, USA, Lennox began working with various non-profit organizations in the Baltimore area, including most recently Advancing Real Change (ARC).
He found his way to capital defense mitigation in 2017 and has been advocating for individuals threatened with the most archaic punishment the US criminal justice system has to offer. Lennox has a fervent desire to bring about much needed reform to a failing and ruptured justice system and to represent those whose voices oftentimes go unheard.
Lennox possesses the cultural competency necessary to conduct frontline investigation at a community level. Originally from Guyana his connection to the Caribbean and Black community and his ability to move through communities as a trusted ally is of huge value to our work.
Lennox now joins 255 to continue his outstanding work in capital case mitigation, but also in 255 case fact investigation and work with juveniles, in the US and around the world. He will also be a part of 255 training initiatives across the globe. The work that Lennox is involved in at 255 impacts individuals and communities worldwide.
As it should.
Frontline Investigator + 255 Content Creator
Farid is a highly skilled frontline investigator and has conducted ground-breaking mitigation and fact investigation in the UK and North Africa. His London background allows Farid to move with ease in and out of difficult environments and work effectively within insular communities. He is skilled at gaining trust quickly and building relationships that allow him to gather vital information needed for the defence cases that we work on.
He also also conducted extensive and vital family liaison work.
Farid has a strong background working with young people in London areas as a community arts tutor and a mentor. He has led film, theatre, photography and digital arts projects in some of the city’s most difficult areas working with young people to harness their talent and creativity and work with them towards positive outcomes.
Farid is also a graphic designer and a talented artist and illustrator. In addition to his investigation work with 255 he is working with us to develop innovative and exciting investigation materials and content.
Farid is a graduate of Buckinghamshire University where he studied Design/Graphic Design and is a fluent Arabic speaker.