Founded in 1961, the Vera Institute of Justice is an independent nonprofit national research and policy organization in the United States. Based primarily in New York City, Vera also has offices in Washington, D.C.. Vera describes its goal as "to tackle the most pressing injustices of our day: from the causes and consequences of mass incarceration, racial disparities, and the loss of public trust in law enforcement, to the unmet needs of the vulnerable, the marginalized, and those harmed by crime and violence." The Vera Institute of Justice was founded in New York City in 1961 by philanthropist Louis Schweitzer and magazine editor Herb Sturz. Schweitzer and Sturz considered the bail system used by the city at the time to be unjust, as it granted release based largely on income. Working with criminal justice leaders, they explored the problem, developed a solution, and rigorously tested it. Within a few years, they had demonstrated that New Yorkers too poor to afford bail but with strong ties to their communities could be released and still show up for trial. Eventually, the model devised by Vera was adopted in many municipalities across the United States and led to the Bail Reform Act of 1966, which was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson and was the most significant reform of the bail system in America since 1789. In 1966, the Vera Institute of Justice received assistance from the Ford Foundation to turn the foundation into a private nonprofit organization. The Ford Foundation continues to support the Vera Institute, alongside Atlantic Philanthropies, the Pew Charitable Trust, the Carnegie Corporation and the Open Society Institute. Vera is also aligned with an international group of criminal justice think tanks known as Altus. Veras annual operating budget is approximately $25 million. About 66% of its funding comes from work with governments, while the remaining amount is supplied through agencies and other donors.