Who We Are
The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, envisions a society that respects the dignity of every person and safeguards justice for everyone.
- We study problems that impede human dignity and justice.
- We pilot solutions that are at once transformative and achievable.
- We engage diverse communities in informed debate.
- We harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice.
What We’re Looking to Do
Over the past several decades, American policing has become increasingly reliant on punitive enforcement. This dynamic has resulted in massive increases in the nation’s incarcerated population and threatens police-community relations, particularly in low-income and disenfranchised communities. The Policing Program seeks to fundamentally transform discourse regarding police reform, alter police performance measurement systems, and develop viable alternatives to enforcement. We collaborate with policymakers, government partners, and community stakeholders to improve both public safety and strengthen communities.
The Policing Program seeks a Program Associate to contribute to national initiatives that are reforming policing practices. This position can be based in Vera’s New York City office or Los Angeles office. You will work on a variety of projects, including but not necessarily limited to:
- Transforming police performance measurement to reward quality, problem solving, and customer service over quantity of enforcement actions;
- Improving interactions between police and persons affected by mental illnesses and developmental disabilities;
- Developing and testing a suite of practicable alternatives to police enforcement;
- Contributing to discourse that seeks to reframe and expand the national police reform narrative; and
- Assisting in the development of and fundraising for new areas of work.
Your responsibilities could include:
- Providing assistance to our partners in the field, including police departments, community-based providers and advocates, and other policymakers and stakeholders, both on-site and from the office;
- Conducting analyses to identify the goals and purposes our partners hope to achieve and assisting with implementation to help advance policies and practices;
- Reviewing policies that impact policing and efforts to expand alternatives to enforcement;
- Plan, manage, and perform qualitative and quantitative analyses, which may include assisting in designing research protocols, collecting and analyzing data, and interpreting results to understand implications to policy and practice and make recommendations for the field;
- Developing grant proposals and assisting with project development; and
- Planning, researching and writing reports, memoranda, and briefs.
You have a broad interest in and knowledge of policing, criminal justice, social sciences, and/or public policy. You have significant professional experience or an advanced degree in criminal justice, criminology, political science, criminal justice, public policy, or other related field and at least three years of full-time work experience. You have demonstrated interest in and/or knowledge of policy development, government, policing, criminal justice, and social justice.
- Strong research and communications (i.e., verbal and written) skills;
- Excellent strategic, problem-solving, and analytic skills;
- Ability to work under time pressure and other stresses that make collegiality of critical importance;
- Experience managing projects, committees, or work groups; and
- Willingness and ability to work independently as well as with a team.