Think Justice Blog


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  • Logan Schmidt
April 18, 2019

For Many, Second Chance Pell Offers a First Chance Opportunity

April marks the start of Community College Month and Second Chance Month. Yet, for many who are incarcerated, access to education has been fraught with obstacles for too long. That may be changing. On April 4 and 5, the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) hosted...

  • Mahsa  Jafarian
    Mahsa Jafarian
April 16, 2019

Our 10-Year Strategy to End Girls’ Incarceration Nationwide

“In a lot of places, girls are treated very unfairly by systems. Most of the time they end up there because of things that happened to them such as trauma and abuse—things that were not their fault in the first place. We need to end girls' incarceration everyw...

  • Elizabeth  Swavola
    Elizabeth Swavola
March 29, 2019

More Progress is Needed to Recognize the Dignity of Incarcerated Women

As this Women’s History Month comes to a close, there are encouraging signs of a growing movement to uplift the dignity of women (including those who identify as LGBT/ GNC) who have come into conflict with the law. In New York, after a decade of tireless advo...

  • Christian Henrichson
    Christian Henrichson
March 27, 2019

Incarceration Trends: Complexity and Continuous Improvement

In 2015, we created the Incarceration Trends data tool to fill a critical gap: the lack of a comprehensive resource with historical jails data for every U.S. county. It was around this time that Vera decided to focus on jails as a way of addressing mass incar...

  • Lauren Jones
    Lauren Jones
March 13, 2019

Manafort’s Sentencing Highlights Problems in the Criminal Justice System—But Not In the Way Many Claim

There has been widespread outcry over Paul Manafort’s sentencing. Earlier today, Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Manafort to three and a half years in prison for two conspiracy charges. In another case last week, Judge T.S. Ellis III sentenced Manafort—con...

  • Genia Wright
    Genia Wright
February 22, 2019

We will Not Settle in Our Pursuit of Racial Equity

“Something is better than nothing.” This is what we say to ourselves when we know the remedy provided is not enough. For many black people, myself included, the celebration of Black History Month falls squarely in this unsatisfying space. I am overwhelmed w...

  • William Snowden
    William Snowden
February 11, 2019

“Don’t Steal These”

I’m outside a coffee shop taking a work call on my laptop. I have headphones in my ears and I am wearing a buttoned-up shirt, slacks, and dress shoes. A white lady, also dressed up in business clothes, comes out with lots of to-go boxes and stacks them on a w...

  • Nicholas Turner
    Nicholas Turner
February 05, 2019

Acknowledging Black History Requires Uncomfortable Honesty

At the Vera Institute of Justice, we are committed to ending mass incarceration and ensuring equal justice for all. However, achieving these commitments—and ensuring we don’t simply repeat past mistakes—cannot be done without an explicit commitment to ad...

  • Rebecca Neusteter
    Rebecca Neusteter
  • Mawia Khogali
    Mawia Khogali
January 28, 2019

Vera’s Policing Program Releases Sixth Volume of “Emerging Issues in American Policing” Quarterly Digest

Emerging Issues in American Policing is a quarterly digest tailored to practitioners and community members interested in policing. It is designed to elevate new and innovative research on policing practices and strategies by providing readers with succinct su...

  • Karina Schroeder
    Karina Schroeder
January 15, 2019

Iowa Governor Proposes to Restore Voting Rights for People with Felony Convictions

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced today that she will propose a constitutional amendment to restore voting rights for people with felony conviction histories. The decision was formally announced during Reynolds’ Condition of the State address to the Iowa Le...

  • Byron Kline
    Byron Kline
December 21, 2018

(Returning) Home for the Holidays

More people are traveling these days for the holidays than ever before. For many, the trek home is a welcome occasion to reflect on the past year, make resolutions to live better lives, and celebrate with friends and family. But, for the 11.6 million me...

  • Christian Henrichson
    Christian Henrichson
  • Jacob  Kang-Brown
    Jacob Kang-Brown
December 13, 2018

Expanding our Knowledge on Local Incarceration Trends

Take a Look at Mass Incarceration in Your Own Backyard By Christian Henrichson