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Jan 22, 2015 Since its release more than six months ago, the Vera-created Trafficking Victim Identification Tool (TVIT)—the first-ever validated screening tool for victims of human trafficking—has generated interest from researchers, immigration attorneys, law enforcement and government agencies, and domestic and international advocacy organizations seeking to strengthen their ability to help more victims of human trafficking come out of the shadows. The interest in...

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Jan 14, 2015 The Unlocking Potential: Perspectives on Education in Prison blog series—as part of Vera’s Pathways from Prison to Postsecondary Education Project—explores postsecondary education in prison and its benefits—during and after incarceration—through the unique experiences and insight of former students, educators, nonprofit leaders, corrections officials, reentry experts, and more.  Heather M. Gay is the manager of education for the Michigan Department of...

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Jan 8, 2015 Considered the single most important piece of federal legislation regarding youth in the juvenile justice system since it was enacted in 1974, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) plays a crucial role in addressing the needs of system-involved youth. It also ensures that the judicial process focuses on rehabilitation and stabilization and does not levy unjust punishments that impede a youth’s ability to become a productive member of...

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Dec 19, 2014 We wrote and prepared to release our new issue brief, Young Men of Color and the Other Side of Harm: Addressing Disparities in our Response to Violence, long before the grand juries in Ferguson and Staten Island reached their decisions. This brief is not specifically about the violence committed by law enforcement against men of color, nor is it about men of color who are killed. It is, however, about a context that in our view is immensely relevant to...

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Dec 5, 2014 We travel frequently in our work for Vera’s Center on Victimization and Safety. This means spending hours on airplanes, sitting shoulder to shoulder with strangers and usually making small talk. The arc of the conversations generally goes something like this:   “Traveling for business or pleasure?”   “Business.”   “Yeah, me too. What do you do?”   “It’s complicated.”   “Oooh, now you have me really intrigued. Come on, tell me.”   “Well, I work with...

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Dec 1, 2014 Over the Thanksgiving week, I reflected on what I’m thankful for. I was reminded by events in Ferguson of all that still needs to be done to ensure equal justice in this country. Vera is committed to this challenge. From our work with prosecutors on fairer decision making, to helping law enforcement build bridges with diverse communities, we know how hard this is. At the same time, I want to take the opportunity to share with you some of the things I’m...

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Nov 19, 2014 The Unlocking Potential: Perspectives on Education in Prison blog series—as part of Vera’s Pathways from Prison to Postsecondary Education Project—explores postsecondary education in prison and its benefits—during and after incarceration—through the unique experiences and insight of former students, educators, nonprofit leaders, corrections officials, reentry experts, and more.  Yariela Kerr-Donovan is a member of Vera’s Pathways Project national...

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