We encourage you to explore Vera's extensive resource library, built up by decades of expert research, analysis, and real-world application. Vera produces a wide variety of resources about our work, including publications, podcasts, and videos, dating from our founding in 1961 to the present. You can search these resources using the filters below to sort by type of resource, project, or topic. Enter part of the title in the search box to look for a specific resource.
Since 2009, more than 30 states have reformed existing drug laws and sentencing practices, passing nearly 50 bills in one or a combination of the following five areas: 1) mandatory penalties, 2) drug sentencing schemes, 3) early release mechanisms, 4) community-based sanctions, and 5) collateral consequences. In this report, Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections summarizes each state-level legislative change.
The Cost-Benefit Knowledge Bank for Criminal Justice (CBKB), a project of Vera’s Cost-Benefit Analysis Unit, convened a working group of researchers and policymakers to help advance the use of rigorous cost-benefit analysis (CBA) in decisions about criminal justice programs and policies. Input from the working group helped shape this white paper, which helps readers know what to look for in a justice-related CBA, understand what cost-benefit results mean, and use those results to inform their decisions.
The paper was written for a broad range of readers, including elected officials and their staff; policymakers; corrections, community corrections, court, and law enforcement personnel; service providers; and journalists.
See also the related white paper, Advancing the Quality of Cost-Benefit Analysis for Justice Programs, which discusses cost-benefit methods and is intended for anyone who conducts, plans to conduct, or wants to learn how to conduct a CBA of a justice-related policy or program.
There are three times as many people with serious mental illness in U.S. jails and prisons than in state psychiatric hospitals—many of them incarcerated for low-level, nonviolent offenses that result from an untreated psychiatric condition. People with mental illness do not fare well in correctional facilities, where they are more likely to be victimized and housed in solitary confinement. Historically, justice systems have been ill-equipped to address the needs of this population due to a lack of adequate treatment services coupled with poor collaboration with community-based health organizations.
This briefing—with community and government leaders—examines how the Affordable Care Act and promising new initiatives may help abate this crisis. Watch the full briefing on YouTube.
Like other government agencies, police departments are under great pressure to get the biggest return possible when investing taxpayers’ dollars in justice programs and policies. The Law Enforcement Forecasting Group of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance asked Vera to develop a resource to help police departments address questions about spending on crime analysts—and about justifying that spending. As part of its Cost-Benefit Knowledge Bank for Criminal Justice, Vera’s Cost-Benefit Analysis Unit staff created this paper, which law enforcement agencies can use as they weigh their options on staffing and programs.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, black, Hispanic and Asian residents of New York City and its suburbs are a majority of the metropolitan area’s population. The disproportionate impact on minorities of stop and frisk — ruled unconstitutional — has been the leading item on the justice agenda. But other justice issues related to immigrants and minorities merit attention, such as the intersection of AMEMSA (Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, South Asian) populations with the justice system in the post-9/11 era, the lack of representation for indigent immigrants facing detention, and wage theft. This panel discussion, which is part of Vera's Justice in Transition-NYC series, includes government and community leaders discussing these issues and what justice might look like in the de Blasio era.
Watch the the full panel discussion on YouTube.
The mayoral transition in New York City provides an opportunity to reexamine the city's justice systems and ask if community needs that advance fairness and public safety are being met. This panel discussion explores the potential for initiatives embedded in communities where people have high rates of contact with the justice system—and how they aim to help residents succeed and communities thrive. The discussion, which features the New York City Department of Probation’s Neighborhood Opportunity Network Initiative (NeON), and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Family Re-entry Pilot, is part of Vera's Justice in Transition-NYC series.
Watch the full panel discussion on YouTube.
The Cost-Benefit Knowledge Bank for Criminal Justice (CBKB), a project of Vera’s Cost-Benefit Analysis Unit, convened a working group of researchers and policymakers to help advance the use of rigorous cost-benefit analysis (CBA) in decisions about criminal justice programs and policies. Input from the working group helped shape this white paper, which describes and discusses the main methodological challenges to performing CBAs of justice investments. This technical paper is intended for anyone who conducts, plans to conduct, or wants to learn how to conduct a CBA of a justice-related policy or program. CBKB has also published a second white paper for a broader audience, Using Cost-Benefit Analysis for Justice Policymaking, which was also developed with guidance from the working group.
Written testimony of Nicholas Turner, president and director of the Vera Institute of Justice, on the human rights, fiscal, and public safety consequences of segregation (also known as solitary confinement or restricted housing) in prisons, jails, and detention centers throughout the United States submitted on February 25, 2014 to the United States Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights. Drawing on the experience of Vera's Segregation Reduction Project, Turner recommends a series of concrete steps that jurisdictions can take now to curtail their over-reliance on this exceptionally costly and harsh form of incarceration. Turner concludes his testimony by calling on Congress to support reform by mandating and funding the collection of national data on segregation, a national study on its impact, and the development of national standards on its use.
Since 2000, at least 29 states have taken steps to roll back mandatory sentences, with 32 bills passed in just the last five years. Most legislative activity has focused on adjusting penalties for nonviolent drug offenses through the use of one or a combination of the following reform approaches: 1) expanding judicial discretion through the creation of so-called “safety value” provisions, 2) limiting automatic sentence enhancements, and 3) repealing or revising mandatory minimum sentences. In this policy report, Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections summarizes state-level mandatory sentencing reforms since 2000, raises questions about their impact, and offers recommendations to jurisdictions considering similar efforts.