Resources

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.  

Latest Resources

12/23/2014

Throughout the justice field, demand is growing for cost-benefit analysis (CBA), an economic tool that compares the costs of programs or poli¬cies with the benefits they produce. Although there is no one-size-fits-all template for conducting a CBA, analysts and researchers must follow a common methodology, or series of steps. This toolkit guides users through these steps and provides examples of Vera’s recent work advising six justice agencies that were either starting or enhancing their CBA efforts. 

12/22/2014

For millions of Americans, the legal and life-restricting consequences of a criminal conviction continue even after they’ve repaid their debt to society as barriers to voting, housing, jobs, education, and a raft of social services limit their ability to provide for their families and successfully reenter society. In recognition of the damaging effects these collateral consequences can have, 41 states have enacted legislation since 2009 that allows certain individuals to move beyond their convictions. This report reviews that legislative activity, discusses the limitations of current approaches, and offers recommendations to states and localities considering similar reforms.

12/16/2014

Attention is increasingly being paid to the disparities young men of color face in our society, including their disproportionate involvement in the criminal justice system as those responsible for crime. Little recognition, however, is given to the fact that young men of color are also disproportionately victims of crime and violence. This issue brief aims to raise awareness of this large but often overlooked group of victims, and help foster efforts—both local and nationwide—to provide them with the compassionate support and services they need and deserve.

12/15/2014
  • Vera’s Unaccompanied Children Program has prepared a directory of legal service organizations that provide free or low-cost immigration legal assistance and representation for non-detained children in immigration proceedings. The directory, which is organized alphabetically by state, includes the types of legal assistance provided by each organization and the areas and immigration courts served.

    Unaccompanied Children Pro Bono Directory

  • The Immigration Advocates Network and Pro Bono Net have created a website to help low-income immigrants find free or low-cost legal help. The website provides information about more than 900 nonprofit immigration legal services providers in all 50 states. The website allows searches for nonprofit legal services to be done by state, county, detention facility, languages spoken, types of legal and other services provided, and specific areas of legal assistance. It is available in English and Spanish. Not all of the organizations in this directory provide representation to children.
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11/18/2014

Mass incarceration is one of the major public health challenges facing the United States, as the millions of people cycling through the courts, jails, and prisons every year experience far higher rates of chronic health problems, substance use, and mental illness than the general population. Mass incarceration’s role as a driver of health disparities extends beyond prison walls as well, affecting the health of entire communities. This publication—the first in a series released as part of Vera’s Justice Reform for Healthy Communities initiative—focuses on individual and community-level health impacts of incarceration with a focus on the relationship between mass incarceration and health disparities in communities of color and on opportunities presented by the Affordable Care Act.

10/21/2014
Vera’s Cost-Benefit Analysis Unit convened a working group of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers with expertise in law enforcement and public safety technologies to discuss how public safety agencies use cost-benefit analysis (CBA) as a tool to inform budgetary decisions about the use of public safety technologies (PST)—such as DNA databases or risk-assessment tools. Input from the working group helped shape this report, which helps readers understand the intersection of CBA and PST, how CBA can be best applied to PSTs, and the challenges of using CBA to as a decision-making tool for PSTs. The report was written to help guide researchers, practitioners, and policymakers who are facing the same issues of determining the relative costs and benefits of adapting certain PSTs in their agencies.
10/17/2014

Beyond Offender and Victim explains rationale behind the Vera demonstration project Common Justice’s use of “harmed party” and “responsible party” to describe the person who survives harm and the person who causes harm, respectively.

08/01/2014

Registration is a critical part of any successful event. It provides an opportunity for event organizers to collect information and payment, if appropriate, from individuals who will be attending the event, allowing organizers to proactively design an event that best meets the number, background, and needs of attendees. This tip sheet provides organizers with the information necessary to create an event that is accessible for all attendees and meets legal obligations as the event host under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

07/15/2014

In 2013, 35 states passed at least 85 bills to change some aspect of how their criminal justice systems address sentencing and corrections. In reviewing this legislative activity, the Vera Institute of Justice found that policy changes have focused mainly on the following five areas: reducing prison populations and costs; expanding or strengthening community-based corrections; implementing risk and needs assessments; supporting offender reentry into the community; and making better informed criminal justice policy through data-driven research and analysis. By providing concise summaries of representative legislation in each area, this report aims to be a practical guide for policymakers in other states and the federal government looking to enact similar changes in criminal justice policy.

07/10/2014

Vera partnered with the District Attorney of New York to examine whether prosecutorial discretion contributes to racially and ethnically disparate outcomes in New York County criminal cases. In this video, Vera Research Director Jim Parsons discusses Race and Prosecution in New York County and its findings. 
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