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.
Dr. Ingrid Binswanger, associate professor in Division of General and Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, speaks with Vera’s director of research, Jim Parsons, about the disproportionately high risk of death among people reentering the community from jail or prison upon their release. Dr. Binswanger’s research signals the need for better collaboration and communication between health and justice systems to improve continuity in care.
This interview is part of Vera's Neil A. Weiner Research Speaker Series.
The landmark Trafficking Victims Protection Act made trafficking in persons a federal crime in 2000, but the greatest obstacle to rescuing victims of human trafficking is identifying them. To make identifying these people easier—and subsequently, getting them the services and support they need while also generating evidence against their traffickers—Vera created a screening tool to be used by victim service providers and law enforcement when faced with someone who may be a victim of human trafficking. The tool, a 30-topic questionnaire that was tested by service providers and validated by Vera researchers, is the result of a two-year study funded by the National Institute of Justice.
Written testimony of Nicholas Turner, president and director of the Vera Institute of Justice, on law enforcement responses to individuals with disabilities and the potential for new approaches, submitted on April 29, 2014 to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights. Addressing two primary concerns—the high rates of victimization against individuals with disabilities and the overrepresentation of individuals with mental illness in the criminal justice system—Turner outlines both the leading research and most promising programs in the field that can help ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to services and criminal justice interventions, and the mentally ill are safely diverted from entering the justice system.
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.
Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, accepts the Vera Institute of Justice's Public Service Award during Vera's 8th Annual Benefit held on April 8, 2014. Stevenson remarked on Vera's work to meet the challenges created by mass incarceration.
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.