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.
When Delaware Governor Jack Markell convened the Justice Reinvestment Task Force in the summer of 2011, the state was facing a high violent crime rate, crowded prisons, and budget shortfalls. By the time he signed the Justice Reinvestment Act (Senate Bill 226) in August 2012, Delaware had joined a growing number of states committed to instituting evidence-based practices shown to reduce recidivism, increase public safety and contain corrections costs. This brief examines the findings and recommendations of the task force as well as the key provisions of the resulting legislation. Delaware’s justice reinvestment efforts have been supported by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance with technical assistance provided by the Center for Sentencing and Corrections at the Vera Institute of Justice.
Children with disabilities are three times more likely than children without them to be victims of sexual abuse, and the likelihood is even higher for children with intellectual or mental health disabilities. These children face many challenges in reporting the abuse and receiving vital services designed to meet their needs. Without receiving support, these children suffer long-term aftereffects, including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression, as well as an increased risk of victimization in adulthood. Vera’s Center on Victimization and Safety partnered with the Ms. Foundation for Women in 2012 to examine the prevalence of this abuse and existing responses and to recommend next steps for a national strategy to respond to this epidemic. This issues brief summarizes the study, its findings, and its recommendations.
Professor Anthony A. Braga talks with Vera Director Michael Jacobson about “focused deterrence strategies”—policing frameworks that target a specified crime problem within a high-crime-intensity area—to prevent gang violence and group-involved violence generally. Such strategies were incorporated into “Operation Ceasefire” in response to the 1980’s crack epidemic in Boston, which lead to significant reductions in youth homicides and nonfatal serious violence.
Anthony A. Braga is The Don M. Gottfredson Professor of Evidence-Based Criminology in the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University and a Senior Research Fellow in the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
This podcast is part of Vera’s 2012 Neil A. Weiner Research Speaker Series.
This is Part 1 of a training that explains how to conduct a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) in justice policy. The training is led by economist Michael Wilson, who worked with the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission and is former director of the state's Statistical Analysis Center. Part 1 provides a detailed overview of CBA in criminal justice; explains the economics of incarceration; discusses cost estimates, probabilities of criminal justice resource use, and sentencing distributions; and defines effect size.
This policy brief contributes to the urgent national conversation about violence against children, and provides three perspectives from Vera experts on school safety, mental illness, and the delivery of mental health services. The perspectives draw on Vera’s work with government partners in each of these areas to develop and implement ways of enhancing the safety, effectiveness, and fairness of systems. They offer recommendations on placing police in schools, considering mental health care as a public health issue, and providing mental health care service providers with the knowledge needed to prevent violence. Vera released the brief at a Congressional staff briefing in Washington, DC on February 12, 2013.
The disproportionate number of people with behavioral health disorders involved in the criminal justice system puts a tremendous strain on scarce public resources and has a huge impact on health care and criminal justice budgets. This research summary demonstrates that with appropriate treatment and access to community-based services, this population is less likely to be incarcerated and more likely to lead healthy, productive lives—while resulting in substantial costs savings.
This is Part 2 of a training that provides practical resources to meet the growing demand for cost-benefit analysis (CBA) in justice policy. The training is led by economist Michael Wilson, who worked with the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission and is former director of the state's Statistical Analysis Center. Part 2 provides an exercise that estimates the costs of crime and a review of a CBA. It also discusses how to use CBA in decision making.
Watch Washington State Senator Karen Fraser and Tina Chiu of the Vera Institute of Justice lead a discussion that will help legislators, legislative staff, and other policymakers learn about using cost-benefit analysis for criminal justice policy.
Jail and prison reentry services are designed to help people who are released into the community and are associated with lower rates of repeat criminal activity and reincarceration as well as improved public safety. However, providing reentry programs in corrections settings is challenging—particularly in jails, where stays are typically short and turnover is high. In 2010, with support from The California Endowment, the Vera Institute of Justice partnered with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and community-based organizations to assess reentry services for people leaving the L.A. County Jail. Vera researchers examined existing services, analyzed their strengths and weaknesses, and recommended changes that could increase the efficacy of interventions.
Over the past two decades, New York became one of the first states to significantly reduce its entire correctional population. A report co-authored by Vera President and Director Michael Jacobson contends that a shift in New York City’s policing practices in the 1990s—away from felony arrests and towards arrests for low-level offenses—was largely responsible for the state’s reduction in incarceration. Demonstrating how local policies can have a dramatic impact on state correctional systems, the findings also counter the argument that lowering prison and jail populations will trigger increases in crime rates.