The Vera Institute of Justice is a research and policy organization that combines expertise in research, demonstration projects, and technical assistance to help leaders in government and civil society improve the systems people rely on for justice and safety. Vera has offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans, and its projects and reform initiatives, typically conducted in partnership with local, state, or national officials, are located across the United States and around the world. Vera is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace.
The Center on Sentencing and Corrections (CSC) is a group of dynamic and diverse staff who share a passion for social justice and a commitment to excellence in all of our work. CSC has a staff of 26 located in all four of Vera’s offices, who encompass expertise in the law, corrections, social science research, cost benefit analysis, family engagement, reentry, education, and other topics. They work in nearly a dozen active projects spanning sentencing and correctional policy and practice reform, including projects focused on jail and pre-trial reform, reductions in prison and jail populations, expanding access to higher education during incarceration, reentry and public housing, reducing solitary confinement and restrictive housing in correctional facilities, justice reinvestment, and international comparative prison practices.
CSC seeks a passionate and motivated individual to support Vera’s Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative as Senior Program Associate. Vera has worked with corrections agencies since 2010 to safely reduce their reliance on segregation and develop alternative strategies. In 2014, with support from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Vera launched the Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative, working with five jurisdictions to safely reduce their use of segregation. Vera is now expanding this initiative to include five new jurisdictions.
As part of the Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative, the Senior Program Associate will carry out the following duties:
- Provide technical assistance to state and local corrections agencies participating in the Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative by:
- Assessing a department’s current use of segregation;
- Conducting site visits;
- Developing strategies for how to reduce the agency’s use of segregation;
- Facilitating meetings and workshops with corrections officials and staff;
- Conducting focus groups with staff and incarcerated people;
- Drafting reports;
- Providing implementation assistance through working with agencies to develop implementation plans and track performance measures;
- Participate in strategic planning and development of new approaches for Vera’s segregation work;
- Plan, research, and write reports, memoranda, and policy briefs;
- Facilitate webinars in collaboration with other national experts to highlight promising practices;
- Grant writing and reporting;
- Help facilitate and plan annual advisory council meetings, including developing the agenda, facilitating discussions, preparing presenters; and presenting;
- Identify ways to expand Vera’s public education campaign on the national use of segregation and strategies to reduce that use; and
- Assist with maintaining a collegial and collaborative work environment across offices.
Interest in social justice and demonstrated knowledge of criminal justice issues are essential. Vera also values experience with communities affected by criminal justice and other government systems. Candidates must possess the following:
- Law degree or graduate degree in political science, criminal justice, public policy, or other related field preferred. Significant professional experience with no graduate degree will also be considered;
- Seven to ten years of relevant experience;
- Demonstrated interest in and/or knowledge of prison and jail systems, policy development, government, and social justice for underserved populations;
- Experience working with high-level government partners preferred;
- Strong writing, presentation, and facilitation skills;
- Project management experience with the ability to manage work on multiple projects effectively and meet deadlines;
- Experience and comfort with social science and/or policy research;
- Ability to work independently;
- Flexibility and skills to lead a team and also serve as a member of work teams; and
- Willingness and ability to travel frequently as required.
Commensurate with experience, plus excellent benefits.
This position can be based in Vera’s New York City or Washington, DC office. Remote work may be considered on an individual basis.
How to apply
Please submit cover letter, resume, and a three to five page writing sample. Online submission in PDF format is preferred. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until position is filled.
However, if necessary, materials may be mailed or faxed to
ATTN: Human Resources / CSC SPA SASI Recruitment
Vera Institute of Justice
233 Broadway, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10279
Fax: (212) 941-9407
Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.
No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.
Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment, or caregiver status.
Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.
For more information about Vera and the Center on Sentencing and Corrections, please visit www.vera.org.