Vera's Center on Sentencing and Corrections (CSC) works to drive change in the criminal justice system through research, practice innovation, testing new ideas and policy development assistance to criminal justice practitioners at the local, state, and national level. The Center’s work focuses on developing and supporting balanced, fair and humane sentencing and corrections policies to reduce the overall use of incarceration; to transform the in-custody experience into one that can improve the lives of those incarcerated so that they return home to support their families and communities; and to ensure that prisons and jails are safe for those incarcerated and as well as those who work there. Most recently, CSC has embarked on Reimagining Prison, an ambitious 18-month initiative that aims to drive a national conversation on the purpose of incarceration and arrive at a truly transformative vision for jails and prison in an America that uses these institutions dramatically less than we currently do.

Related Work

Past Due

Examining the Costs and Consequences of Charging for Justice in New Orleans

In 2015, government agencies in New Orleans collected $4.5 million in the form of bail, fines and fees from people involved in the criminal justice system and, by extension, from their families. Another $4.7 million was transferred from the pockets of residents to for-profit bail bond agents. These costs have become the subject of considerable publ...

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  • Mathilde Laisne, Jon Wool, Christian Henrichson
January 09, 2017
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Greater Oklahoma City Chamber Criminal Justice Reform Task Force

Report and Recommendations

For years, Oklahoma County has been grappling with an overcrowded and run-down jail. With discussions abounding about whether to replace it with a larger facility, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce convened a task force to examine the county’s local justice system and needs. Chaired by Clayton Bennett, chairman of the Oklahoma City Thun...

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  • Nancy Fishman, Kaitlin Kall, Hanna Dershowitz, Jessi LaChance, Stephen Roberts, Rebecca Silber
December 14, 2016
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I Just Want to Come Home | Groundswell © 2015

Innovative Reentry Practices for Incarcerated People Coming Home

For an incarcerated person, leaving prison can be both exhilarating and overwhelming: freedom is finally palpable. But, for over 700,000 people leaving prisons and jails annually, the pressure of finding a home is an immediate and paramount strain. The mark of a past criminal record eliminates many housing possibilities precisely at the moment when...

Blog Post
  • Kathleen Culhane
    Kathleen Culhane
November 14, 2016
Blog Post

Coming Home

An Evaluation of the New York City Housing Authority’s Family Reentry Pilot Program

Public housing authorities across the nation historically have barred many with criminal records from public housing residency. However, given evidence of the critical role stable housing and family reunification plays for people coming back to their communities from incarceration, some housing authorities are rethinking their practices. This repor...

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  • John Bae, Margaret diZerega, Jacob Kang-Brown, Ryan Shanahan, Ram Subramanian
November 14, 2016
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Common Ground

How all of Oregon Contributes to Criminal Justice Reform

After Oregon’s prison population grew 50 percent over the span of twelve years (2000 to 2012), Governor John Kitzhaber reconvened and expanded the state’s Commission on Public Safety to examine the drivers of Oregon’s prison population and recommend fiscally responsible, evidence-based policy options to minimize anticipated growth. This brief descr...

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  • Ram Subramanian, Alison Shames
November 04, 2016
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Remote Access

Using Video Technology to Treat Substance Users on Probation and Parole in South Dakota

The challenges of accessing services for alcohol and other drug use in South Dakota may have contributed to the state’s high percentage of people convicted of low-level nonviolent offenses, particularly for drug or alcohol related offenses. To minimize these challenges, especially for parolees and probationers residing in the state’s vast rural are...

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  • Alison Shames, Ram Subramanian
October 21, 2016
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Bridging the Divide

Improving Parole Outcomes for Native Americans in South Dakota

The tribal parole program in South Dakota is aimed at solving a problem common to many jurisdictions: providing effective supervision to Native Americans who leave prison and return to live on tribal lands. This brief describes the issues that tribal communities face and how they are working together with the state government to provide effective s...

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  • Ram Subramanian, Alison Shames
October 10, 2016
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