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.
Improving Responses to Hate Crime
Validating a Bias-Crime Victim Assessment Tool
Safety and Justice Challenge
Reducing the Overuse of Jails
The Safety and Justice Challenge is an initiative of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to reduce mass incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails. As part of the initiative, a network of competitively selected local jurisdictions are developing and modeling effective ways reduce the misuse of jail. Vera is...
Examining Medical Parole in New York State
Medical parole is an option for releasing the increasing number of incarcerated people who are seriously ill or incapacitated. It can be granted to somebody with a medical condition so debilitating that there is a reasonable probability that they no longer present a danger to society. The number granted release through this policy in New York State...
From "Resetting Bail—The Price of Justice in NYC" co-produced by the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice and the Vera Institute of Justice. Video from the event available here.
Reimagining Prison: The Journey Begins
Launch event at Eastern State Penitentiary
Violence against the LGBTQ community extends beyond the massacre in Orlando
In the early hours of Sunday morning, a gunman murdered 49 people and injured another 53 at a shooting during Latin Night at Pulse, a gay nightclub, in Orlando, Florida. Forty-nine individuals, overwhelmingly people of color, whose lives were cut short in the very space considered to be a “refuge” or “haven” for the LGBTQ community. Later that day,...
Changing the way we think about prison and education
Former intern Monnero Guervil interviews Jeremy Travis for this blog post. You have a long history of criminal justice related work experience, what originally sparked your interest in the field? My interest in the field was accidental because my first job in criminal justice just happened. I was in New York and I needed a job and the job ...
Justice in Review
New Trends in State Sentencing and Corrections 2014-2015
In 2014 and 2015, 46 states enacted at least 201 bills, executive orders, and ballot initiatives to reform at least one aspect of their sentencing and corrections systems. In conducting this review of state criminal justice reforms, Vera found that most of the policy changes focused on three areas: creating or expanding opportunities to divert peop...
Transgender people at higher risk for justice system involvement
While recent police brutality headlines have motivated movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #SayHerName, activism surrounding transgender people has been pushed to the margins in mainstream media. In response to police violence against transgender people, #BlackTransLivesMatter has made continuous efforts to raise awareness to the many transgender...
In a step toward reform, Los Angeles County severely limits segregation for youth
The Addressing the Overuse of Segregation in U.S. Prisons and Jails blog series features the voices of various perspectives—from corrections officials and academic experts to advocates and formerly incarcerated people—examining the issues presented by the use of segregated housing and discussing promising strategies for reform. Los Angeles County’...