Amanda Lawson

Amanda was a program analyst on Vera’s Greater Justice New York initiative. Her projects focused on analyzing the cost of the carceral system in New York and building strategic partnerships to advance decarceration. Prior to Vera, she worked as a federal defense paralegal in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and at the Bronx Freedom Fund, Innocence Project, and more. Amanda has served since 2016 as the founding director of the Dollar Bail Brigade, a 1,300-person volunteer network dedicated to paying $1 bails and analyzing bail practices in New York City. Originally from outside Houston, Amanda earned her BA in public policy from NYU, where her thesis focused on evaluating decarceration policies using an abolitionist framework. She has been recognized nationally for her policy expertise and public service as a Truman Scholar. Amanda is passionate about community-based solutions to harm and centering people with lived experience.