David Pitts

David is a senior research associate focused on understanding and mitigating the harms of incarceration. His current work addresses a variety of corrections and reentry topics, including restrictive housing, college in prison, and policies affecting system-involved LGBTQIA+ people. He leads Vera’s Advancing Transgender Justice project, a collaborative initiative with Black & Pink that aims to understand and center the experiences of incarcerated transgender people. David’s work employs both quantitative and qualitative methods through an applied, policy-focused lens.

Prior to joining Vera, David worked with the Center for Evidence-Based Corrections at the University of California, Irvine, where he conducted research on the community reintegration of paroled lifers. Earlier in his career, David spent ten years as a public administration and policy scholar, during which time he wrote broadly on issues of race, ethnicity, and social justice.

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, David earned a BA from Birmingham-Southern College; master’s degrees from Indiana University and the University of California, Irvine; and a PhD from the University of Georgia.