Who We Are
Do you know what gets us up in the morning? Justice. (We literally have that phrase plastered on our coffee mugs.
That's how zealous we are). We envision a society that respects the dignity of every single person, and are fighting to realize this every day. To tackle the most pressing injustices of our day. To explicitly, pointedly and effectively reduce the burdens of the justice system on people of color. To secure equal justice, end mass incarceration, and strengthen families and communities around the country.
The Reshaping Prosecution Program is dedicated to transforming what it means to be a prosecutor by focusing on the dignity of all people impacted by the criminal justice system. Prosecutors play a critical, but often hidden, role in mass incarceration as one of the most powerful actors in the criminal justice system.
They decide who to charge with a crime, what crime to charge, whether to ask that a person sit in jail pending trial, and what sentence to ask for upon conviction. Yet, despite this immense power, prosecutors have largely not been the focus of criminal justice reform efforts until recently. Our team helps prosecutors across the country work to end mass incarceration, pursue racial equity, and be more transparent with the communities they serve.
The Vera Institute of Justice was founded in 1961 and is an independent, non-partisan, nonprofit organization that combines expertise in research, technical assistance, and demonstration projects to assist leaders in government and civil society, examine justice policy and practice, and improve the systems people rely on for justice and safety.
Who You Are
You have experience with the justice systemeither you were yourself in the system, have a family member who is/was in the system, you worked in the system, or you worked to change the system. You are deeply committed to the missions of racial justice and ending mass incarceration. You are knowledgeable about and fluent in discussing and advancing both racial justice and ending mass incarceration.
To be successful in this job, you will excel in the following core areas:
Advising our partner prosecutor's offices, including both on-site and from the Vera office, on issues related to ending mass incarceration, addressing racial disparities in the criminal legal system, and increasing their transparency and accountability with the communities they serve. Tasks include helping elected and line prosecutors understand the impact of the office using data, facilitating policy reform workshops, and helping to structure the implementation of reforms.
Conducting research on prosecutorial reforms in jurisdictions around the country and strategizing on how they can best be adapted for our partner offices.
Presenting to site partners, including explanation of data findings and trainings for line prosecutors on the problem of mass incarceration and the importance of policy reforms.
Assisting in preparing materials for site partners and the public, including presentation materials, reports, and memos.
Prior experience: A degree in political science, criminal justice, public policy, or other related field with 3-5 years of policy, legal, or advocacy work experience.
Last, but not least! You love to travel and can do so frequently.
The preferred location for this position is New York, but candidates based in Washington, DC and remote locations will be considered. Please note that our Manhattan office will be relocating to Industry City in Brooklyn, NY this fall.
Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience.
Here's the best part. When you join our team, you'll find:
A dedicated team you can bank on. A team of amazing people who have tenacity, who are creative, and most of all, who are scrappy.
We want to get the work done. And we will do whatever we need to do to get that work done. Why? Because our work is more important than ever. And we need you to make it happen.
Solutions oriented work that is both innovative and fulfilling. We come to work every day feeling a bit restless.
From the causes and consequences of mass incarceration to the unmet needs of the vulnerable, the marginalized, immigrant communities, and those harmed by crime and violence, we ask the difficult questions and entertain unconventional answers, so we can reckon with the uncomfortable truths that our work grapples with. Nothing short of this will help us affect the change we want to see.
A gym membership you can't turn down. Driving meaningful change is hard work.
But we also know that you have a life, places to go and people to see. That's why we make it a point to make sure you have work-life balance. Our benefits are pretty sweet, too.
We also have an awesome softball team. Just saying.
How To Apply
Please submit cover letter and resume. Cover letters should include your preferred job location.
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Online submission in PDF format is preferred. However, if necessary, materials may be mailed or faxed to
ATTN: Human Resources / Reshaping Prosecution Program
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 or current employment 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 please visit www.vera.org
Vera Institute Of Justice