Who We Are
The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, envisions a society that respects the dignity of every person and safeguards justice for everyone. Vera is committed to securing equal justice, ending mass incarceration, and strengthening families and communities.
- We study problems that impede human dignity and justice.
- We pilot solutions that are at once transformative and achievable.
- We engage diverse communities in informed debate.
- We harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice.
We work with others who share our vision to tackle the most pressing injustices of our day—from mass incarceration, racial disparities, and the loss of public trust in law enforcement to the unmet needs of people who are vulnerable, marginalized, and harmed by crime and violence. Vera has offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. Vera is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace. We hire employees that reflect our values: respect, independence, collaboration, commitment, and race equity. If you want to learn more about life at Vera click here.
Vera’s Federal Policy work
The Federal Policy team advances Vera’s mission to drive change in criminal legal systems by engaging with Congress, federal agencies, national coalitions, and other organizations working on criminal legal system transformation and related issues. After being involved in last year’s successful repeal of the ban on Pell Grants for incarcerated students, Vera’s Federal Policy team is working to advance federal policies around prosecution, pretrial issues, bail, jail incarceration, sentencing, counsel for people in deportation proceedings, policing, and other areas
The interns will work closely with the Federal Policy team to:
§ Provide assistance with research and data collection on various justice and safety policies, programs, and practices;
§ Attend Capitol Hill hearings and briefings and coalition meetings to analyze and report on the legislation and information presented;
§ Prepare written memoranda;
§ Assist in preparing presentations that will be made to senior policymakers;
§ Track legislation; and
§ Perform some administrative tasks.
There may also be opportunities to attend meetings and participate in strategy discussions.
In addition to your work with the Federal Policy team, you will have the opportunity to apply some of the skills you’ve acquired in school as well as learn from our amazing staff across the organization. You will have extensive opportunities for personal and professional development and you’ll:
· Attend brown bags to enhance your understanding of criminal legal reform
· Develop your professional and personal network;
· Gain valuable work experience via real-world problem solving;
· Network with and learn from Vera’s Leadership Team;
· Learn the inner workings of a criminal justice reform organization; and
· Cultivate your passion for equity and justice.
Who You Are
You have experience with the justice system—either you were yourself in the system, have a loved one 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.
A successful intern will bring the following skills to the work:
· Passion and personal commitment to changing how our country understands and pursues justice, safety, and individual and community well-being.
· Extensive experience writing for a wide audience through school publications, community organizing, clubs, and/or past internship experiences.
· Interest in policy and systemic change informed by deep engagement with others and their communities.
· Demonstrated ability to work with people from other backgrounds and experiences; and
· Concentration in disciplines related to criminal legal system reform in their current undergraduate or graduate coursework and extracurriculars, volunteering, and/or work.
· Summer internships start on June 7th and end on August 13th, with some flexibility to accommodate personal and academic schedules.
· This internship will be based in Vera’s Washington, DC Office. Please be advised that this position may be remote, based on the status of the pandemic.
· The hourly rate is commensurate with educational background and work or other experience.
Compensation is commensurate with educational background and work or other experience Applicants may choose to receive academic credit for an internship/externship. For those who need to earn academic credit, Vera will gladly assist in working with the school or program to make arrangements and meet requirements.
How to apply
Please submit cover letter and resume. Online submission in PDF format (through Vera’s careers page) is preferred. No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.