Vera Institute of Justice

Apply HERE (Applications due February 16, 2018)


Location: New York, NY

Address of Internship: 233 Broadway, 12th Floor New York NY 10279

Number of Positions: 2

Organization Description

Founded in 1961, the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) is a justice reform change agent working to advance a vision of a more humane justice system that respects the dignity of every person and safeguards justice for everyone. Vera’s mission is to drive change and to urgently build justice systems that ensure fairness, promote safety, and strengthen communities. Vera produces ideas, analysis and research that inspire change in the systems people rely upon for safety and justice. The organization’s work is focused on systemic change that tackles the most pressing injustices of our day—from the causes and consequences of mass incarceration, racial disparities, and the loss of public trust in law enforcement, to the unmet needs of the vulnerable, the marginalized, and those harmed by crime and violence. 

Vera is organized around centers of substantive excellence that bring together programmatic experts and researchers to encourage the exchange of new ideas and creative problem solving. These include centers on Sentencing and Corrections (which focuses on reducing the use of jails and improving conditions of confinement), Youth Justice (which aims to build youth justice systems that are community-based, smaller in scale, and impact fewer children), Immigration and Justice (which works to protect the rights of immigrant residents and their families), Victimization and Safety (which endeavors to improve system response to underserved victims of violence), Policing (which strives to build bridges of trust between police and communities) and Substance Use and Mental Health (which focuses on promoting harm reduction and public health responses). Through these units, Vera works in 47 states on nearly 60 projects to improve the quality of justice through research, innovation, and collaboration.

Interns contribute to project teams in meaningful ways. There is always more work to be done and having interns as part of the team, helps us be more effective.

Position Description

One intern will work on two projects: Expanding Access to Postsecondary Education for People in Prison, and Open Doors to Public Housing for People with Conviction Histories. The "clients" we work with are government partners and their partners at the local level (reentry service providers, colleges, legal service providers, etc.). In the past Guggenheim fellows have written memos summarizing best practices, drafted pieces of publications, and participated in meetings with our government partners (mostly by phone or video).

Another intern will focus on Vera's work to close incarceration's front door -- namely county-level reforms focused on pre-trial jail incarceration and other drivers of jail populations. In the past, Guggenheim fellows have written background memos on states or counties we are considering working in, written blog posts about issues related to pretrial justice reform, and helped with drafting publications on policy issues.


Successful interns are interested in how policy changes happen, the people who help make them happen, and the people most directly impacted by the policies. They are curious about the issues and know that lasting change takes time. They have strong writing skills and attention to detail.