Shifting the Narrative on Crime in NY
The Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) was founded in 1961 by a philanthropist and a magazine editor to fight the injustices of the money bail system in NYC and to close the Rikers Island jails. It is a premier national organization committed to transforming every element of America’s justice systems, from policing and prosecution to bail and pretrial detention, and addressing prison conditions, reentry and immigration detention through a racial equity and public health perspective. This grant provides support for Vera’s Greater Justice NY team as it produces and disseminates research to drive local and statewide efforts to shrink the footprint of NYS’ criminal legal system.
The Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) was founded in 1961 by a philanthropist and a magazine editor to fight the injustices of the money bail system in NYC. Since its founding, Vera has committed its research, relationships, programs and advocacy to bold transformation of America’s criminal and legal immigration systems. It collaborates with the communities most impacted by these systems and works in close partnership with government and civic leaders to implement reforms to fight mass criminalization and create anti-racist, reparative justice systems. Vera seeks to support local innovation and then bring it to scale nationally for the most impact on public policies, practices, narratives and norms. It serves as a research and analytic partner for government and other stakeholders, translates its findings into actionable recommendations and convenes policymakers, justice professionals and advocates. Among Vera’s significant achievements are the creation of prison units in CT and other states that serve and address the needs of young adults ages 18 to 25.
Justice and Public Housing Project
To share research and transform restrictive policies held by many public housing authorities across the U.S. to improve housing access for people with criminal convictions. Vera will share evidence of successful pilot projects in NYC and New Orleans at a national convening designed to lift up best practices and inspire more housing authorities to support reentry. It will disseminate a guide on how to replicate models that have demonstrated successful outcomes related to housing stability, homelessness, family self-sufficiency and recidivism reduction. Vera seeks to drive change in public housing authority practices by providing technical assistance to several that are interested in implementing similar programs.
Staffing of New York’s Commission on Youth, Public Safety & Justice
To plan and organize commission meetings, provide staff support, conduct cost/benefit analysis and research, and model systemic and legislative changes necessary to raise the age of criminal responsibility in New York that will be presented as a package for consideration by the NY state legislature in its 2015 session.