Who we are:

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is a nonprofit criminal justice organization that strives to build just government institutions and safe communities free from the scourge of racism, white supremacy, profit, and inequity that is pervasive in this country’s legal systems. We are an “inside” lane organization that drives change at scale with ambitious public sector leaders who share our commitment to building anti-racist, reparative systems that deliver justice. We leverage our access to government to transform these systems and work collaboratively with stakeholders across many movements—including advocacy, grassroots, and grasstop organizations. Our role is to pilot solutions that are transformative and achievable, harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice, and use advocacy and communications to change narratives and norms.

Vera has a staff of 300 people and offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. We are an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace. We expect our staff to embody respect, independence, collaboration, commitment, anti-racism, and equity—both in our outward-facing work and the internal culture of our workplace. We value a range of experiences in people’s educational backgrounds and encourage people who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to apply.

Who you are:

The Summer Innovation Intern will provide capacity support to the Innovation team. The team is seeking an individual who is passionate about social impact work and is curious about how technological advancements, like artificial intelligence, might generate opportunities and pose risks in the criminal legal and immigration systems. This position will focus on conducting desk research to learn more about gaps, challenges, and opportunities of justice technology, deep dive into relevant emerging policies, and collaborate with the Innovation team to generate insights and transform them into potential new solution to the field. This internship will be focused on policy-based research and no coding will be needed. The ideal candidate will be interested in the intersection of justice and technology, while having skills to conduct interdisciplinary research, facilitate conversations on the topic, and offer creative ideas to the Innovation team.

The learning goals of this internship include fostering skills in project management, facilitation, innovation and design thinking, identifying how to look at social problems, create approaches and find solutions, and developing an understanding of how research feeds into strategy building.

The Summer Innovation Intern will work under the supervision of the Innovation Senior Associate and in close collaboration with the Director of Innovation & Program Development and Innovation Analyst. 

What you'll do:

Conduct community and legislative landscape research, and synthesize the outputs 

  • Support desk research needed to create a landscape analysis to support the generation of new ideas
  • Summarize and present findings to the team

Research and monitor evolutions in the justice / technology landscape

  • Develop a tracking system to monitor new policy development and evolutions in the justice technology sector, specifically looking at how new tools are impacting the criminal legal and immigration systems
  • Collaborate with the Innovation team and key stakeholders to conduct trend analyses on the data captured
  • Create a database of leaders working in the criminal legal / immigration and technology spaces

Source and compile resources for Innovation workshops 

  • Work with the Innovation team to collect materials, synthesize information, and prepare participants for Innovation workshops
  • Support the Innovation Associate with workshop logistics (including invitations, room bookings, agendas, etc.)
  • Identify introductory resources for all Verans interested in learning more about innovation
  • Summarize resources into easily accessible formats to be used in workshops

 Assist with ad hoc projects as they relate to innovation, design, and strategy

  • Support in the creation of memos to document learnings for internal and external audiences
  • Other ad hoc duties as needed. 

What qualifications are we looking for?

  • Currently enrolled in an undergraduate program 
  • Interest in technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning, or data science

Preferred: 

  • Interest in innovation and human centered design methodologies
  • Courses completed in artificial intelligence (policy, ethics), machine learning, data science, and / or legal technology 
  • Experience using Large Language Models, Generative AI, and other AI tools  

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities you'll bring: 

  • A demonstrated commitment to racial equity and social justice
  • The ability to work both independently and with others efficiently and effectively
  • Strong writing and communications skills

Technical knowledge we need you to be prepared to use:

  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite or similar software, including PowerPoint 

Location:

Please note this role will report to our Brooklyn, NY office. Vera interns and employees adhere to a hybrid schedule and are in-office on an alternating schedule. Full-time positions generally amount to 10 days per month, while part-time positions generally amount to 5 days per month.

Schedule:

The intern should be available to work up to 35 hours per week during the summer. The dates will be between June 5th and August 11th, with some flexibility to accommodate personal and academic schedules.

Compensation:

The compensation range for internships is $16.00 - $25.00 per hour. Actual compensation will vary depending on factors including but not limited to experience and performance. Applicants may choose to receive academic credit. 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. In your cover letter, please explain why you are passionate about criminal justice reform and what you hope to gain from this internship.

Applications may also be faxed to:

ATTN: People Resources / Summer Internship 2024 - Innovation Intern 
Vera Institute of Justice
34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232
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.

In order to ensure a healthy and safe work environment, Vera Institute of Justice is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine before their start date. Employees who cannot receive the vaccine because of a disability / medical contraindication or sincerely-held religious belief may request an accommodation (e.g., an exemption) to this requirement.

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, current employment status, or caregiver 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

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