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 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 detain someone in jail pending trial, and what sentence to recommend if there is a 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.

This position will focus on Reshaping Prosecutions projects including technical assistance to District Attorney offices and community-based organizations across the country. The Reshaping Prosecution intern will learn how to conduct community and policy landscape research, develop community outreach strategies, manage advocacy efforts, and draft written content for a wide audience.

What you'll do:

Expand and support our network of stakeholders and partners in their racial equity-focused reforms. 

  • Create resources and tools for current and previous partners to stay in contact and share updates. 
  • Creating a database to contain information in an easily digestible way.

Provide programmatic and administrative support to the Reshaping Prosecution Initiative. 

  • Help to liaise with site and community partners and project funders. 
  • Support logistics for external meetings.

Provide guidance and thought partnership related to advocacy and community outreach. 

  • Researching websites for contact information 
  • Research websites for platforms and policies of various government officials, criminal justice organizations, grassroots organizations.

Draft written content for newsletters, guides, memos, talking points, etc., about prosecutors’ role in addressing racial disparities. 

  • Contribute research and content for site-based memos and reports, public-facing publications, and blog posts. 
  • Support project proposal drafting and submission processes.

Keep the team up to date on the latest news, literature, trends and elections impacting prosecution reform by conducting research. 

  • Researching periodicals, social media, etc. for advocacy-related materials 
  • Conducting desk and qualitative research to learn more about prosecutor offices across the country.

Conduct landscape analysis regarding community-based organizations, District Attorney offices, organizations that provide restorative justice and diversion programs, etc. 

  • Creating power analysis maps. 
  • Identifying key issues stakeholders advocate and work on within specific counties/states.

What qualifications are we looking for?

Required:

  • Interest in the criminal legal system; 
  • Demonstrated ability to work with advocates, government officials, criminal legal system personnel, practitioners, and people who are directly impacted by the criminal legal system.

Preferred:

  • Education in public policy, social work, political science, criminal justice, or related field; or equivalent work experience. 
  • Lived experience as a person directly impacted by the criminal legal system. 
  • Strong interest in racial justice advocacy. 

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities you'll bring:

  • Strong organizational skills. 
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite. 
  • Proficient with Canva.

Technical knowledge we need you to be prepared to use:

  • Microsoft Office Suite

Location:

Please note this role will report to our Washington, D.C. 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. Part-time positions generally amount to 5 days per month.

Schedule:

The intern should be available to work up to 20 hours per week during the summer. The dates will be between June 3rd and August 9th, 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 2024 - Intern, Reshaping Prosecution
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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