Program Associate, Center on Youth Justice

Location: New York, NY

Department: Center on Youth Justice

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Experienced

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is an independent, non-partisan, nonprofit organization that combines expertise in research, technical assistance, and demonstration projects to assist leaders in government and civil society examine justice policy and practice, and improve the systems people rely on for justice and safety. Vera is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace.

Vera’s Center on Youth Justice (CYJ) seeks a passionate and motivated program associate to work on an exciting project reimagining the care and custody of young adults in jail and prison. This project involves working directly with state Department of Corrections (DOC) agencies across the country and in partnership with incarcerated people, families of young adults who have been/ are incarcerated, and frontline staff working in facilities to develop and implement reforms.

This is a full time position based in New York City.



Working closely with the project team, the program associate will:

  • Provide technical assistance to prisons and jails across the country that we have partnered with in as part of the young adult initiative:
    • Provide guidance on national and international research and program models;
    • Assist with the development and implementation of new and innovative strategies to improve conditions of confinement for incarcerated young adults ages 18-25;
    • Organize and facilitate site visits with our project partners;
  • Assist with the development of writing reports, policy/ research briefs, and other publications;
  • Demonstrate fluency with data analysis (quantitative and qualitative) and support the development of sound, data-driven policies as a member of a multidisciplinary team;
  • Communicate findings of research and policy analysis to diverse audiences, such as system partner stakeholders, at professional conferences, and in other settings;
  • Structure engaging and productive convening’s that bring together national experts;
  • Develop expertise in specific areas of young adult justice reform, such as culture change in custodial settings, restorative justice, cross-generational and inter-generational mentorship, etc;
  • Support the development of new work on young adults through proposal development and grant writing;
  • Mentor interns and other team members;
  • Manage project deadlines.



Interest in social justice, commitment to racial equity, and demonstrated knowledge of the juvenile/ criminal justice system and issues are essential. Vera highly values experience with communities impacted by the justice system – personal or family involvement is considered an asset.

The qualified candidate will possess the following:

  • MA/ MSW/ MPH/ MPA with 2-3 years’ work experience in a social justice related field such as criminal justice, juvenile justice, sociology or psychology; OR a BA in a social justice related field with 5-6 years of full time work experience;
  • Ability to analyze and make use of data to develop and evaluate policies, practices, and programs;
  • Demonstrated creative thinking and problem solving ability;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook;
  • Ability to travel outside of New York City several times a month;
  • Ability to multi-task and work collaboratively in a team setting.

The following qualifications are strongly preferred:

  • Experience working directly with or in the juvenile or criminal justice system;
  • Experience with mixed methods and applied research – data analysis using statistical software such as SPSS or STATA and qualitative survey and interview development and administration;
  • Data management skills;
  • Bilingual English/ Spanish.



Competitive salary based on experience; includes excellent benefits


How to apply

Please submit cover letter and resume. Review of applications will begin immediately, and applications will be considered on a rolling basis until position is filled.

Online submission in PDF format is preferred.

If necessary, materials may be mailed or faxed to:

ATTN: Human Resources / CYJ Program Associate

Vera Institute of Justice

233 Broadway, 12th Floor

New York, NY 10279

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.

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 and CYJ’s work, please visit

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