Spring 2018 Internship, Program Intern Substance Use and Mental Health Program New York, NY

Location: New York, NY

Department: Substance Use and Mental Health

Type: Internship

Min. Experience: Student (College)

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 has offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans, and its projects and reform initiatives, typically conducted in partnership with local, state, or national officials, are located across the United States and around the world. Vera is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace.

Vera’s Substance Use and Mental Health Program (SUMH) conducts applied research and provides technical assistance to help public officials and community organizations develop empirically driven responses to the substance use and mental health needs of people involved in justice systems. Recent projects include the launch and process evaluation of a pre-arraignment screening unit in Manhattan Criminal Court, a process evaluation of New York State’s overdose prevention and naloxone distribution program in state prisons, and a study to understand how working on restrictive housing units impact correctional officer wellbeing.

SUMH seeks an enthusiastic program intern to assist with a project analyzing current practices at four jails following incidents of suicide and self-harm, and exploring the feasibility of integrating a “sentinel events” review process into these systems. The intern will also support other SUMH projects as needed.


The primary responsibilities of the research intern will include the following:

  • Analyzing policies related to suicide and self-harm in jails;
  • Assisting with interviews of correctional leadership, corrections officers, and healthcare providers;
  • Drafting literature reviews;
  • Contributing to final reports and blog posts; and
  • Additional duties, as needed.


Applicants must be current graduate students, pursuing a degree in public policy, public health, social work, psychology, sociology, or a closely related discipline. The ideal candidate will have a strong interest in working on issues at the intersection of public health and criminal justice.

Vera is particularly interested in applicants with: 

  • Policy analysis background
  • Social science research experience;
  • Strong writing skills;
  • Experience working with teams.


The schedule will be flexible depending on project needs, but the intern must be available during the spring semester. The intern should be available at least 10-15 hours per week. The hours can be arranged around class schedules or other requirements of the intern’s academic programs.


Applicants are encouraged to seek academic credit or private fellowships, and Vera will assist the student meeting the academic requirements. Alternative compensation will be arranged for students who cannot receive course credit or do not have outside funding.

To Apply

Please submit cover letter and resume. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until position is filled.

No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted. 

Online submission in PDF format is preferred. However, if necessary, materials may be mailed or faxed to:

ATTN: Human Resources /

SUMH Research Intern
Vera Institute of Justice
233 Broadway, 12th Flr.
New York, NY 10279
Fax: (212) 941-9407

Please use only one method of submission (online, mail or fax).

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 our website, www.vera.org.


Forward this Position
Recipient email address (one)
Your name
Your email address
Enter a message (optional)
Human Check*
Apply for this Position
* Required fields
First name*
Last name*
Email address*
Location *
Phone number*

Attach resume as .pdf, .doc, or .docx (limit 5MB) or paste resume

Paste your resume here or attach resume file

Desired salary*
Please upload a cover letter as part of your application for this position.*
The following questions are entirely optional.
To comply with government Equal Employment Opportunity / Affirmative Action reporting regulations, we are requesting (but NOT requiring) that you enter this personal data. This information will not be used in connection with any employment decisions, and will be used solely as permitted by state and federal law. Your voluntary cooperation would be appreciated. Learn more.
Veteran/Disability status