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Spring Research Intern, Justice Fines and Fees

Join us for an exceptional paid spring internship that offers the opportunity to drive meaningful change and to tackle some of the most pressing injustices in our day. Vera’s summer internship with the Justice Fines and Fees Project will give you the opportunity to work with passionate, diverse, dynamic, and innovative individuals to solve complex problems. In addition to having the opportunity for personal and professional development, you’ll:

  • Network with and learn from Vera’s Leadership Team;
  • Develop your professional and personal network;
  • Gain valuable work experience via real-world problem solving;
  • Learn the inner workings of a non-profit leader in criminal justice reform; and
  • Cultivate your passion for equal justice for all!

About the Project

Vera is seeking a passionate and determined individual to contribute to a new project, funded by Arnold Ventures and in partnership with the State Priorities Partnership, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and the Fines and Fees Justice Center, designed to uncover the true costs of criminal justice system fines and fees. The use of these costs causes long-lasting harm for the individuals—often poor people of color—trapped within cycles of debt and criminal justice involvement. Yet local and state governments have become more reliant on these revenues and less inclined to adequately and fairly finance the justice system through other means. In 2017, Vera exposed the true costs and consequences of fines and fees in New Orleans in our report Past Due. Now, our latest project is expanding that approach to five states (Florida, New Mexico, New York, Virginia, and Washington) to reveal how much revenue fines and fees bring in, who benefits, and how these practices can be eliminated or substantially reduced. This research will provide crucial support for new advocacy campaigns to reform fines and fees and replace them with sustainable revenues.

About the Position

The spring research intern will report to a research analyst on Vera’s Justice Fines and Fees team. They will lead and assist with various project work including, but not limited to, the tasks detailed below and can expect to gain meaningful research and professional development experience.

In particular, the spring research intern will:

  • Review, collect, and analyze budget data in the five target states, producing internal memoranda on findings and incorporating an understanding of the policy and budgetary environment in which fines and fees are collected;
  • Check data that have already been collected for quality control, assuming responsibility for accuracy and comprehensiveness; and
  • Participate in team meetings and handle the administrative aspects of project management to support and streamline collaborative planning among Vera staff and partner organizations.

About You

  • Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply.
  • You have experience with data collection, cleaning, and analysis (experience working with government data, especially budgetary or fiscal data is a plus);
  • You are proficient in Microsoft Excel (fluency in Excel and/or experience using other data management or statistical software is a plus);
  • You have exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail;
  • You are curious, ask good questions, and take the initiative to proactively seek your own answers;
  • You possess strong interpersonal and communications skills and enjoy working with people of diverse experiences and backgrounds;
  • You have the ability to work under time pressure and other stresses that make collegiality of critical importance; and
  • You are passionate about criminal justice reform and committed to social, racial, and economic justice.

The Nitty-Gritty

  • This internship will begin in January and end in May, with some flexibility to accommodate personal and/or academic schedules.
  • While the position is remote, the intern will be expected to work East Coast hours, as Vera’s headquarters are based in Industry City in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, New York.
  • The salary range is commensurate with educational background and work or other experience.

How to apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Online submission in PDF format (through Vera’s career page) is preferred.  No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted. 

ATTN: Human Resources / Justice Fines and Fees – Spring Research 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.


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

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