Research Associate, Reducing Solitary Confinement

Location: New York, NY

Department: Center on Sentencing and Corrections

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Mid Level

  Bringing Dignity to Life Behind Bars


Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections (CSC) seeks a passionate and motivated Research Associate to join our team’s efforts to reduce the use of solitary confinement. Vera is working with state prison systems—selected through a competitive application process—to help them reduce solitary confinement safely and effectively. Through this work, Vera further aims to improve human dignity behind bars and promote effective rehabilitation efforts for incarcerated people.

The ideal candidate is a mixed-methods researcher with subject matter expertise in solitary confinement and/or prison conditions, more generally. The research associate will be responsible for developing process and outcome evaluations, creating survey instruments, interview guides, and focus group protocols. In addition to conducting research in partnership with corrections departments, the research associate will play a role in the communications of the work by drafting policy briefs and articles to expand the knowledge base on research and reform.


  • Draft data collection instruments and conduct field interviews, focus groups, and surveys;
  • Conduct descriptive and multivariate analysis using administrative data;
  • Present findings of research, evaluation, and policy analysis to policymakers and practitioners;
  • Write and present IRB submissions for research involving human subjects;
  • Write policy/research briefs, technical research reports, and other publications;
  • Develop new research ideas and written proposals; and
  • Assist on other projects and tasks as assigned.


The successful candidate will bring the following skills and experience:

  • At least 3 years of relevant work experience in an applied research setting, a master’s degree in a relevant field, and ideally with (or working towards) a PhD in criminal justice research or a related field.
  • Experience conducting research in partnership with government agencies;
  • Experience with qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis;
  • Experience developing program evaluations;
  • Excellent strategic, problem-solving, and analytic skills;
  • Experience with statistical analysis using Stata or R;
  • Ability to work on multiple projects effectively and efficiently, both independently and collaboratively with a team;
  • Solid oral and written communication skills;
  • Strong interest in, and knowledge of, social justice for underserved populations;
  • Experience working in the criminal justice system, specifically in an institutional setting, with staff and incarcerated or formerly incarcerated people, strongly preferred; and
  • Willingness to travel.

There is a strong preference for this position to be based at Vera’s New York City office.


Based on experience, and including excellent benefits, Vera believes in compensating its staff members at or above market.

How to apply

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

Online submission in PDF format (through Vera’s careers page) is preferred.

If necessary, materials can be faxed or mailed to:

ATTN: Human Resources / CSC Research Associate Recruitment

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’s work, please visit



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