View Our Website View All Jobs

Senior Program Associate, Vera California (Los Angeles)

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 grassroots 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 almost 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 Senior Program Associate (SPA) will help Vera California implement our growing portfolio of county and statewide reform work incorporating policy development and supporting narrative change. The SPA will support the programmatic needs of campaigns related to jail decarceration, pretrial reform, justice reinvestment, and more. This will entail summarizing data and research for different audiences; building and managing relationships; contributing to working groups, trainings, and presentations; and writing policy reports, fact sheets, talking points, and memos.

In this role, you will:

  1. Policy Development & Technical Assistance
  • Work with the Vera California Program Director and team to research, develop, and draft model policies, fact sheets, and educational materials on decarceration, justice reinvestment, and bail reform to be used by Vera and external partners. 
  • Assist in training and technical assistance for our partners and external stakeholders on best practices and policy analysis. Appear in convenings, webinars, etc. on Vera California’s behalf. 
  1. Communications
  • In partnership with the communications team, draft content that builds and influences the public narrative about decarceration and justice reinvestment (e.g., op-eds, blogs, backgrounders, fact sheets, talking points, letters to the editor, etc.).
  • Liaise with Vera’s communications department about Vera California’s communications strategy and deliverables.
  1. Research and Publications
  • Develop and expand Vera’s California’s expertise by researching and contributing to publications, connecting with other experts, and engaging in local and national discussions.
  1. Fostering Relationships & Leadership
  • Develop and maintain relationships with government actors, elected officials, community groups, and advocates. 
  • Provide leadership, support, and guidance to a growing team, as needed.

What qualifications do you need?

Required:

  • A minimum of 5 years of professional experience involving the criminal legal system, with a preference for work in California.  
  • A commitment to racial justice advocacy.  
  • You can quickly produce excellent writing for a variety of audiences, from longer reports, briefing memos, to media opinions and editorials.    
  • Microsoft Office proficiency.  
  • Ability to work effectively with a diverse array of people and positions, including advocates, government officials, criminal legal system personnel, practitioners, and people who are directly impacted by the criminal system.  
  • Ability to present to diverse audiences from judges, defense attorneys, and prosecutors, to community groups, including people who may be hostile to your point of view.    
  • Collaborative, rigorous thinker and problem solver with sound judgement.  
  • Detail-oriented but cognizant of big picture goals, with an ability to maintain multiple projects with competing deadlines and priorities.  
  • You must be curious and willing to research, read, learn continuously, and be energized by the idea of translating that knowledge into strategic implementation and concrete outcomes. If it excites you to spend time on the ground (or virtually), observing bail hearings and arraignments, talking to people in the field, researching things like legislative history, and developing and rolling out new ideas, this job is for you.    

Preferred:

  • Lived experience as a person directly impacted by the criminal legal system.
  • Experience developing and managing issue area campaigns and building diverse coalitions.
  • Experience drafting legislation and with legislative lobbying. 
  • Communications acumen, including experience as a spokesperson and/or experience developing media strategy to support campaign efforts. 
  • Familiarity and comfort with data a plus. 

List of Required Software applications:

  • Microsoft Office proficiency

Applications may also be faxed to:

ATTN: Human Resources / Senior Program Associate, Vera California
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 www.vera.org

 

Read More

Apply for this position

Required*
Apply with
We've received your resume. Click here to update it.
Attach resume as .pdf, .doc, .docx, .odt, .txt, or .rtf (limit 5MB) or Paste resume

Paste your resume here or Attach resume file

To comply with government Equal Employment Opportunity and/or 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.
Gender
Race/Ethnicity

Invitation for Job Applicants to Self-Identify as a U.S. Veteran
  • A “disabled veteran” is one of the following:
    • a veteran of the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; or
    • a person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.
  • A “recently separated veteran” means any veteran during the three-year period beginning on the date of such veteran's discharge or release from active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service.
  • An “active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran” means a veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized under the laws administered by the Department of Defense.
  • An “Armed forces service medal veteran” means a veteran who, while serving on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985.
Veteran status
I IDENTIFY AS ONE OR MORE OF THE CLASSIFICATIONS OF PROTECTED VETERAN LISTED ABOVE
I AM NOT A PROTECTED VETERAN
I DON’T WISH TO ANSWER

Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability
Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability Form CC-305
OMB Control Number 1250-0005
Expires 5/31/2023
Why are you being asked to complete this form?

We are a federal contractor or subcontractor required by law to provide equal employment opportunity to qualified people with disabilities. We are also required to measure our progress toward having at least 7% of our workforce be individuals with disabilities. To do this, we must ask applicants and employees if they have a disability or have ever had a disability. Because a person may become disabled at any time, we ask all of our employees to update their information at least every five years.

Identifying yourself as an individual with a disability is voluntary, and we hope that you will choose to do so. Your answer will be maintained confidentially and not be seen by selecting officials or anyone else involved in making personnel decisions. Completing the form will not negatively impact you in any way, regardless of whether you have self-identified in the past. For more information about this form or the equal employment obligations of federal contractors under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website at www.dol.gov/ofccp.

How do you know if you have a disability?

You are considered to have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment or medical condition that substantially limits a major life activity, or if you have a history or record of such an impairment or medical condition. Disabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Autism
  • Autoimmune disorder, for example, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, or HIV/AIDS
  • Blind or low vision
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular or heart disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Deaf or hard of hearing
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Gastrointestinal disorders, for example, Crohn's Disease, or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Intellectual disability
  • Missing limbs or partially missing limbs
  • Nervous system condition for example, migraine headaches, Parkinson's disease, or Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Psychiatric condition, for example, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, or major depression
Please check one of the boxes below:

PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENT: According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. This survey should take about 5 minutes to complete.

You must enter your name and date
Your Name Today's Date