Research Associate, Greater Justice New York (Brooklyn)

Brooklyn, NY
Full Time
Greater Justice New York

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 grasstop 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 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 Research Associate contributes to a growing body of work under Vera’s Greater Justice New York (GJNY) program. The ideal candidate will be enthusiastic, self-motivated, passionate about social justice, and drawn to working collaboratively with colleagues at Vera and our partners in the field. They will be someone who innately understands the power of research to tell a compelling story about the criminal justice system and identify opportunities for reform. The work calls for a strong grasp of data wrangling, visualization, and analysis, as well as an ability to communicate findings clearly and concisely. 

In this role, you will:

Quantitative research

  • Work collaboratively with GJNY staff to lead and conduct a range of quantitative research projects on bail, jail and prison incarceration, parole, sentencing, and policy reforms in New York
  • Ex., conduct analysis of jail incarceration trends and pretrial supervision trends to evaluate the implementation of bail reform across NYS

Data analysis for policy discussions

  • Conduct data analyses that examine the operations and practices of existing criminal legal systems, and explore areas of reform
  • Ex. provide a weekly snapshot of people incarcerated in NYC jails to propose ideas for releasing people from jail
  • Ex. Estimate the impact of the proposed parole reform bills (e.g., elderly parole, fair and timely parole).

Data dashboard management

  • Create and maintain data visualization tools; Build and maintain the GJNY database management system
  • Update and maintain the existing data dashboard (e.g., NYC jailviz, NYS jailviz)
  • Update and maintain the existing web scraper (e.g., NYS prison lookup, NYC jail lookup, parole calendar, NYC CompStat)

Report and deliverable writing

  • Write a range of documents for stakeholders, advocates, and the public, including research reports, policy/research briefs, and proposals

Research development

  • Assist in the development of new research projects and research design that advance GJNY’s strategic priorities and research agendas

Staff supervision

  • Recruit, supervise, and mentor additional research staff to support this work

What qualifications do you need?


  • 2+ years of relevant work experience in criminal justice, criminal legal reform, or social justice fields, and
  • Bachelor’s degree in statistics, computer science, mathematics, or social science, including but not limited to sociology, criminal justice, history, criminology, or public policy; or relevant work or academic history and lived experience as a person with justice system involvement
  • Strong competency in data analytics and data visualizations
  • Leadership in quantitative research, including formulating research questions, cleaning and analyzing data, and creating data visualizations
  • Excellent writing skills; Ability to be flexible, multi-task, prioritize, and manage multiple activities in a fast-paced environment
  • Interest in working with program and research staff in Vera’s strongly collaborative, multi-disciplinary environment 
  • Ability to work effectively with a diverse array of people and positions, including advocates, government officials, criminal justice system personnel, practitioners, and people who are directly impacted by the criminal system
  • Knowledge of New York’s criminal legal system preferred (not required)
  • Ability to travel outside of New York City occasionally.


  • Lived experience as a person with justice system involvement
  • Master’s degree in statistics, computer science, mathematics, or social science, including but not limited to sociology, criminal justice, history, criminology, or public policy

List of Required Software applications:

  • Strong competency with a programming language such as R and Python  

Compensation and Benefits:

The compensation range for this position is $71,900 - $74,100.  Actual salaries will vary depending on factors including but not limited to experience and performance. The salary range listed is just one component of Vera Institute’s total compensation package for employees. As an employer of choice in our field, supporting Vera staff—both personally and professionally—is a priority. To do this, we invest in the well-being of our staff through other rewards including merit pay, generous paid time off, a comprehensive health insurance plan, student loan repayment benefits, professional development training opportunities and up to $2,000 annual for education costs and fees relevant to Vera work, employer-funded retirement plan, and flexible time and remote work schedules. To learn more about Vera’s benefits offerings,  click here.

    Applications may also be faxed to:

    ATTN: People Resources / Research Associate, Greater Justice New York  

    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.

    As a federal contractor, and in order to ensure a healthy and safe work environment, Vera Institute of Justice is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine before their start date. Employees who cannot receive the vaccine because of a disability/medical contraindication or sincerely-held religious belief may request an accommodation (e.g., an exemption) to this requirement.

    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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