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Coordinator, In Our Backyards/Jail Decarceration Initiative (NYC)

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 Coordinator is responsible for supporting the day-to-day operations of the In Our Backyards and Jail Decarceration teams, with a 75/25 percent split in responsibilities between the two teams. Reporting to the Initiative Directors of the respective teams, the Coordinator will provide administrative support to the researchers and advocates on the teams, including by managing contracts, supporting the preparation of expense reports, supporting the planning and execution of events and convenings, preparing internal reports and providing research and advocacy support as capacity permits.   

Vera’s In Our Backyards initiative is building a truly national movement to end mass criminalization and reverse mass incarceration by focusing on the nation's smaller cities and rural counties where incarceration rates are now the highest. To win lasting change, we work with community advocates and elected leaders at the state, local, and federal levels to end the jail boom by decriminalizing poverty and public health issues, centering racial equity, and shifting power and resources so that community safety means the safety of everybody. 

Vera’s Jail Decarceration team is building and disseminating an evidence base of actionable, equitable decarceration strategies to create national momentum shifting from punishment to community investment. Our mission is to end mass incarceration by  (1) reversing the growth of local jail incarceration and carceral control and (2) elevating and creating new pathways to community safety and health that prioritize racial equity and reparation.  


In this role, you will:

  1. Administrative Support
  • Support the day-to-day functioning of the In Our Backyards and Jail Decarceration teams by managing contracts, assisting with expense reporting, supporting the planning and execution of events.  
  • Collaborate with the teams to monitor local and national news coverage, document the team’s activities and deliverables and capture the wins of our coalitions and community partners  
  • Process payments and other invoices
  1. Project Support
  • Collaborate with the Initiative Directors and program and research staff to prepare materials, help clean data, conduct background research.  
  • Track project deliverables and contribute to internal and external reporting.  
  • Support IOB’s community partners and coalition partners, as needed.


What qualifications do you need?


  • Minimum of one (1) year of experience in a professional environment 
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite, Office 365, Outlook, and Zoom 
  • Intellectual curiosity and personal commitment to ending mass incarceration 
  • Solid working knowledge of Word and Excel 
  • Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills 
  • Strong communicator both in written and verbal communications 
  • Ability to manage multiple projects; superior attention to detail with strong follow-through 
  • Ability to take initiative  
  • Strong proofreading and editing skills 
  • Committed to the mission of Vera


  • Associates or Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience  
  • We value diverse experiences regarding educational background and justice system contact


Applications may also be faxed to:

ATTN: Human Resources / Coordinator, IOB/Jail Decarceration
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. 

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