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Research Associate II, Center On Sentencing and Corrections (CSC) - NYC

Who we are

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, envisions a society that respects the dignity of every person and safeguards justice for everyone. Vera is committed to securing equal justice, ending mass incarceration, and strengthening families and communities. 

  • We study problems that impede human dignity and justice. 
  • We pilot solutions that are at once transformative and achievable. 
  • We engage diverse communities in informed debate. 
  • And we harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice. 

We work with others who share our vision to tackle the most pressing injustices of our day—from mass incarceration, racial disparities, and the loss of public trust in law enforcement to the unmet needs of people who are vulnerable, marginalized, and harmed by crime and violence. Vera has offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. Vera is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace. We hire employees that reflect our values: respect, independence, collaboration, commitment, and race equity. If you want to learn more about life at Vera click here

What you’ll do

Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections (CSC) is seeking a passionate and motivated individual to help grow our efforts to end mass incarceration where it starts - in local jails - and increase racial equity in local criminal justice systems.  The Research Associate II will be a part of Vera’s jail decarceration team, which includes policy experts and researchers working in jurisdictions around the country. The jail decarceration team is seeking a passionate and motivated person to help grow our efforts to end mass incarceration where it starts - in local jails - and increase racial equity in local criminal legal systems. The Research Associate II will support place-based technical assistance efforts in collaboration with government and community stakeholders, with a focus on developing policy reform and investment alternatives to jail incarceration.

The Research Associate II’s responsibilities include:

  • Design and conduct appropriate statistical and other quantitative analyses using social science methodologies and produce timely reports.
    • Lead and conduct research primarily using administrative data from jails, and other agencies as available, in the communities with which we partner—working in collaboration with other jail decarceration team members.
    • Design and manage processes for merging, cleaning, ingesting, and recoding data for analysis.
    • Produce data visualizations and findings describing how the legal system works in our partner jurisdictions with a focus on jail decarceration and advancing racial equity.
    • With jail decarceration team members, interpret and present research findings to site partners.
    • Contribute to public-facing communication, including writing reports and op-eds and speaking with the press.


  • Collaborate on qualitative research in the fields we work
    • When travel is permitted, visit partner offices to gather data and learn about office operations and practices to inform quantitative data findings and policy and practice recommendations.
    • Support team in submitting and presenting proposals to Vera’s Institutional Review Board, including development of protocols for qualitative research activities, including but not limited to surveys, focus groups, and interviews.
    • Assist with facilitation of qualitative research activities, analysis of data collected during those activities, and writing up findings and actionable recommendations for reports to site partners.
    • Help team to develop skills needed to conduct participatory action research in partnership with directly impacted community members in the sites where the team works.
  • Scope and propose new projects.
    • Identify innovative approaches and research questions that address the jail decarceration team’s policy and programmatic goals, and develop proposals and reports as appropriate.
    • Lead the development of new research projects and research designs that address the team’s areas of strategic focus and that advance our research agenda.
    • Pursue independent research projects and present at conferences.
  • Mentor additional research staff to support this work.
    • Oversee data quality controls including working with research analysts to support their work documenting and correcting data quality issues.
    • Review and sign off on data reports produced by analysts on the team.
    • Supervise more junior staff on tasks as needed.




What qualifications you will need

The Research Associate II candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • PhD or Master’s degree (with 5+ years of relevant work experience) in social science, including but not limited to sociology, criminal justice, criminology, or public policy.
  • Leadership in quantitative research, ideally with administrative databases, including formulating research questions, cleaning and analyzing data, and creating data visualizations.
  • Strong competency with data analytical and data visualization tools, SQL and R preferred.
  • Experience communicating research findings to lay audiences and the public.
  • Familiarity with qualitative methods and working with community members to conduct qualitative research, including focus groups, interviews, and surveys.
  • 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.


The Nitty – Gritty

  • This is a full-time position located at Vera’s Brooklyn, New York office
  • Salary is competitive plus excellent benefits


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 / Research Associate II, CSC
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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