The Vera Institute of Justice works to secure equal justice, end mass incarceration, and strengthen families and communities across America. Founded in 1961. philanthropist Louis Schweitzer and magazine editor Herb Sturz recognised the injustice of a bail system in New York City that locked people up simply for being poor. Working with criminal justice leaders, they explored the problem from many angles, setting their sights on developing a practical, innovative solution to NYC’s over-reliance on cash bail.
We work with others who share our vision to tackle the most pressing injustices of our day—from the causes and consequences of mass incarceration, racial disparities, and the loss of public trust in law enforcement, to the unmet needs of the vulnerable, the marginalized, and those harmed by crime and violence.
Vera currently works on nearly 60 projects in 47 states. Conducted in partnership with leaders in the public sector, our projects drive change by advancing new knowledge about justice reform and implementing solutions on the ground. 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.We harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice.
Vera is pursuing three core priorities vital to focus on:
- Closing Mass incarceration
- Promoting safety,trust,and justice in a diverse America
- Significantly improving the conditions of confinement