We encourage you to explore Vera's extensive resource library, built up by decades of expert research, analysis, and real-world application. Vera produces a wide variety of resources about our work, including publications, podcasts, and videos, dating from our founding in 1961 to the present. You can search these resources using the filters below to sort by type of resource, project, or topic. Enter part of the title in the search box to look for a specific resource. 

from the INCARCERATION TRENDS project

The Incarceration Trends project features an new interactive data tool—available at trends.vera.org—that collates and analyzes publically available, but disparately located, data about incarceration. This tool can be used for reference and measurement by justice system stakeholders and others looking to understand how their jail is being used, how it compares with others, and spot problem areas—such as excessive growth or racial or ethnic disparities. As part of the project, Vera also published a report summarizing the major findings of a historical analysis, using the tool, of American jails.

Report

 

Latest Resources

02/12/2016

Law enforcement officers must be able to fairly and effectively engage with all communities in their jurisdiction. As the country continues to diversify, officers must cultivate trust and collaboration with communities that have various languages, cultures, and customs, to ensure public safety for all. Since 2014, the nation has focused on how police respond to contentious encounters, how and when they use force, and the disparate impact of policing on people of color. This three-part series—written for police, by police—seeks to fill the knowledge and practice gap in effective policing, highlighting practical, field-informed approaches to building trust with multiracial, multiethnic communities.

11/12/2015

A significant number of children who enter Office of Refugee Resettlement custody do not speak English. Communicating with these children can be challenging for attorneys and other service providers. To respond to this need, Vera’s Unaccompanied Children Legal Services Program has produced three resources:

  • Glossary of Legal Spanish - A bilingual (English-Spanish) glossary of terms covering a wide range of topics often featured in Know Your Rights presentations or used in the representation of unaccompanied children.
  • Spotlight on Central American Spanish - A resource focusing on the regional varieties of Spanish spoken by unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, which may feature unique accents and phrases.
  • Best Practices for Working with Interpreters - A resource outlining how to work with interpreters, either telephonic or in-person.
08/04/2015

Vera partnered with Fordham Law School’s Feerick Center for Social Justice to conduct a research study that explores the needs and experiences of New York City’s unaccompanied immigrant youth. The study, Struggle for Identity and Inclusion: Unaccompanied Immigrant Youth in New York City, draws upon the personal expertise of these youth and system stakeholders, in collaboration with researchers and community service providers.

In this video, peer researchers who immigrated to the United States alone as minors discuss their experiences recruiting and interviewing other unaccompanied immigrant youth as participants for the study. Abja Midha, project director of Advocates for Children, and Elvis Garcia Callejas, advisory committee member of Catholic Charities New York and himself a former unaccompanied youth, further discuss the importance of including youth as partners in the research.

To learn more, please visit www.vera.org/unaccompanied-youth-nyc.

 

08/04/2015

Youth have been arriving at U.S. borders on their own since the early days of Ellis Island, but it was not until the summer of 2014—when the number of unaccompanied immigrant youth arriving to the United States from Central America increased nearly tenfold from recent years—that “child migrants” became the topic of an urgent political debate. While local governments and legislatures across the country have shown interest in supporting unaccompanied immigrant youth through measures that increase their access to lawyers, schools, and healthcare, a lack of knowledge about their circumstances and needs presents an obstacle to policymaking and improving practical responses. Designed as a collaboration among researchers, youth, and community service providers, this study from Vera and Fordham Law School’s Feerick Center for Social Justice presents a firsthand account of unaccompanied immigrant youth’s needs and insights into practical challenges related to their interactions with key systems in New York.

Watch a video featuring the study’s peer researchers, who immigrated to the United States alone as minors, as they discuss their experiences recruiting and interviewing other unaccompanied immigrant youth as participants for the study.

03/12/2015

To help local law enforcement agencies negotiate the cultural, religious, ethnic, racial, and language barriers that exist between them and Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities, Vera has produced Uniting Communities Post-9/11. Funded by the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, this guide identifies barriers to effective community policing partnerships with AMEMSA communities and offers recommendations on building trust and mutually beneficial relationships that can aid in crime prevention and victims services. The guide’s content is distilled from Vera’s work with the local law enforcement agencies and AMEMSA community organizations in Piscataway, New Jersey; Anaheim, California; and Cleveland, Ohio.

02/11/2015

Local jails, which exist in nearly every town and city in America, are built to hold people deemed too dangerous to release pending trial or at high risk of flight. This, however, is no longer primarily what jails do or whom they hold, as people too poor to post bail languish there and racial disparities disproportionately impact communities of color. This report reviews existing research and data to take a deeper look at our nation’s misuse of local jails and to determine how we arrived at this point. It also highlights jurisdictions that have taken steps to mitigate negative consequences, all with the aim of informing local policymakers and their constituents who are interested in reducing recidivism, improving public safety, and promoting stronger, healthier communities.

 

A new initiative to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails.

 

01/22/2015

Written testimony of Nicholas Turner, president and director of the Vera Institute of Justice, on the topic of building trust and legitimacy between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve, submitted on January 9, 2015 to the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Turner discusses how trust between police and communities has been damaged by the ascendancy of policing strategies organized around arresting large numbers of people for low-level crimes and the wide-scale use of punitive interventions—such as stop, question, and frisk—and encourages police leadership to experiment with a philosophy of fewer arrests, summonses, and intrusions in the name of crime prevention.

12/15/2014
  • Vera’s Unaccompanied Children Program has prepared a directory of legal service organizations that provide free or low-cost immigration legal assistance and representation for non-detained children in immigration proceedings. The directory, which is organized alphabetically by state, includes the types of legal assistance provided by each organization and the areas and immigration courts served.

    Unaccompanied Children Pro Bono Directory

  • The Immigration Advocates Network and Pro Bono Net have created a website to help low-income immigrants find free or low-cost legal help. The website provides information about more than 900 nonprofit immigration legal services providers in all 50 states. The website allows searches for nonprofit legal services to be done by state, county, detention facility, languages spoken, types of legal and other services provided, and specific areas of legal assistance. It is available in English and Spanish. Not all of the organizations in this directory provide representation to children.
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07/10/2014

This webinar was designed for legal services providers in Vera’s Legal Orientation Program and Unaccompanied Children’s Program networks who work with clients who do not speak English or Spanish. The presentation provides practical tips for how to prepare for a telephonic interpretation, the Do’s and Don’ts for conducting the call, and how to close a call effectively. 

 

06/10/2014

The landmark Trafficking Victims Protection Act made trafficking in persons a federal crime in 2000, but the greatest obstacle to rescuing victims of human trafficking is identifying them. To make identifying these people easier—and subsequently, getting them the services and support they need while also generating evidence against their traffickers—Vera created a screening tool to be used by victim service providers and law enforcement when faced with someone who may be a victim of  human trafficking. The tool, a 30-topic questionnaire that was tested by service providers and validated by Vera researchers, is the result of a two-year study funded by the National Institute of Justice.

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