Topics: International

Just 'Cause vol. 18, no. 3
Just 'Cause is the quarterly newsletter of the Vera Institute of Justice and is produced by the Communications Department. This issue includes the following articles: "Vera Helps United Nations Find and Use Data in Unlikely Places," by Alice Chasan; "South African Initiative Flourishes 11 Years On...
Just 'Cause, vol. 15, no. 3
A new approach to violent crime in Brooklyn by Jill Pope -- Accessing Safety Initiative expands work into criminal justice system by Abbi Leman -- From Vera's Director: Bringing clarity to a clouded issue by Michael Jacobson -- City budget cuts force closure of Adolescent Reentry Initiative by...


DFID Helpdesk on Conflict, Crime, and Violence Programming

At the request of the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Vera Institute of Justice, as part of a network of eight expert organizations, has been providing technical assistance since 2011 to DFID offices in conflict and post-conflict countries as part of DFID’s Conflict, Crime and Violence (CCV) Results Initiative project, also known as the Helpdesk Project. This assistance aims to address the absence of systematic expert support for measuring the impact of conflict, security, and justice programs in developing countries and countries emerging from conflict, as well as a lack of coherent outreach across DFID. The goals of this standardization are better impact measurement and information gathering.

Impact Assessment of UN Rule of Law Activities at National Level

At the request of the Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General (EOSG), from May 2012 to November 2012, the Vera Institute of Justice conducted a field-based impact assessment of rule of law activities implemented by UN peacekeeping missions in Colombia, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

Legal Reform in China

Vera works collaboratively with reformers in China to facilitate justice innovations and policy changes that are rooted in experience, guided by empirical methods, and consistent with international human rights standards. Vera’s work in China, supported by the Ford Foundation, builds on the knowledge and drive of local universities and government partners.

National Qualified Representative Program

The National Qualified Representative Program (NQRP) provides legal representation for unrepresented immigrants who are detained in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and have been found by an Immigration Judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to be incompetent to represent themselves because of a serious mental disorder.

Police Station Visitors Week

Since 2009, the Vera Institute of Justice has been working with its partners in the Altus Global Alliance to implement Police Station Visitors Week, a unique yearly event where community members are invited into local police stations to rate their stations using a simple assessment tool. The project is designed to build local community-based organizations’ capacity to influence policing programming. Police Station Visitors Week works to engage grassroots advocacy groups focused on empowering and improving opportunities among those who are poor and marginalized, including women, youth, ethnic and religious minorities, older citizens, and people with disabilities by strategically engaging government entities on the quality of services provided by the police institutions.

The Vera Fellowship in Justice Research and Innovation

The Vera Fellowship in Justice Research and Innovation helps young researchers from China develop and test evidence-based innovations to improve China’s justice system. Fellows work with Vera staff for one month and visit Vera demonstration projects, spin-offs, and relevant agencies in the U.S. justice system as they design pilot programs and evaluations to be implemented in China. Recent fellows have developed programs to prevent the use of torture in police interrogations, reduce the number of juveniles in detention, and make the public criminal defense system more accessible and effective.

UN Rule of Law Indicators Project

Through the United Nations Rule of Law Indicators Project, Vera seeks to advance the rule of law by providing national authorities, the United Nations, and donor countries with a practical way to identify the strengths of, and challenges to, their nation’s law enforcement agencies, judicial system, and correctional system. The project focuses on developing indicators—statistical references that present an overview of change in a given system—for criminal justice institutions, but does not strive to rank countries.

Vera-Altus Justice Indicators

Vera and three fellow Altus Global Alliance members formed the Vera-Altus Justice Indicators Project to develop a set of indicators that could be used in diverse international settings to identify problems with adherence to the rule of law and chart progress toward improving access to justice.

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The Gender & Justice in America blog series explores issues facing justice-involved women and girls in the fields of adult corrections, youth justice, immigration, victimization, substance use, and mental health. People visit the Mecklenberg-...
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The statistics by now are numbingly familiar. A quarter of the world’s population behind bars is in the United States—though we comprise but five percent of the world’s population. There is a broad boundary-busting movement to change this reality—it...
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Evaluating the professional standards and ethics of security and justice institutions globally is daunting. Working with a myriad of government structures and social dynamics poses significant challenges to any non-governmental organization (NGO)...
Jim Parsons
Vice President and Research Director
Oren Root
Director, Center on Immigration and Justice

About this Topic

Vera works with national governments, civil society leaders, and international agencies to improve systems people rely on for justice and safety, providing technical assistance in a variety of areas including developing rule of law indicators, promoting the use of empirical research methods in justice reform, and establishing community police oversight.