Topics: Policing

Racial Disparity in Marijuana Policing in New Orleans
In national research, self-reported marijuana use is similar across races, but in New Orleans, black people are disproportionately arrested for marijuana offenses, including simple possession. While some states have legalized marijuana in recent years,  the consequences for marijuana possession in...
Police Perspectives Guidebook Series: Building Trust in a Diverse Nation
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...
First Do No Harm: Advancing Public Health in Policing Practices
Millions of medically vulnerable and socially marginalized people cycle through the criminal justice system each year due to serious structural problems entrenched in American society. The absence of a coherent and effective social safety net means that people lack access to physical and mental...
Uniting Communities Post-9-11: Tactics for Cultivating Community Partnerships with Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian Communities
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...
Incarceration's Front Door: The Misuse of Jails in America
*/ 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...


Compstat 2.0

Compstat 2.0, implemented in partnership with the Police Foundation, expands on the metrics used in Compstat to include data central to the success of true community policing, including data related to citizen satisfaction, procedural justice, problem-oriented policing, complaints, and use of force. Compstat 2.0 leverages the strengths of Compstat to help police reduce or prevent crime and enhance their ability to build trust and accountability with their communities. This project will seed an initiative to develop, test, and implement similar models nationwide. 

Diversion Resources for Police and Families

Many communities are frustrated with how to respond to youth “acting out”—running away from home, skipping school, violating curfew, or disobeying adults—as well as how to respond to young people getting arrested for more serious actions like fighting and other events stemming from family conflict. This project describes new and exciting models for juvenile diversion across the country, highlighting concrete examples, their potential benefit, and lessons stakeholders involved in development and implementation have learned. The goal is to inspire additional communities to explore, understand, and develop these approaches and keep young people who engage in minor misbehavior out of the juvenile justice system.

Engaging Police in Immigrant Communities (EPIC)

The Engaging Police in Immigrant Communities (EPIC) project is a national effort to identify and assess promising law enforcement practices that cultivate trust and collaboration with immigrant communities. The project uses information collected from a comprehensive study of hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the country to offer practical solutions and models for other policing agencies to use to strengthen relationships with the immigrant communities they serve.

Incarceration's Front Door: Reducing the Overuse of Jails

Local jails exist in nearly every town and city in America. While rarely on the radar of most Americans, they are the front door to the formal criminal justice system in a country that holds more people in custody than any other on the planet. Their impact is both far-reaching and profound: in the course of a typical year, there are nearly 12 million jail admissions—almost 20 times the number of annual admissions to state and federal prisons—at great cost to the people involved, their families and communities, and society at large. Through research, publications, and technical assistance to local jurisdictions, Vera aims to foster public debate and policy reform to reduce jail incarceration, repair the damage it causes, and promote safe, healthy communities.

Police Connecting with Communities of Color

Vera developed a field-informed guidebook series to advise law enforcement agencies on how to fill the knowledge and practice gap in effectively policing and building trust with the diverse communities they serve. This three book series—written for police, by police—was developed to help police officers use community policing strategies to build trust and foster positive relationships. The guidebooks—known as Police Perspectives: Building Trust in a Diverse Nation—come at a time when many law enforcement agencies are, more so than ever, seeking ways to meaningfully engage with communities of color, as well as youth, immigrant, and transgender communities, among others.

Translating Justice

The Translating Justice Initiative aims to enhance access for those who experience communication and cultural barriers in the justice system. It assists victims services providers, law enforcement, legal services providers and others who work in the justice system to overcome communication and cultural barriers with people who have limited English proficiency (LEP) and for those who are Deaf or hard of hearing (D/HOH) through training, tailored assistance, published resources, and research on promising practices.

U-Visa Training for Law Enforcement

Vera works with law enforcement agencies to provide training on the U-visa, which provides legal immigration status for victims of crime who cooperate with law enforcement.

United Communities

The United Communities project builds law enforcement’s capacity to engage Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities in preventing crime. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services funded Vera to partner with three law enforcement agencies and explore the challenges and opportunities of working with AMEMSA communities to support homeland security goals. The project generated information and resources relevant to community-policing activities in other jurisdictions.

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 face of suburban America is changing. Far from the stereotype that comes to mind of predominantly white and wealthy residents, the modern suburb represents a microcosm of the country’s increasingly diverse population. Suburbs today serve as...
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The Department of Justice released powerful recommendations to reduce solitary confinement. President Obama told us why it mattered in a Washington Post op-ed the same day. The Chuck Colson Task Force outlined changes that would—if heeded—reduce the...
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After spending a year researching police practices during protests and focusing in particular on protests in New York City over the past decade, I noticed that police are confronted with two very important, but sometimes conflicting, goals when it...
Nicholas Turner
President and Director
Susan Shah
Chief of Staff
Hassan Aden
Senior Advisor, Policing

About this Topic

Vera works with law enforcement and government agencies to reduce crime and promote efficient policing while improving public safety.