Topics: Race and Ethnicity

Racial Disparity in Marijuana Policing in New Orleans
07/11/2016
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
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...
A Prosecutor's Guide for Advancing Racial Equity
03/03/2015
The numbers of blacks and Latinos involved in the U.S. criminal justice system is disproportionate to their numbers in the general population nationwide. These disparities in criminal case outcomes have increasingly caught the attention of scholars, journalists, and justice advocates, just as they...
Incarceration's Front Door: The Misuse of Jails in America
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...

Projects

Common Justice

Common Justice develops and advances solutions to violent crime that transform the lives of victims and foster racial equity without relying on incarceration. Locally, we operate the first alternative-to-incarceration and victim service program in the United States that focuses on violent felonies in the adult courts. Nationally, we leverage the lessons from our direct service to transform the justice system through partnerships, advocacy, and elevating the experience and power of those most impacted. Rigorous and hopeful, we build practical strategies to hold people accountable for harm, break cycles of violence, and secure safety, healing and justice for survivors and their communities.

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.

Prosecutorial Discretion

Vera’s work in the area of prosecutorial discretion helps prosecutors collect and analyze data at critical discretion points in the prosecutorial process, such as initial case screening, charging, and plea offers. Following data collection and an initial analysis, Prosecution and Racial Justice Program (PRJ) staff and prosecutors work together to identify other factors that may be driving case outcomes. PRJ staff then assists prosecutors to create reports of data findings, integrate these findings into management processes, and devise policies that reduce the risk of biased decision making.

02/03/2016
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    History

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...
11/23/2015
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In the days since the November 13th terrorist attacks in Paris, several anti-Muslim acts of violence have been reported across the United States and worldwide. If history is a reliable witness, these hate crimes—criminal acts motivated in whole or...
10/21/2015
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    History

  • Staff profile

    History

*/ The Justice in Katrina's Wake blog series reflects on New Orleans' local incarceration practices, the movement to foster fairness in its criminal justice system, and efforts to increase safety for all communities. Luceia LeDoux is currently...
Nicholas Turner
President and Director

About this Topic

Vera helps officials in criminal and juvenile justice systems to reduce the overrepresentation of racial and ethnic minorities in those systems.

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