Program Associate, CSC (NYC/LA)

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Commensurate with experience, plus excellent benefits.




New York
New York
United States


This position can be based in Vera’s New York City office or Los Angeles office.

Are your exceptional at managing projects and project teams? Do you enjoy collaborating and facilitating with different stakeholders? Do you have the ability to manage work on multiple projects effectively and efficiently? Do you like working with people of diverse experiences and backgrounds? Do you have basic knowledge of reentry, higher education, and/or criminal justice systems? Are you excited about the prospects of traveling domestically for work? Most importantly, are you passionate about social justice and interested in criminal justice reform?


Who we are

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, envisions a society that respects the dignity of every person and safeguards justice for everyone.

  • 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.

What we’re looking to do

For the last 40 years, increasingly punitive sentences and an overreliance on incarceration have characterized American criminal justice policy. The Center on Sentencing and Corrections (CSC) at the Vera Institute of Justice helps policymakers and government partners make more just and effective decisions about public safety and the allocation of costly correctional resources. CSC has a staff of 24, members of which are located in all four of Vera’s offices. CSC currently has nearly a dozen active projects spanning sentencing and correctional practice reform, including projects focused on higher education for incarcerated people, segregation reduction, pretrial reform, reductions in prison and jail populations, expanding access to public housing for people with conviction histories, justice reinvestment, and comparative prison practices.

The Position

The Center on Sentencing and Corrections (CSC) seeks a Program Associate to support its work. This position can be based in Vera’s New York City office or Los Angeles office. You will work on Expanding Access to Postsecondary Education in Prison. Specific areas of responsibility will be determined at the time of appointment and/or during the interview process, but may generally include:

  • Providing assistance to our partners in the field, including corrections agencies and colleges and universities, both on-site and from the office;
  • Conducting system analysis and implementation assistance;
  • Reviewing state level policies that impact access to higher education;
  • Managing and developing grant proposals and assist with project development; and
  • Planning, researching and writing reports, memoranda, and briefs.

About You

You have a broad interest in and knowledge of postsecondary education in prison, reentry, social sciences, and/or public policy. You have a law degree or graduate degree in political science, criminal justice, public policy, or other related field with several years of work experience; professional experience with no graduate degree will also be considered. You have demonstrated interest in and/or knowledge of policy development, government, criminal justice and social justice for underserved populations.

  • Strong research and writing skills;
  • Excellent strategic, problem-solving, and analytic skills;
  • Knowledge of policy change processes is a plus;
  • Ability to work under time pressure and other stresses that make collegiality of critical importance;
  • Experience managing projects, committees, or work groups;
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills;
  • Willingness and ability to work independently as well as with a team; and
  • Willingness and ability to travel outside of New York/Los Angeles.

Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.


We want to be an employer of choice in our field, and supporting Vera staff—both personally and professionally—is a priority. To do this, we provide: 

  • Regular reviews of our salary structure to ensure that we are at or above market rate
  • Training and learning opportunities with leaders in our field
  • Eight weeks paid family leave and other generous time off benefits
  • Comprehensive insurance coverage, including medical and dental, life and accidental death, and disability
  • A retirement savings plan, including employer contributions and the opportunity for your own tax-advantaged savings
  • Tuition reimbursement and publication incentives

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume. The cover letter should outline the minimum and additional qualifications you possess and address how you will use those qualifications to excel at the position’s responsibilities.

If necessary, materials may be mailed or faxed to:

ATTN: Human Resources / Program Associate, Center on Sentencing and Corrections

Vera Institute of Justice

233 Broadway, 12th Floor

New York, NY 10279

Fax: (212) 941-9407

Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.

No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.