“Incorporating Family Justice into Vera makes great sense,” said Vera’s director, Michael Jacobson. “Vera has the national expertise to help Family Justice continue to do its important work around the country, and Family Justice’s unique focus and skills complement Vera’s work with governments to improve policies and outcomes related to adult corrections and youth justice.”

The Family Justice Program’s work at Vera is supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) at the U.S. Department of Justice. Program staff are piloting corrections and parole policy and case management changes in Oklahoma and New Mexico by training staff to help individuals draw on family support while incarcerated and as they return to their communities. BJA is also funding Family Justice’s efforts to adapt its tools and methodologies for use by partners in jails and community-based organizations.

“Because Family Justice traces its origins to Vera, we can continue to build on our shared commitment to enhancing justice systems,” said longtime program director Margaret diZerega, who moved with the program when the independent agency closed in November. “Vera’s emphasis on research and evaluation will make the results of this work even more pronounced. We’ll be able to make recommendations about how other systems throughout the country can successfully apply our tools and methods.”

The Vera Institute of Justice is an independent, non-partisan, nonprofit center for justice policy and practice. Vera combines expertise in research, demonstration projects, and technical assistance to help leaders in government and civil society improve the systems people rely on for justice and safety.

Listen to a podcast about the Family Justice Program.