Vera Institute of Justice

Working to create systemic change toward a more humane criminal justice system

Grantee Cohort Fall 2017, Fall 2019, Spring 2018

Location National

Founded in 1961, the Vera Institute of Justice is a national leader in justice reform, focused on systemic change toward a more humane criminal justice system. Vera focuses on injustices within the system by partnering with the institutions where most justice policy is practiced: police departments, courts, the immigration system, jails and prisons.

Through a continued partnership with the Fund, Vera Institute of Justice successfully restored Pell grants to people in prison, which will go into effect in 2023. This victory is the result of decades of consistent engagement and advocacy from a number of our grantee partners.

Art for Justice also supports its efforts to continue partnering with grassroots and grasstops leaders to shape and deliver legislative and policy victories related to bail reform, shifting funding from jails and policing to community-based services and accountability for the government and criminal justice institutions. They will launch a new Advocacy and Partnerships department within their 501(c)(4), Vera Action, to help end the Pell ban and bring quality higher education to people in jail and prison in New York, Louisiana, California, and all across the United States.

Through an Art for Justice Activating Art and Advocacy grant, Vera will partner with Opportunity 2 Restore (O2R) to extend its letter-writing campaign, place a series of op-eds and launch a social media campaign to further its advocacy for higher education in prison. O2R provides the policy opportunities and training for currently and formerly incarcerated leaders to be at the forefront of the movement to increase educational access for people in prison.