Senior Policy Analyst, End Girls Incarceration Initiative

Location: New York, NY

Department: End Girls’ Incarceration Initiative

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Mid Level

Action Area 


  Supporting Kids and Young Adults


Please note that our headquarters currently in Manhattan will be relocating to Industry City in Brooklyn, NY next year.

The Initiative to End Girl's Incarceration The Vera Institute of Justice is a nonprofit criminal justice organization that 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. Vera has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and New Orleans. Vera is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace.

Juvenile justice reform is at a pivotal moment, and efforts over the past decade have dramatically driven down the country’s juvenile justice population. However, the number of girls who are incarcerated has decreased more slowly than the number of boys, and girls now make up more of the juvenile justice population than ever before. While reform efforts have focused on youth who present little threat to public safety, the majority of girls are still detained for status offenses, technical violations, simple assault, and public order offenses excluding weapons. In most cases, girls’ presence in the system for low-level offenses is driven by use of the justice system as a means of addressing girls’ unmet needs and the criminalization of behaviors related to family conflict, trauma, and violence—including domestic sex trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation. Often justice systems are forced to address these concerns when other child-serving systems in their community won’t—or can’t.

The Vera Institute of Justice is partnering with leaders across the country to lead a national movement to end the incarceration of girls and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender nonconforming (LGB/TGNC) youth on the female side of the justice system. Last year, Vera launched the New York City Task Force on Ending Girls Incarceration in partnership with the city’s key juvenile justice and youth-serving agencies to develop a comprehensive plan to end girls’ incarceration in the five boroughs. This year, we expanded the initiative nation-wide and are working with five new sites—Hawaii, Santa Clara County (CA), North Dakota, Maine, and Philadelphia—who have committed to ending the confinement of girls in their juvenile justice systems and investing in comprehensive community-based approaches for prevention and intervention to support girls and gender-expansive youth in or at-risk of entering the criminal legal system. Throughout all of our work we prioritize strategies that promote equity and healing for girls and LGB/TGNC youth of color.

The Initiative seeks a Senior Policy Analyst to join our small, fast-paced, and collaborative team based in New York. The successful candidate will have an interest in the intersection of gender, race and the justice system, as well as a strong understanding of gender- and race-equity frameworks. We’re looking for a strategic thinker with policy experience in juvenile justice, child welfare, education, health or anti-violence fields, who is up for the challenge of functioning as a generalist across the intersecting policy fields impacting our multi-disciplinary initiative. The Senior Policy Analyst will work closely with our site managers and project director to produce high quality policy analysis tools, briefs and reports on local, state, and federal regulations governing the child welfare, education, health, victim services and juvenile justice systems in our six sites. The Senior Policy Analyst will also support the team in planning and implementing various pilot projects across sites through best practice research, policy reviews, model policy development and presentations at convenings with government and community stakeholders. 

For a sampling of policy issues of most relevance to our work, please review the following publications: The Girls’ Story: The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline, Gender Injustice: System-level Juvenile Justice Reform for Girls, Girls Matter: Centering Gender in Status Offense Reform Efforts, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Questioning and/or Gender Non-conforming, Transgender Girls and Boys in the California Juvenile Justice System: A Practice Guide, and Family First Prevention Services Act: Bill Summary.  


Reporting to the project director for the End Girls’ Incarceration Initiative, the Senior Policy Analyst will:

  • Conduct high-level policy research and analysis on various issues related to ending girls’ incarceration, including regulations governing child welfare and juvenile justice financing;
  • Conduct nation-wide best practice scans for promising policies and practices to serve as models for pilot programs in new sites;
  • Track and report on changes to federal, state, and local legislation and regulations related to juvenile justice in the Initiative’s six sites;
  • Assist site managers in conducting equity assessments of policies and practices across multiple systems in sites;
  • Develop working knowledge of specific areas of reform, such as child welfare financing regulations, gender-responsive programming for justice-involved youth, and sexual assault, domestic violence, and sex-trafficking policy. 
  • Develop written materials, such as reports, policy briefings, memoranda, and blogs;
  • Prepare and deliver presentations at meetings, conferences, and webinars;
  • Work collaboratively with other Initiative staff to implement and complete specific projects; 
  • Work collaboratively with partner organizations in the field, including those led by women, girls and gender expansive people impacted by the justice system; and
  • Assist on other projects as assigned and manage interns or fellows supporting the team as needed. 


The qualified candidate will have a strong background in at least one policy area of relevance to the initiative with a deep commitment to reform and an interest in working collaboratively in a fast-paced, nimble environment. A law degree or graduate-level policy or public administration degree are preferred.  Extensive relevant work experience without an advanced degree will also be considered. 

Vera is looking for applicants with:  

  • A law degree or master’s in public policy/administration;
  • At least 3-5 years of relevant work experience;
  • Strong policy analysis and writing skills;
  • Experience and familiarity with policy, social science and legal research; 
  • Demonstrated knowledge of gender, race and at least one policy area of relevance to our work;
  • Exceptional organizational abilities and attention to detail;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, with experience in facilitating stakeholder meetings, as well as public speaking; and
  • Willingness to travel outside of New York City as needed. 


Commensurate with experience, with excellent benefits. 

To Apply 

Please submit a cover letter and a resume with your application. 

Online submission in PDF format is preferred.

However, if necessary, materials may be mailed or faxed to

ATTN: Human Resources / More Just New York SPA/PA Position

Vera Institute of Justice

233 Broadway, 12th Flr.

New York, NY 10279

Fax: (212) 941-9407

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

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

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, or current employment 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.

For more information about Vera, please visit our website,



Girls Matter: Centering Gender in Status Offence Reform Efforts

Figure 1 Percent of Girls in the Juvenile Justice System, 2014


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