Information Session: Vera Institute of Justice
Tuesday, December 5, 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Graduate Center, Room 9204

Please register to attend here:

The Vera Institute of Justice has as its mission to build and improve justice systems that ensure fairness, promote safety, and strengthen communities. To do this, it works to tackle the most pressing injustices of our day—from the causes and consequences of mass incarceration, racial disparities, and the loss of public trust in law enforcement, to the unmet needs of the vulnerable, the marginalized, and those harmed by crime and violence. You can find out more about Vera at

Two staff members from Vera will be joined by a former CUNY/Vera summer fellow to discuss paid summer opportunities for GC doctoral students. A call for applications for these 2018 CUNY/Vera summer fellowships will be forthcoming from the Provost’s Office.

Snacks will be served. Co-sponsored by the Early Research Initiative.

Infosession Bios

Mawia Khogali graduated with honors from CUNY Medgar Evers College with a B.A. in psychology.  She is currently a doctoral candidate for a PhD in psychology and law at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Her research interests involve racial bias in the criminal justice system, with an emphasis on police use of force in minority communities.  Her dissertation focuses on how officers make judgments about necessity of force and perceive resistance for individuals of different racial and ethnic groups in police-civilian interactions.  She hopes to ultimately ground these findings in use-of-force policy reform.

Oliver Hinds uses data to drive criminal justice reform. He produces publications, reports, and policy recommendations based on analysis of diverse data relevant to incarceration and crime. Before joining Vera, Oliver was senior scientist at Orchard Scientific, where he worked on problems in medical imaging, robotics, and computer vision. Prior to that he developed medical imaging methods and performed neuroscientific research on the human visual system at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Massachusetts General Hospital. Oliver holds a PhD in Cognitive and Neural Systems from Boston University and a BS in Computer Science from North Carolina A&T State University.

As vice president and research director, Jim Parsons is responsible for shaping Vera’s research agenda and working closely with practitioners, government officials, and partner institutions to implement research findings. Jim joined Vera in March 2003. He previously served as both the director of the Substance Use and Mental Health Program and research director of the International Program. His work has included studies measuring the overlap of mental illness and incarceration in New York City and Washington, DC; the provision of jail-to-community reentry services in New York City and Los Angeles; an evaluation of the implementation and impacts of drug law reforms in New York City; and an ongoing study of the challenges that people with serious mental health disorders face accessing effective legal defense representation. Jim also directed Justice and Health Connect, a federally funded initiative to improve information sharing as a tool for coordination between justice and health systems. His international work includes a number of projects to develop and implement empirical rule of law indicators for the UK Department for International Development and United Nations Department for Peacekeeping Operations, and the American Bar Association. This work has included data collection in Chile, Haiti, India, Liberia, Nigeria and South Sudan. For the past ten years, he has consulted on justice reform projects in China. Prior to joining Vera, Jim worked at the Center for Research on Drugs and Health Behavior and the Institute for Criminal Policy Research in London where he conducted community studies of HIV prevalence among injecting drug users and evaluated needle exchange programs and prison reentry services. Jim has an MSc in social research methods from the University of Surrey.