The Washington, DC Office acts as a valuable non-partisan resource to Congress through Congressional briefings, providing reports and other critical information on current policy debates, and by facilitating ideas and proposals from Vera’s roster of experts nationwide. It also hosts roundtable meetings and participates in a variety of justice reform policy forums and discussions.

With its emphasis on research, evaluation, and evidence-based solutions to justice reform, Vera plays a critical role in initiating, shaping, and supporting current and emerging federal policy. From reforming status offense practices in juvenile cases, to limiting the use of solitary confinement in prisons and jails, and revising criminal background check policies for public housing, Vera’s policy recommendations are valued because they are grounded in evidence, tested through demonstration projects, and reviewed through independent analysis.

From 2014 to 2016, the Vera DC Office held a series of juvenile justice briefings to educate Congressional staff on key issues related to youth in the criminal justice system. The DC Office also works with Members of Congress to improve their legislation, and it provides federal agencies with recommendations and best practices in some of their key initiatives.