The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

GC Events

December 11 – Vera Institute of Justice Information Session

3:30 – 4:30 p.m., Graduate Center, Room C197


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


Three staff members from Vera will be at the Graduate Center to discuss paid summer opportunities for GC doctoral students (levels 2 and 3). You can find the program information linked here.


Snacks will be served. Please register to attend using this link.


Infosession Bios

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.


Jacob Kang-Brown is a senior research associate in the Center on Sentencing and Corrections at the Vera Institute of Justice. He is the lead researcher on the Incarceration Trends project exploring the use of jail across the United States, and is conducting a National Institute of Justice funded project on improving responses to hate crime by researching current practices in Los Angeles County and New Jersey. At Vera, Jacob has conducted research on school discipline, status offense reform, policing and language access, jail populations, and solitary confinement in prisons. Jacob has also helped develop and evaluate re-entry services for people leaving prison and juvenile facilities, such as the Youth Futures Program and the NYCHA Family Re-entry Pilot Program. Prior to working at Vera, Jacob worked for the County of Los Angeles Commission on Human Relations, and was a public service intern with the City of Chicago’s Commission on Human Relations. Jacob received a BA in Sociology with an emphasis in Urban Studies from Wheaton College, and a MA in Social Ecology and PhD in Criminology, Law & Society from the University of California, Irvine.


Charlotte Miller works with the research director and vice president to help maximize the impact of Vera’s research and support Vera research staff in various capacities. She also helps to coordinate Vera’s Neil A. Weiner Research Speaker Series, an opportunity for distinguished scholars and researchers to share their work on justice issues. Prior to joining Vera, Charlotte worked with social justice organizations in Washington DC including the Marijuana Policy Project, the Drug Policy Alliance, and the Justice Policy Institute. She also interned with Washington DC’s Pretrial Service Agency where she conducted diagnostic interviews with individuals awaiting trial. She holds a BA in sociology from American University. Her particular interests include drug policy and alternatives to incarceration.