charleston church

Is Mass Murder Exceptionally American?

According to an Idaho historian and commentator, events like the recent mass shootings in Texas and Las Vegas and the 2015 massacre at a Charleston, S.C., church belong to a litany of similar tragedies occurring around the world—including countries where there are strict gun licensing laws.


Prison Story: When ‘Extraction Squad’ Comes for You

A former inmate at Pelican Bay State prison in California recounts being shackled, beaten with nightsticks and Tasered because he neglected to hand over a pack of coffee. The humiliation, he writes in an essay for The Beat Within prison writers’ workshop, was nearly as awful as the pain.

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Ralph Northam

Elections 2017: Beginning of the End of Willie Horton Politics?

Democrats’ victories in Virginia and New Jersey this week seemed to represent a clear rejection by voters of the law-and-order, nativist views of their opponents, says the director of a crime research group. But it’s not yet clear whether the surge of “penal populism” that influenced national politics in previous decades has fizzled out.

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Cracking the Stonewall on a Nun’s Murder: A Reporter’s Story

The Emmy-nominated Netflix true crime documentary, “The Keepers,” helped break open a 47-year-old story of sexual abuse and murder at a Baltimore Catholic school. But it took stubborn shoe-leather investigative reporting to penetrate official indifference and the refusal to pursue evidence of police misconduct.

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Disengaging From Gang Life: What Works?

A close look at studies of why and when gang members leave their groups offers clues to the types of interventions that can divert young people from further criminal involvement, according to a Journal of Crime and Justice paper.


America’s Youngest Crime Victims

Millions of children are suffering potentially long-lasting trauma as a result of exposure to crime. A researcher who coined the term “Triple C-Impact” to describe the phenomenon says local agencies should not wait for policymakers to act.


Preventing the Next American Gun Tragedy: One Mother’s Story

Often missing in the gun control debate is the perspective of those who worry that a loved one might catalyze the next American tragedy. In the aftermath of Las Vegas, one of our regular columnists provides a poignant example.