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Sessions Vows Expansion of Anti-Gun ‘Project Exile’

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will expand the use of Project Exile, a program to reduce gun violence that FBI Director James Comey helped start in Richmond two decades ago when he was a federal prosecutor there. “We’ve seen a priority that’s slipped away from firearms on the federal level,” Sessions told law enforcement officials. “Firearms prosecutions have gone down. This downward trend is going to end.”

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MO Settlement Called Powerful Message to Gun Sellers

Missouri gun store paid woman $2.2 million for selling her mentally ill daughter a gun that was used to kill her father, despite being warned it could happen. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence says there are at least 10 similar civil cases pending, including in Florida, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Texas.

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Tackling Violent Crime: What Works, What Doesn’t?

A “Report Card” on evidence-based strategies for addressing violent crime—especially gun violence—can help move us beyond typical “knee-jerk” attitudes and focus on proven solutions.

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Breaking the Cycle of Violence

Could hospital-based trauma intervention offer a strategy for dealing with urban violence? A program called Healing Hurt People (HHP) in the Philadelphia region employs trauma counselors at hospitals to engage victims of intentional violence, such as shootings, stabbings and assaults. “(These interventions) are part of a much broader public health strategy that seeks to intervene in as many places as possible,” says Dr. Arthur Evans, Commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS). The program, […]

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Violence in America: Can We Change This Picture?

Can America prevent or reduce the violence that shatters so many lives—and leaves so many communities and families bereft? The first step in getting there, a symposium at John Jay College was told yesterday, is addressing the social forces and the psychological traumas that create the conditions—sometimes from an early age—in which violence is a first reaction to adversity. In many of the country's most at-risk neighborhoods, young people are suffering a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which is […]

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Is There a Link between Alcohol and Firearm Violence?

More than 32,000 people in the U.S. die from firearm injuries each year and about twice as many are injured by firearms— most of them young, male and members of minority groups—according to a study published in a special issue of Preventive Medicine focusing on gun violence. After a decline in firearm violence during the 1990s, the study found that firearm suicides and nonfatal assaults have increased in recent years. Annual costs stemming from firearm injuries exceed $48 billion, write […]

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Campaign 2016 and Criminal Justice

Next year's presidential contest is now well underway. With Hillary Clinton, the acknowledged frontrunner for the Democrats, officially in the race, and a slew of contenders vying (or likely to vie) for the Republican nomination, across a spectrum ranging from Jeb Bush to Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, it's a good time to begin asking where each of them stand on the criminal justice challenges facing the country. In our system, most of the gritty justice […]

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ShotSpotter Study: Gunfire Down in 2014

Gunfire declined significantly in 2014 in American cities monitored by ShotSpotter, according to a study released recently by the company. SST, which operates ShotSpotter, examined data in 28 cities that used the gunfire detection system in both 2013 and 2014. Instances of recorded gunfire dropped by 28.8 percent, according to the company. All but two of the 28 cities saw reductions in their rates of gunfire. ShotSpotter uses an array of microphones to record, identify and locate instances in which […]

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Youth Gun Violence: Looking Beyond Mental Health

After the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, the White House expanded a list of recommendations for making communities safer from gun violence to include a slew of measures targeting mental health. For years, the discussion of teen gun violence has focused on mental health issues, but a new study in the journal PLOS ONE, identified more than 40 behavioral factors, “beyond more commonly discussed indicators of poor mental health, that are associated with gun possession among […]