In Memphis, Tennessee, a city...marked by violence and racial strife, local leaders who commissioned a survey to measure childhood trauma were stunned at the results; 37 percent of adults in the county during their youth had witnessed someone being shot or stabbed; 22 percent witnessed violence between adults ... adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, were found to predict a raft of health and social problems, from adolescent pregnancy to depression and heart disease in adulthood.

gun violence is usually measured...in the cold calculation of deaths and injuries. But that familiar yardstick misses a lot ... There’s a lot more gun violence than what is reflected in homicide rates ... The more telling number about gun violence might be “shots fired.” And now, thanks to broader adoption of new technologies, it is getting easier to show just how common gun violence is in America.

In the early 1990s, U.S. crime rates had been on a steep upward climb ..Then crime rates went down. And then they kept going down....By decade’s end, the homicide rate plunged 42 percent nationwide. Violent crime decreased by one-third. What turned into a precipitous decline started later in some areas and took longer in others. But it happened everywhere: in each region of the country, in cities large and small

California’s increase in violent crime appears to be less of an outlier compared to other states. But on property crime, California appears to be trending in a different direction ... Part of the reason the jump in 2015 is so surprising is because both violent and property crime in California have consistently trended downward since reaching peaks more than two decades ago. Even with the latest increase, crime is still below levels of just a few years ago.

A DPIC analysis of weighted murder rates found that death penalty jurisdictions continue to have a higher murder rate than non-death penalty jurisdictions (including Washington, D.C.): 4.7 per 100,000 compared to 3.8 per 100,000. Ten of the eleven states with the highest murder rates have the death penalty, while six of the eight lowest do not.

The Los Angeles Police Department ... routinely misclassified serious assaults as minor offenses that weren’t counted in the city’s crime rate ...The LAPD’s original crime statistics showed serious assaults jumped 28% last year. But the audit suggests that the increase was even higher. ...Based on sampling done by auditors, officials estimate that there were actually 23% more aggravated assaults in 2014 than the LAPD originally reported.

Psychologists report that children exposed to street violence show the same kind of post-traumatic stress disorder we see in veterans who’ve returned from combat. Yet there is nothing post about the trauma. They still have to navigate the perilous landscape of their neighborhood ... the CDC released a study that indicated...most street violence is not related to the drug trade but rather is a result of other conflicts, often over seemingly small matters.

Urban bloodshed — as well as the overall violent crime rate — remains far below the peaks of the late 1980s and early ’90s, and criminologists say it is too early to draw broad conclusions from the recent numbers ... Yet with at least 35 of the nation’s cities reporting increases in murders, violent crimes or both, according to a recent survey, the spikes are raising alarm among urban police chiefs.

BARACK OBAMA toured the El Reno Federal Correction Institution in Oklahoma last week, making him the first sitting president to visit a federal prison ... Mr Obama is starting small, calling for increased judicial discretion for non-violent drug offenders ... It involves not only considering its racial inequities and costly bloat, but also the moral failures of a system that doles out punishments that are out of proportion with their crimes.