Deborah Prothrow-Stith, M.D., " Deadly Consequences
"Adolescence: The Dangerous Passage Chapter
4, pages 48-63 (1991).
The author focuses on the extreme psychological pressures that
adolescent’s face during "normal" growth and
development. There is often a strong degree of adult ambivalence,
as most parents seem unable to cope with choices and the
consequences their children make. This ambivalence has a strong
effect on young males who perceive any adult intervention as
"police power." The effect is felt further by poor
non-whites that are confronted in retail stores as if they are a
crime waiting to happen. Also, increased crime rates have caused
police to believe they must randomly stop and search young
people. Therefore, on a daily basis, young black men are
confronted with the assumption that they are bad and
Adolescent development includes stages of, 1) separating from
family, 2) forging a healthy sexual identity, 3) preparing for
the future, and 4) forging a moral value system. All of these
stages force teenagers to make decisions based on peer pressure.
Unfortunately, the adolescents that live in the crime ridden
inner-city this peer pressure often leads them to violent
activities to survive the actions of their surroundings.
I agree with the author as teens are often confronted with
multiple authority figures. Often, the reception is negative and
condescending as with teachers and police. Since this is such a
large developmental stage for fostering independence, more
emphasis should be placed on mentoring and encouraging growth.
The same authority figures could give positive encouragement and
guidance while still maintaining a safe environment for the
community. This would foster a healthy sense of support and
safety for a class of individuals identified as being at
Deborah Prothrow-Stith, M.D., Deadly Consequences
"An American Tragedy" Chapter
2, page 11-28 (1991).
The author illustrates a startling number of statistics
regarding violence, injuries, and death.
In 1986, statistics from the FBI revealed for young males
between the ages of 15-24, 4,223 died of homicide. This worked
out to a homicide rate of 21.9 per 100,000. The homicide rate for
young black males in this age bracket was a staggering 85.6 per
100,000-making homicide the number one cause of death for young
men of color. This makes the homicide rate for young black men
seven times more frequent than that for young white males. Also,
the homicide rate for young males in the United States was
between 4 and 73 times that of any other industrialized nation.
It is noted that in the homicides in the United States, firearms
were used in three-quarters of those homicides. Most homicide
victims are poor. There is a strong social science correlation
between poverty and violence.
The community health approach to this epidemic of violence
must include more than increased police control. This approach
must include an approach to change violent behavior. To do this
the author suggests strategies to deal with anger and aggressive
feelings. She advocates mobilization of the media to carry the
message. She also recommends utilizing the physician and the
emergency room to network youths at risk into appropriate
I agree that an approach to deal with violence must be
comprehensive and include multi-disciplines. A mass campaign to
combat violence seems idealistic without the support of major
community and religious leaders. Therefore, I agree with the
principles, but feel the first step must include community
"buy-in" from those most able to lend political and
Deborah Prothrow-Stith, M.D., Deadly Consequences
"An Endangered Species—Young Men of Color Living in
Poverty" Chapter 5, page 64-79
The author presents more data to support that young males in
poverty are at great risk for dying violent deaths. The FBI has
collected data since 1929 that supports young black males are at
6 to 12 time’s greater risk of dying as the victim of a
homicide. From 1948 to 1988, the CDC reports the murder rates of
African-American males between the ages of 15 and 24 rose by 68
percent. Those same rates for young African-American males
between the ages of 15 and 19 rose 100 percent! For further
statistical information, see http://www.cdc.gov/scientific.htm
The author relates information from sociologists that reveal
many poor, and a disproportionate number of blacks, are becoming
a permanently isolated underclass. Much of this data was compiled
after studying the Henry Morner and Robert Taylor housing
projects. Chronic poverty is being passed from generation to
generation much like a genetic disease. Much of this chronic
poverty is isolated to these inner-city projects. Until the late
1960’s, the vast majority of non-rural black Americans lived in
virtually integrated neighborhoods. Many rich, poor and middle
class lived in the same neighborhoods. After the expansion of
legal rights for blacks, many moved out of the inner city to
urban or suburban neighborhoods. Poverty becomes an assault on a
child’s self esteem. Combining this factor with single parent
families often lead to resentment and anger in young men. Young
black males in the impoverished underclass often grow to manhood
robbed of their pride and self-esteem.
Much of the author’s data has been expounded upon since the
early 90’s. Many sociologists and public health officials are
investigating the effects of the "socio-economic
underclass." I find it interesting that little emphasis is
placed on drugs and gangs in the inner city. She places more
emphasis on poverty and the effects of parental involvement. I
agree this is a starting point for action. However, it is much
more difficult for society to make effective changes in economics
and internal family structure. Public health officials need to
investigate the issue of violence from a holistic
perspective instead of primarily race or economically
Joseph Giuliano, Public Health Reports, "A
Peer Education Program to Promote the Use of Conflict Resolution
Among At-Risk School Age Males," Volume 109, Number 2, March
This school based program focuses on violence prevention in
school age boys. The goal is to decrease violent episodes by
teaching conflict resolution. The model utilizes the development
of student leadership skills and building self-esteem. Statistics
indicate there has been a 50 percent increase in mortality in the
urban pediatric population but no significant change for suburban
and national pediatric populations. Violence among
African-American children has increased 252 percent. The program
utilizes violence prevention in the form of conflict resolution
to early school age children. The program is a four-stage
implementation presented by the school nurses. The program
expenses are $550 per school.
The author introduces the information in a structured, easy to
read manner. The program appears to be both cost-effective and
comprehensive. My primary concern is the lack of adequate
evaluation of the program effectiveness. No data is provided
regarding pre and post survey of violence.
Kenneth Tardiff, et al., Public Health Reports, "A
Profile of Homicides on the Streets and in the Homes of New York
City," Volume 110, Number 1, January 1, 1995.
Statistical information is presented reflecting incidence of
morbidity and mortality related to violence. Since violence has
become the most important public health issue today, health care
providers are becoming vocal regarding the need to address the
issue. The research study was conducted retrospectively from the
files of the Chief Medical Examiner for New York City. The
results reveal males outnumbered females, six to one. The 25-34
age group was most affected but followed closely by the 15-24 age
group. African-Americans comprised 48 percent of the murders and
Latinos comprised 38 percent. Whites only counted for 10 percent
of all murders.
Fifty percent of all homicide in the home was related to
firearms. The conclusion demonstrated that further evaluation is
needed to explore the association between substance abuse,
firearms and any increased risk.
This article further supports data from the CDC regarding the
alarming increase in deaths to minorities; especially
African-Americans. It was informative and correlative between
homicides and multiple risk factors. A good overview of the
information was presented.
Andrew Israel, et. al., Violence Issues for Health Care
Educators and Providers "A
School-Based Primary Violence Prevention Program" page 83-97
The authors conducted research involving the La Familia/Almeda
Wellness Project. This program was designed to utilize the public
health model and aimed at enhancing adolescent self-esteem. The
feeling was that self-esteem building would reduce the tendency
to engage in violent activities. The study incorporated both
cognitive and behavioral strategies, which included problem
solving skills, communication skills, and social skills. A
multidisciplinary approach included health care personnel, social
workers, and legal professionals. The end results exhibited a
decline in aggressive behavior; however, there was no significant
improvement in student self-esteem.
In my opinion, the results of the research do appear to
indicate that positive mentoring and role models combined with
skill building on aggression control will have a significant
impact on decreasing adolescent violence. It is discouraging that
these same strategies did not have an affect on self-esteem. The
training may decrease aggressive behavior to others, but may not
effect the overall poor self-image many of these teenagers hold.
Further studies of this nature must be performed for these
results to be entirely conclusive.
Mark L. Rosenberg, M.D. and James A. Mercy, Violence In
America: A Public Health Approach "Assaultive
Violence" page 22-46 (1991).
The authors again cite alarming statistics that in 1986
homicide was the twelfth leading cause of death overall in the
United States. It was the leading cause of death for black men
ages 15-34. Statistical compilation has indicated that structural
issues increasing violence include poverty, racial segregation
and racism, social isolation, drug and alcohol consumption,
increased media violence, and decreased belief of social control.
The approach proposed indicates that change should begin with
social, cultural, and physical contexts. This includes decreasing
media participation and public acceptance of violence as an
appropriate manner to settle disputes. Special attention should
be directed at violence in children’s programming. Improvement
should also include police to social service inter-referral.
Attempts should continue to implement citizen police groups.
There is also a great need to improve access to legal services
and ensure once access is instituted, it is completed. The
authors suggest intense strategies to reduce the danger of
injuries from firearms. Structural accommodations in
neighborhoods to decrease risk of violence such as well-lighted
neighborhoods and decent housing for all families are imperative.
This article stresses several areas of injury prevention,
which gain little attention. I feel acknowledgment by Dr.
Rosenberg of the need for many of these implementations indicates
that the CDC is finally aware that there are many other factors
influencing violence other than poverty and racial factors.
Joseph F. Sheley and Victoria E. Brewer, Public Health
Reports, "Possession and
Carrying of Firearms Among Suburban Youth" Department of
Health and Human Services, Volume 110, Number 1, January 1,
The three factors that are associated with gun carrying are
sex, involvement in criminal/drug activity, and dangerous social
environments. This study was completed on the youth in Jefferson
Parrish, Louisiana outside of New Orleans. Statistics from the
CDC were revealed regarding youth, violence, and death. The study
revealed that in this test group, one in five students admitted
to carrying a weapon for any of the above-cited reasons.
Comparatively, the study evaluated a similar control group in
Seattle with similar ethnic backgrounds. The authors can only
speculate as to the difference in weapon possession between the
two groups. Further research is needed to correlate their
I found the article to be informative yet leaves the reader
with unclear data. Even though empiric methodology was utilized,
the end results to the study appear to employ speculation. The
suggestion was made that the threat of crime is more prevalent in
the Louisiana group as opposed to Seattle. I do not consider this
to be a conclusive finding.
Alfreda A. Sellers-Diamond, Disposable
Children in Black Faces: The Violence Initiative as Inner-City
Containment Policy, 62 University of Missouri Kansas Law
Review 423, Spring 1994.
The author addresses Dr. Fredrick Goodwin’s program entitled
the "Violence Initiative." The program was actually an
intensive intervention at policy making with various public
health agencies. One of the issues presented in the
"Violence Initiative" was that there was a possible
genetic link between violence and those black children where
genetically subordinate. This, along with other similarly
programs, are just another form of attack to racially
discriminate. The program served no distinct purpose other than
to devalue the worth of many African-American children. The
purpose of the article was not to evaluate the effectiveness of
Dr. Goodwin’s research, but to employ the use of strict
scrutiny when judging the constitutional validity of the
"Violence Initiative" and other such programs.
The truth to the matter is that black children suffer from a
host of problems relating to poverty. They are more likely than
other children to be unemployed are, more likely to commit
suicide, more likely to be involved in the criminal justice
system. The "Violence Initiative" did not offer any
solutions to solving these problems of crime and violence. It
only offered to draw further lines of demarcation around these
children that rejects the notion that the trouble with inner-city
life has origins in racial bias or other parts of urban life. To
adequately reconcile social science with physical science and
law, legislatures and governmental agencies must be able to rely
on its information. When data may suggest that individual’s
lives may be impacted by genetic determinants, government must be
overly cautious. These sciences are regarded highly and
information that serves to "mark" a particular race can
only lead to ominous results. The focus of the "Violence
Initiative" was merely to recategorize individuals in terms
of worth, it did not change inner-city poverty or the social ills
I found this information to be alarming. Not since the
Tuskegee syphilis experiment has there been such an outrage of
racial discrimination. I find the demotion of Dr. Goodwin a mere
slap on the hands and feel the entire Department of Health and
Human Services should be reprimanded for supporting such
research. The author does an excellent job at relaying this
information without inflicting indignation. The text of this
article will be alarming to most readers.
Deborah Prothrow-Stith, M.D., Deadly Consequences "Free-Floating
Anger" Chapter 1, page 1-10
Dr. Prothrow-Stith presents several opinions regarding the
cause of violence and aggressive behavior. The criminal justice
system is built on a system of deterrent, however, since our
prisons are overflowing, punishment does not appear to be
effective. There is also a lack of trust between many blacks and
police. She suggests an individualistic "psychiatric"
approach to anger management may not be effective. Many young men
of color suffer from "black self-hatred." This is not
genetically influenced as has been suggested by many past
sociologists. It appears to be a combination of frustration and
helplessness that has resulted from barriers to the economic and
social mainstream. This tendency identified by psychologist Louis
Ramey has been labeled "free-floating anger." It is not
confined to blacks but has been identified also in whites. The
answer to this anger must be treated by the criminal justice
system, mental health professionals, and health care providers.
In order to save the lives of the young, an aggressive,
multi-disciplinary approach must begin with the perception that
violence is an assault on the public health.
I agree with many of Dr. Prothrow-Stith’s assumptions. There
are many issues confronting the young black men of today’s
culture. Poverty is a strong factor, but there needs to be a
political consensus to eliminate this throughout the nation to
effectively address this factor. The basic conclusion of many
health care providers suggests a multi-disciplinary approach to
violence. The question I present to them is how and who will
coordinate this intensive interaction?
Deborah Prothrow-Stith, M.D., Surgeon General’s Workshop
on Violence and Public Health Report "Interdisciplinary
Interventions Applicable to Prevention of Interpersonal Violence
and Homicide in Black Youth" United States Department of
Health and Human Services page 35-42, October 27-29, 1985.
Statistical data was provided regarding interpersonal violence
and homicide among urban black youth. Homicide is the leading
cause of death for black men ages 15-24 at a rate of 72.5 for
every 100,000. These rates are 7-12 times higher than for the
general population. A study by the Northeastern Ohio Trauma group
measured data for 1977 and indicated an assault tare of 862 per
100,000 population. The incidence rate for assaults in the urban
black neighborhood was over twice the total incidence rate.
The author suggests that a health education initiative should
include a national campaign to reduce interpersonal violence. The
Boston Youth Program was evaluated and suggested as potential
national curricula. The program is presented to tenth grade
students. The program goal is to teach anger as a normal
constructive emotion, suggest alternatives to fighting, role
modeling at anger control, presentation of non-violent values and
I feel the Boston Youth Program needs further investigation as
a potential national curricula. The evaluation was completed on a
small, isolated test and control group. Further test and control
groups should include both smaller and larger populations. The
evaluation tool was a post-test completed by the students. The
evaluation tool needs to be behavior evaluative. Written
post-tests are frequently poor indicators of true changes in
Marvin Wolfgang, M.D., Surgeon General’s Workshop on
Violence and Public Health Report "Interpersonal
Violence and Public Health Care: New Directions, New
Challenges" United States Department of Health and Human
Services page 9-17, October 27-29, 1985.
Dr. Wolfgang suggests joining forces with social service and
the criminal justice system in approaching the problem of
violence. It is imperative to remember the personal and
collective freedom and protection collide in the arena of
violence legislation. He suggests that community involvement and
alliance between the public and private sectors need to attack
the problem of interpersonal violence. It is acknowledge a
multi-disciplinary approach is the only effective way to combat
I agree totally with Dr. Wolfgang. I feel again that strength
and unity between the law and health care providers would assure
a competent solution. Good general overview of the law and medicine.
Edward McGlynn Gaffney, Jr., On
Ending the War on Drugs, 31 Valparaiso University Law Review
XVII, Spring 1997.
This article was released as the result of a National
Conference on Teenage Violence and Drug Use. This article is a
multifaceted approach to problems of violence and drugs. The
violence of communities was identified as early as 1942 in a
Chicago neighborhood. At that time, it was identified that low
socioeconomic status, ethnic heterogeneity, and residential
mobility were attributable to variations in crime and
delinquency. Remarkably, most of these factors prevail today as
chief contributing factors. Little progress has been made in
fifty-five years of research and implementation. There is further
evidence that the present judicial system does not effectively
deter future violent behavior.
The author does a good job at presenting a basic overview of
these intertwining issues. There is some comparative values noted
to the effects of religion, constitutional law, and social issues
such as drugs and violence. This would have been an informative
symposium to attend. The article does offer a similar perspective
to judicial modification as a necessary component for violence
Albert Reiss, Jr. and Jeffrey A. Roth, Understanding and
Preventing Violence "Patterns
of Violence in American Society" page 43-100 (1993).
The authors present statistical data. They do caution readers
that interpreting arrest statistics against distribution of the
actual people committing crimes and arrest statistics may not be
representative of the offenders. These statistics may merely
represent the number of criminals being "apprehended."
In the nature of violent crime, blacks constitute 45 percent of
all arrestees. Other minorities are also over represented in the
area of violent crimes. The arrest rate is about six times
greater for blacks than whites.
I feel that although statistical data is imperative when
evaluating a particular health issue, these results appear to be
very skewed. Even the authors cautioned the readers when
interpreting the data. Unfortunately, many programs may be
developed and implemented based on this type of statistic.
Therefore, the criminal justice system needs to refine and
re-calculate crime statistics. There needs to be another tool for
this type of data collection. Arrest records are not a true
indicator when determining who is completing the crime.
Bruce W. Goldberg, Violence Issues for Health Care
Educators and Providers "Preventing
Firearm Violence" page 99-111 (1997).
The author presents data correlating the incidence of firearms
as a primary cause of injury and death. Recent statistics
indicate that firearms are the eighth leading cause of death in
the United States. Among African-American males, firearm injuries
are the leading cause of death among those ages 10-34. Mr.
Goldberg suggests that health professionals need to be educated
regarding the basic misconceptions regarding firearms. The
American Medical Association has declared firearm injuries as a
critical public health issue and has demanded to treat the issue
with much urgency. The suggestion is presented that a national
curricula should be established to educate health professionals
in how to educate their patients regarding firearm injury
As a past inner-city, emergency room nurse, I have much
passion in this area. There is nothing more traumatic than to
explain a needless gun-related death to a family. I am a
supporter of gun control. I also live in a family that strongly
believes in our second amendment rights inscribed by our founding
fathers. There needs to be cooperation between law and medicine
to uphold those rights but guarantee responsibility within that
right. I agree with the suggestions in the article but feel this
is just a beginning to an immense problem.
Joseph L. Wright, M.D. and Linda Cheng, Violence Among
Children and Adolescents "Successful
Approaches to Community Violence Intervention and
Prevention" The Pediatric Clinics of North America, Volume
45 Number 2, page 454-467 (April 1998).
The authors supportive data regarding the issue of violence.
There is suggestion the public health approach to violence
programs should be utilized to ensure successful community-based
interventions. There is suggestion that the problem needs to be
further evaluated from the patient’s perspective. Data from
emergency room records is often incomplete and poorly documented.
Therefore, focus groups and interviews with actual patients may
reveal more accurate date as to the actual problem of violence.
The gathering of this data should be compiled before any formal
program can be implemented. This data should accurately identify
key issues and will allow the participants empowerment and
control over a situation that leaves them powerless. It may also
identify a methodology, which will be more effective when
I agree with this approach. It seems only logical that the
young African-American male feels powerless in his environment.
Directly involving them in a plan to attack violence will restore
some sense of control. It will also make the program more
effective if there is "buy-in" from the members of the
community. My only concern with this approach is that the
organization may be difficult. There may not be adequate
participation unless there is strong support from other community
and religious leaders.
Deborah Prothrow-Stith, M.D., Deadly Consequences "Teaching
Our Kids to Kill" Chapter 3,
page 29-47 (1991).
The author presents information correlating the incidence and
increase in violence with the explosion of violence in the media.
She agrees that aggression is a learned behavior, which can also
be unlearned. She also suggests that this is further enforced in
today’s music with many rap songs supporting killings and gang
related activity. Young males who are growing up fatherless are
at most risk for learning this aggressive behavior from
television or movies. Lacking a male role model, they often
identify this violent behavior as being the "norm."
Positive parental support and role modeling must also support the
absence of violence in the media. A child needs to hear constant
encouragement to reinforce good behavior.
I agree with Dr. Prothrow-Stith in all these observations. I
do not agree with censoring the media for adults, however, if
parents will not take the responsibility to limit the media in
the home, then the American justice system must intervene.
Children need to learn that violence is the exception, not the
norm. Good overview of the role played by the media.
David Williams, Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, and Rueben C. Warren, Public
Health Reports "The Concept of
Race and Health Status in America," Volume 109, Number 1,
January 1, 1994.
The authors expose that race is an unscientific, societal
constructed taxonomy based on ideology that some human population
groups are inherently superior to others. For many years,
research has viewed racial differences in health as primarily
biological in origin, which has diverted attention from the
social origins of disease. This has also reinforced societal
norms of racial inferiority and provided a scientific rationale
for black exploitation.
Some attention is directed to the fact that blacks may be at
higher risk of violence due to racial disparity which forces them
to live in isolated neighborhoods which often are not reflective
of their respective socioeconomic group. Studies have also shown
that living in these violence prone neighborhoods can increase
risks for hypertension and other stress related illnesses.
This is an excellent article that fully exposes the incidence
and prevalence of racism in America. There is little mention of
violence prevention and research data, but the article is worth
reading due to the remaining text on the disease known as racism.
The authors implore society to directly assess health-related
aspects of belonging to a specific racial or ethnic group. Very
Darnell F. Hawkins, The
Nations Within: Race, Class, Region, and American Lethal Violence,
69 University of Colorado Law Review 905, Fall 1998.
The author begins by critiquing the book, Crime Is Not the
Problem: Lethal Violence in America, Franklin E. Zimring
& Gordon Hawkins (1997). The focus in on the chapter
entitled, "New Perspectives on African-American
Violence." The authors have identified two false inferences
regarding violence and blacks: 1) that black violence is part of
a general tendency for blacks to commit violent crimes and 2)
that crime rates are higher in the United States as compared to
other industrialized nations due to higher rates of violence
among African-Americans. This author feels the book
de-contextualizes the problems of race and violence in the United
Suggestion is made that if public policy and crime control
that do not address issues of race, ethnicity and class will
certainly fail. It is also noted that before any attempts are
successful in addressing violence, the general public must first
acknowledge and deal with the problem of social inequity. The
dispossession that many impoverished Americans feel is linked to
a marketplace where guns are easily obtained.
I found the authors interpretation of the book interesting but
found myself at a disadvantage by not being able to locate and
read first for myself. It appears that many interesting new
propositions are presented regarding the rationale for inner-city
violence. The underlying strategies for prevention remain the
same with a focus on equalization of classes prior to effective
termination of underlying violence. The article was well written
and is worth reading.
Alice D. Calhoun, M.D., M.P.H. and Francine Clark-Jones, R.N.,
Ph.D., Violence Among Children and Adolescents "Theoretical
Frameworks" The Pediatric Clinics of North America, Volume
45 Number 2, page 281-292 (April 1998).
The authors agree that violence is a multidisciplinary issue.
Information is presented regarding Moffitt’s taxonomy on the
social development of violence in youth. The goal of a public
health approach to violence is to preserve, promote, and improve
health-emphasizing prevention. There are three levels to this
model 1) primary-prevention of events that might cause injury and
illness, 2) secondary-aims to prevent further injury and illness,
and 3) tertiary-prevent unnecessary disability after the injury
has occurred. Haddon’s model of core concepts and levels of
prevention have been utilized in the development of many
successful programs addressing motor vehicle accidents. The
evidence of success is obvious as motor vehicle accidents have
dropped dramatically over the last fifteen years. Use of this
model may be difficult as it also calls for the approach to be a
multi-disciplinary approach. These authors acknowledge this may
be difficult and is only in the conceptual stages.
I found this article to be more concrete at identifying
specific goals and methodologies at the introductory level. I
also found it enlightening that the authors acknowledge the
difficult task in developing a violence program with a
multi-disciplinary approach. I found it depressing that they did
not suggest a potential solution or possible apply the
theoretical frameworks to existing violence prevention
Mary Ann Fenley, et al., The Prevention
of Youth Violence "A Framework for Community
Action" Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, page
This publication was developed by the staff at the CDC to
offer an overview of the problem of youth violence. They address
several strategies such as mentoring, conflict resolution, social
skill training, parenting centers, peer education, and public
information and education along with addressing target groups.
There is also overall suggestions for regulatory changes
concerning the use and access to weapons and alcohol. There is
general discussion regarding environmental modifications. There
is a general listing of many violence prevention programs along
with addresses, contact persons, and phone numbers.
I found this book to be a good basic introduction to the
problem of violence and the current available solutions. It is a
good overview, however, is not very helpful with specific
problems such as the violence issue is the young, black male. It
does offer some assistance if you are interested in starting a
violence prevention program.
Deborah Prothrow-Stith, M.D., Deadly Consequences "The
Public Health Approach" Chapter
9, page 130-144 (1991).
Dr. Prothrow-Stith addresses the public health approach to
violence. She critiques the strengths and weaknesses of the
three-step approach. Comparison is made to the use of the public
health approach to the problem of cigarette smoking. In that
system, it is demonstrated that the most likely to quit smoking
were the affluent. The conclusion of this is that the public
health approach may be prejudiced toward economics. The
presumption from this is that the public health model and the
public health officials can not undertake the problem of violence
alone. They need the support of the community along with
political and ordinary people.
I found this chapter interesting that the author directs much
more responsibility back to the individual and the community. I
do not believe that she is insinuating public health officials
have no role in this problem, I believe she is saying that there
needs to be elevated concern and demand by the general population
if any approach to violence will be effective.
United States Code Annotated Title 20,
Chapter 70, Subchapter IV, Part A "State Grants for Drug and
Violence Prevention Programs" Subpart 2 National Programs
At the urgency of the Secretary of Health and Human Services,
the legislatures developed this statute to designate goals and
objectives for programs addressing drugs and violence. Part of
the objectives includes community activities toward empowerment
zones that will induce community wide efforts to reduce drug and
violence problems. This also includes monies for violence
prevention strategies that may include conflict resolution, peer
mediation, teaching law and invoking individual student
The ultimate goal of the statute appears good, however, the
guidelines establish that grant awards will be given on a
competitive review basis. This tends to make me believe the
funding is limited and lobbying and political support is needed
to receive the monies.
William H. Foege, M.D., Surgeon General’s Workshop on
Violence and Public Health Report "Violence
and Public Health" United States Department of Health and
Human Services page 19-34, October 27-29, 1985.
Dr. Foege traces the history of epidemics through the
scrapbook of time. He relates how every few decades have
acknowledged a specific illness that marks its place in time. He
continues to relate how the epidemic of violence has emerged,
grown tremendously, and survived with no currently identified
cure. There is much discussion over the intensity of violence as
a public health issue. There is little discussion of solution as
this article addresses both a historical and conceptual overview
of the problem.
As this article presented no specific opinion or suggestion, I
found no need to agree or disagree. I felt that the information
did document a fair comparison of how other epidemics such as
polio have progressed. Dr. Foege did address the way society has
changed values and norms to embrace current violence
injuries in the same manner in which polio was once
Deborah Prothrow-Stith, M.D., Deadly Consequences "What
The Kids Say" Chapter 6, page
The author interviews many adolescents through this chapter.
The insights of both gang members and their victims are related.
There is also discussion that oppression has lead many young
blacks to internalize these feelings and leads to potential
aggression. Young men of color need to develop feelings of pride
in their heritage. Books can not accomplish this goal. There must
be mentoring and modeling which can only be accomplished with
community support. Many of these young men have no male role
models. Therefore, the only alternative is to supply a health
role model for them to develop feelings of emotional challenge.
These mentors can relay that anger is an emotion that is always
present, but there are appropriate methods to deal with the
I felt this chapter to be the most provoking. Hearing the
destitute feelings related by the very children who are living
daily in these violent environments should be a wake-up call to
all Americans. There must be an aggressive movement by the people
to overturn the problem of violence. Whether the problem is in
your individual community or hundreds of miles away, there must
be concern for all these children to ensure survival of our
species. Excellent chapter.
G. Chezia Carraway, Violence Against Women
of Color, 43 Stanford Law Review 1301, July 1991.
The focus of the author is primarily directed at sexual
assault on women of color, however, there is interesting
information that suggests accurate data regarding violence to the
African-American female minimizes the toll directed at these
victims. Most generally, statistics are driven by white-males
whom institutional power and economic control also support. The
author reinforces this control paradigm by comparing the
prosecution of the exhibitors of the Mapplethorpe collection to
the fact that the media continues to exploit women in every
aspect of the industry.
I found it interesting to compare the spiritual demise that
was related by the author to women of color who have experienced
violence. Physical violence is always apparent as to the end
results, but emotional and spiritual violence can play an even
deeper and penetrating toll. The article expresses many views
that are often left unexpressed by victims.