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Deadly Consequences.

In 1978, as a third-year Harvard Medical School student on a surgical rotation in an emergency room, Deborah Prothrow-Stith spent many nights stitching up young male victims and pondering ways that medicine could intervene to reduce the number of victims. As a senior-year project, she designed and implemented a violence-prevention curriculum that introduced young males at risk for violence to constructive strategies for coping with anger. Fifteen years later, this curriculum has been refined and is now being used in schools in over 320 cities in 45 States, as well as several foreign countries.

Deadly Consequences tells what the authors learned by working on the problem of adolescent aggression in disadvantaged neighborhoods, where violence is the norm and where limited opportunities exist for education, sports, or jobs. The book strongly suggests that the climate of violence can be changed in these high-risk neighborhoods through teaching adolescents new ways to manage anger and aggressive impulses.

Written for a wide audience, including members of the law enforcement, criminal justice, medical, mental health, and education communities, the book addresses the complexity of violence by recognizing it as an assault on the public health. Its 12 chapters discuss such topics as free-floating anger, a cultural emphasis on violence that breeds fatal aggression among children, adolescence as a dangerous passage, and the creation of an endangered species of young men of color living in poverty, surrounded by gangs, drugs, and confrontational experiences with the police. The discussion is built upon a framework of statistical research concerning adolescent victims of violence. In the final chapters, a solution is offered - a public health approach to prevent violence that suggests how schools and communities can help.

The profound contribution of this book, as well as its unifying theme, is a steadfast focus upon the social context in which much of today's violence occurs. Statistics support and provide detail to the adolescent violence sampled on the nightly news. Readers are asked, among other things, to step back and view their culture as outsiders by analyzing the mass media's fascination with violence.

Deadly Consequences is highly recommended for all law enforcement administrators and officers who seek new insights into the social nature of anger, aggression, and violence. The comprehensive strategies presented to confront today's growing levels of violence are based on solid foundations of experience, research, and results.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Federal Bureau of Investigation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Burgess, Ann Wolbert
Publication:The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
Article Type:Book Review
Date:May 1, 1992
Words:388
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