Chapter One:  How the Author Discovered East Harlem and the South Bronx


This chapter is mostly autobiographical. The author explains how events early in his life helped him develop a concern for the underdogs of society. He goes on to explain how his interest in preventing the development of social problems before they reach the acute stage.

         The author then goes on to describe how he came to join the SCAN-Harbor organization and establish the Violence Prevention Program. He describes what its goals are, what activities have been set up to achieve those goals, and how the success of the program is measured.

  Chapter Two:  The Problem Being Addressed


         The types of violent and criminal behavior are enumerated. The percentage of crimes committed by teenagers will be documented. The factors contributing to teenage violent and criminal behavior are discussed. Such behaviors include:

  • Having an overly aggressive personality;
  • Disregard for other persons’ property;
  • Rejection of the need to be accountable to authority figures;
  • Inclination toward abusive behavior toward others;
  • Vulnerability to negative peer pressure;
  • Getting a “rush” from illegal activities.

Chapter Three: Teenagers in Today’s World

    There is a discussion of the emotional needs they have and the internal struggles and stress teenagers tend to face. The common triggers of stress are outlined – – as well as the physical symptoms indicating that stress is being acutely felt. Activities which can be helpful in reducing stress will be discussed.

        The need for teenagers to develop supportive resources and some ways to do so are examined. The particular pressures felt by teenage boys in comparison with their female counterparts which make them more violence and crime-prone are described.

              Chapter Four: The Many Risk Factors Teenagers Face

The following factors are examined:

  • Behaviors indicating depression and/or contemplation of suicide;
  • Being diagnosed with any of the following conditions – – ADHD, Bi-Polarism, Schizophrenia, Personality Disorders, Conduct Disorders, Mood Disorders, Oppositional Defiant Disorders;
  • Refused to adhere to a curfew;
  • Inability to take responsibility for their behaviors;
  • Low Self-Esteem;
  • A Pattern of Impulsivity;
  • Growing up in a public housing project or shelter (accompanied by an anecdote);
  • Being a witness to domestic violence within the family (accompanied by an anecdote);
  • Unsanitary living conditions (accompanied by an anecdote);
  • Membership in a gang (accompanied by an anecdote);
  • Having access to weapons in the home;
  • Cutting or being consistently absent from school;
  • Having someone in the home abusing substances (accompanied by an anecdote);
  • Having an incarcerated parent (accompanied by an anecdote);
  • The loss of a loved one;
  • Having an uncontrollable temper;
  • An extreme and/or continuous condition of anxiety and stress;
  • A tendency to react to situations impulsively;
  • Patterns of lying and/or stealing;
  • Poor choice of friends and acquaintances (accompanied by an anecdote);

Chapter Five: Who is Admitted to SCAN-Harbor’s Violence Prevention program and How

  • The profile of SCAN-Harbor’s Violence Prevention Program clients are described;
  • Graduation requirements for SCAN-Harbor Violence Prevention Program Clients;
  • Procedures for Initial engagement with family;
  • Factors making successful completion of program more difficult are described;
  • Expectations of parents.

  Chapter Six: How SCAN-Harbor’s Violence Prevention Program Addresses the Risk Factors

  • The progression of client families through the program is outlined.
  • Procedures for evaluating program results are shown.
  • The central role of home visits is described (accompanied by anecdotes).

Chapter Seven: Addressing Risk Factors Related to Mental Health

The risk factors associated with mental health conditions are outlined in Chapter Four.  Now the methodology of treating them is described. (Several anecdotes are provided as a means of humanizing the content.)

Chapter Eight:  Addressing Risk Factors Related to Emotional Health

  • How impulsive behavior can be discouraged;
  • Our anger detection tool is presented;
  • Anger management techniques are presented;
  • Dealing with disrespect;
  • Understanding the futility of revenge;
  • Running an anger management group;
  • Dealing with anxiety and stress;
  • Strengthening teenagers’ self-image.
  • (Several anecdotes are presented.)

Chapter Nine:   Addressing Risk Factors Related to Family and Home

  • The dynamics of growing up in a home with abusive behavior are explored;
  • Breaking the cycle of incarceration;
  • The accessibility of guns in the home;
  • Helping youngsters deal with the loss of a key person.

Chapter Ten: Addressing Risk Factors Related to Teen Behaviors

  • Lying
  • Stealing and shoplifting;
  • Drug and alcohol usage;
  • Violating curfews;
  • Refusing to accept responsibility for behavior;
  • Not considering the consequences of negative behavior;
  • Bad habits.

Chapter Eleven: The Over-Riding Importance of the Parent(s)’ Role

  • Loss of control (anecdotes are provided);
  • Issues pertaining to safety;
  • Parent training;
  • Using positive reinforcement;
  • Daily parent-child communication;
  • Parent-child contracts;
  • Family meetings.


        Chapter Twelve: Staffing a Crisis-Oriented Violence Prevention Program

  • Anecdotes are included;
  • The importance of trust;
  • The demands of crisis intervention;
  • The usage of mentors.


         Chapter Thirteen: Preventing Violent Behavior in Our Schools

  • Anecdotes are included;
  • Sniping;
  • Offers of protection;
  • Quasi-sexual behavior;
  • School visits;
  • Motivating students.

                     Chapter Fourteen: Leveraging Positive Peer Pressure to Prevent Violence

  • Responses to provocative situations;
  • The use of peer leaders;
  • Positive and negative peer pressure;
  • The pressure to act older than one’s age
  • Leaders and followers;
  • Choosing friends and associates wisely (Anecdotes are included).
  • The dynamics of gangs.



                          Chapter Fifteen: Pro-Social Activities

  • Our Self-Defense Program
  • Field trips;
  • Challenge trips;
  • Prison trips;
  • The “Cultural Stretch”;
  • Boot camps and cadet programs.


                     Chapter Sixteen: Managing the Usage of Electronic Devices by Teenagers

  • Computer addiction;
  • Parental responses;
  • Questions and answers for parents.


                     Chapter Seventeen: Funding for Violence Prevention Work

  •     Public Sources
  • Private Sources

                    Appendix: SCAN-Harbor’s Violence Prevention 


  • A thorough description;
  • Additional samples are presented.