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Problem Solving Worksheet This worksheet is only a guide. If answers are not available for all questions, you can use the
worksheet to brainstorm and stimulate thinking and understanding of the problem.
I. List problems identified.
II. Prioritize problems.
Assign priorities by numbering the above problems in order of importance. (The
frequency, duration, and severity of the problem as well as the number of persons
affected by the problem may also be used in ranking problems.)
III. Select a specific problem.
The problem selected need not be the one listed as the most important in your priority ranking. A
less important, more manageable problem may be selected. Source: ADDRESSING COMMUNITY GANG PROBLEMS:A Practical Guide
IV. Frame the selected problem within the following statement.
(Victims) are (harmed) by the (behaviors) of (offenders) at (places) at (times).
Specify information for each parenthetical blank.
If all items in this statement cannot be specified, additional basic information about the problem
must be collected.
V. Determine general goals of the problem-solving effort.
What would be tangible effects in the community if the problem were removed?
IV. Analyze the problem.
1. What is the harmful behavior caused by
the problem you selected in Section III?
What are your sources of
a. What harms are occurring?
b. How is the harmful behavior carried out?
c. How long does it take for the problem to occur?
d. How often does it occur?
1. What is the harmful behavior? (Continued)
e. Are there secondary harms (for example, has business in a store or
a certain block declined because of robberies)?
2. Who are the victims?
a. What are their age, sex, race, appearance, size, dress, and other
b. Who could prevent the victims from being harmed (guardians)?
c. What tools could prevent the victims from being harmed?
d. What are the victims involved in before and during the harmful
2. Who are the victims? (Continued)
e. How do the victims travel to and from the location of the problem?
f. Are victims alone or with others?
g. Are there secondary victims of the harmful behavior?
If so, who are they and how are they harmed?
3. Who are the offenders?
a. What are their names, age, sex, race, appearance, size, dress, and
other shared features?
b. What are the behaviors of the offenders that are causing harm?
3. Who are the offenders? (Continued)
c. What benefits do the offenders gain from their harmful behaviors?
d. What tools enable their harmful behaviors?
e. What is the source of the tools? How are they obtained?
f. How do the offenders travel to and from the location of the
g. Who could prevent the offenders behaviors (controllers)?
h. What activities are the offenders involved in before and during the
i. Do the offenders act alone or with others?
4. Who are the third parties?
a. Who is responsible for overseeing the place where the problem
b. Are there other persons who use the location and may observe the
5. What is the specific location of the problem?
Are there multiple locations?
a. What tools (or lack of tools) at the location enable or encourage the
b. What policies or practices enable or encourage the problem to
occur (for example, bus schedule, opening and closing hours,
plentiful seating, and playing of pleasant music) ?
c. What physical barriers are present or absent in the location (for
example, barriers to visual observation such as store counters,
walls, high shrubbery, or roadways)?
d. What are the environmental conditions in the location (for
example, well lit or dark area, outdoors or indoors, heated or
cooled, music or entertainment, benches that encourage loitering)?