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California's Anti-Gang Director Identifies Botvin LifeSkills Training as a Proven Program


WHITE PLAINS, NY Botvin LifeSkills Training is a proven evidence-based violence prevention program according to a report issued by California's "gang czar." Paul Seave, Anti-Gang Director of the Governor's Office of Gang and Youth Violence Policy, hired experts to conduct a comprehensive survey of 63 violence prevention methods found effective by four sources. LifeSkills Training was rated the top substance abuse prevention program.

"We issued the report because there are so many 'evidence based' practices out there, but most don't really have the scientific support," Seave said. "We need to think about this as an investment. We have enough knowledge not to have to put money in programs based [only] on anecdotal evidence."

With more than $2 billion being spent each year on youth violence prevention efforts in California, Seave hopes the "Preventing and Reducing Youth Crime and Violence" report will assist county organizations and schools in getting the best return on their investment.  

"We are honored to be recognized as a proven program," said program developer Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin. "As schools deal with reductions to their budgets, it is imperative that they be able to focus their funds on programs that have been proven to work."

The report's author, Peter Greenwood, is Executive Director of the national organization, Association for the Advancement of Evidence-Based Practice.  In writing the report, he selected the programs to review that have already been evaluated by the widely respected Blueprints for Violence Prevention, Mark Lipsey, PhD., and Washington State Institute for Public Policy and Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy (Top Tier). Botvin LifeSkills Training has been identified as a Top Tier program by The Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy. The Top Tier initiative, which is being followed closely by Congress, focuses on identifying and validating social programs meeting the highest standard of evidence of effectiveness.

About Botvin LifeSkills Training Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) is a highly effective evidence-based substance abuse and violence prevention program with more than 25 years of peer-reviewed research behind it. Studies testing its effectiveness have found that LST can reduce the prevalence of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use by as much as 80 percent. The program was developed by Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, professor of Public Health and Psychiatry at Cornell University's Weill Medical College and director of Cornell's Institute for Prevention Research. Dr. Botvin is also founder and president of National Health Promotion Associates which markets health materials. LST has been used with youth in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and in 32 countries around the world. LST is included in the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) and has been cited for excellence by numerous organizations including the U.S. Department of Education, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (part of the U.S. Department of Justice). Recently LST was selected as a Top Tier prevention program by the Coalition for Evidence-based Policy, an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization in Washington, DC.

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Media Contact:  Paulina Kalaj, 800-293-4969,

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