Wishing you and your family a safe and happy holiday season!

Welcome to e-Focus, an electronic newsletter produced by the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (OPCA).  OPCA publishes this newsletter to further its goal of promoting public safety through probation services and other community corrections programs. We welcome your suggestions. 
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e-Focus, Issue Number 102, December 20, 2011
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services 
Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
Robert M. Maccarone, Deputy Commissioner and Director
William M. Schaefer, Jr., Editor
http://dpca.state.ny.us

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In this Issue:
           
1.         Specialized Drug Assessment Tool Available to NYCOMPAS Users
2.         Probation Executive Leadership Training Program January 23-24, 2012
3.         Statewide Training Enhances Probation Response to Domestic Violence
4.         “Leandra’s Law” & Ignition Interlock Devices Enhance Community Safety
5.         Shared Thinking for a Change Provided to Young Adults in Staten Island
6.         Rights of the Program Participant Train-the-Trainer Held in November 2011
7.         Twenty-seven Graduate from the Fundamentals of Community Corrections
8.         Interstate Commission for Juveniles Rule Changes and Amendments Training
9.         Additional Training, Awards, Events and News
10.        Practice Tip
11.        Quick Facts

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1.         Specialized Assessment Tool Available to NY COMPAS Users – DCJS/OPCA has begun to provide NYCOMPAS users with access to specialized risk and need assessment tools. The first such assessment--the Texas Christian University Drug Screen II (TCUDS) is now available for use.  It has been OPCA’s longstanding goal to make specialized assessment tools available to NYCOMPAS users through the Integrated Justice Portal.  The TCUDS has been described as a self administered assessment tool that is particularly useful in criminal justice settings, especially for offenders eligible for treatment as an alternative to regular incarceration.   The TCUDS requires 5-10 minutes to administer and is currently used in several states.   OPCA looks forward to hearing how probation departments and ATI programs will begin utilizing the TCUDS as accessed through the COMPAS suite in their assessment and case planning strategies. OPCA will provide notification as additional assessment tools become available through the suite. Should you require any technical support please contact the Portal Help Desk at 1-888-462-8003 or portalhelpdesk@ejusticeny.state.ny.us.  Please contact OPCA Community Correction Representative Gary Govel at Gary.Govel@dcjs.ny.gov if you have any program questions.

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2.         OPCA to Host Probation Executive Leadership Training Program – OPCA is pleased to announce an Executive Leadership Program for early 2012.  This required training is designed specifically for new Probation Directors, who will learn important information concerning the following topics, among others: development of annual program plans; block funding procedures; sex offender registry;  critical incident reporting;  ignition interlock/Leandra’s Law;  rules and regulations;  ATI quality assurance process and new procedures for ATI funding applications;  performance-based contracting;  legal issues;  ISP and PED Programs;  juvenile justice;  interstate transfers;  technology;  probation officer training; and leadership.  The agenda also includes a panel discussion with experienced probation directors.   The Executive Leadership Program starts on Monday, January 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm and ends on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm.  The training will be held at the offices of DCJS/OPCA, 4 Tower Place, Albany NY 12203. For more information, please contact Patti Donohue at either (518) 485-5168 or Patricia.Donohue@dcjs.ny.gov.

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3.         Statewide Training Enhances Probation Response to Domestic Violence – OPCA conducted a Live Meeting entitled Probation Response to Domestic Incident Reports today. This interactive training was directed to probation professionals throughout New York State.  The program provided 98 registered participants from over 40 probation departments with an overview of probation-led Domestic Incident Report (DIR) initiatives, a detailed review of the various DIR forms, and an opportunity to examine various response protocols. DCJS and OPDV unveiled a new statewide electronic repository for DIR’s last week in Saratoga County.  Instructions to access a recording of this program and all training materials will be posted to the Probation Service Suite of eJusticeNY.  For additional information, please contact Bill Schaefer at Bill.Schaefer@dcjs.ny.gov or (518) 485-5157.

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4.         “Leandra’s Law” & Ignition Interlock Devices Enhance Community Safety – A total of 5,775 Ignition Interlock Devices have now been installed in motor vehicles “owned or operated” by persons convicted and sentenced for misdemeanor or felony DWI crimes in New York State since the implementation of the ignition interlock provisions of “Leandra’s Law” on August 15, 2010 and through September 30, 2011.  During the past year, OPCA presented judicial training in Nassau and Suffolk Counties and participated in a statewide webcast entitled, “Probation Transfers and Ignition Interlock Devices: An Update”, in cooperation with the NYS Office Court Administration and the NYS Magistrates and Clerks Associations.  This webcast is currently posted and available for viewing on the Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY.  We continue to work with qualified manufacturers to ensure quality service.  OPCA has also brought on board a full time staff member, Patricia Hogan, who will serve as the agency’s point of contact for all monitors, courts and vendors.  She can be reached at Patricia.Hogan@dcjs.ny.gov or (518) 485-8855.

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5.         Shared Thinking for a Change Provided to Young Adults in Staten Island - OPCA Community Corrections Representative Nancy Andino is working collaboratively with the NYC Probation Department's Staten Island Adult Services office to provide the National Institute of Corrections’ (NIC) Thinking for a Change (T4C) cognitive behavioral intervention to young adult clients.  Ms. Andino, SPO Joe Calcutta and PO Brown report the T4C classes started on September 9, 2011 and they are pleased to be using the new 3.0 T4C version recently released by NIC.   Many thanks to Staten Island Director Lisa D'Ambrosio for supporting the implementation of T4C.  For additional information, please contact Nancy Andino at NAndino@probation.nyc.gov or (718) 876-7658.

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6.         “Rights of the Program Participant” Train-the-Trainer Held in November 2011 –  Twenty-seven (27) Probation and ATI professionals earned their certificates in the “Rights of the Program Participant” training held on November 29, 2011. The curriculum is designed to equip with information needed to assist individuals to mitigate the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction, thus reducing or eliminating barriers to employment and housing.   Other topics included in this training are: Certificates of Relief from Disabilities and Good Conduct, Confidentiality of Drug and Alcohol Records, Voting Rights, and how to correct a Criminal History Record.  The graduates of the Train-the-Trainer are now able to provide this training to other professionals in their locality. The training was provided by Anita Marton, Vice President of the Legal Action Center (LAC), Inc.  The LAC is a not-for-profit agency that provides assistance to offenders and agencies that work with offender populations.  For more information about LAC, the website is www.lac.org, and the phone number is (212) 243-1313. 

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7.         Twenty-seven Graduate from the Fundamentals of Community Corrections – On Friday, December 9, 2011, 27 ATI professionals completed the four-day, 28-hour OPCA Fundamentals of Community Corrections training held at the Fortune Society’s Castle Gardens in Manhattan.  Governor Cuomo’s Deputy Secretary for Homeland Security and Public Safety Elizabeth Glazer joined Deputy Commissioner and Director Robert Maccarone and President of the Fortune Society, Joanne Page in recognizing the difficulty of the graduates’ important work.  The FCC training is accredited by the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) and recognized by the International Community Corrections Association (ICCA).  Nearly 200 ATI and probation professionals have received the training.    For information on how your program staff can receive this training, please contact Yvonne J. Behan at OPCA at Yvonne.Behan@dcjs.ny.gov or (518) 485-5153.
   
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8.         Interstate Commission for Juveniles Rule Changes and Amendments Training – At the 2011 Juvenile Annual Business Meeting held in Norfolk, Virginia, there were several rule changes and amendments that will affect the Interstate transfer of juveniles.  In our effort to keep county probation departments updated on these changes, we ask that applicable staff please mark their calendars and join DCJS-OPCA via the Live Meeting session Interstate Commission for Juveniles Rule Changes and Amendments which will be held on Thursday, January 19, 2012 from 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.  During this time we will review the changes to the current Interstate Commission for Juveniles rules that will take effect March 1, 2012.  There will also be a question and answer period at the end of the presentation.  If you are unable to attend, the session will be recorded and available for later viewing at your convenience.  Should you have any questions please contact Shaina Kern at Shaina.Kern@dcjs.ny.gov
           
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9.         Additional Training, Awards, Events and News

~          Important Note: DCJS Acting Commissioner Sean M. Byrne has adopted the proposed regulatory revisions relative to Probation State Aid Block Grant Funding (9 NYCRR Part 345), Probation Management (9 NYCRR Part 347), and Interstate and Intrastate Transfer of Probation Supervision for Adults and Juveniles (9 NYCRR Part 349) following the public comment periods initiated in September of this year.  The full text of all probation rules and regulations can be accessed by visiting: http://www.dpca.state.ny.us/regs.htm

~          DCJS-OPCA email addresses have changed. Our new email address format is firstname.lastname@dcjs.ny.gov. The old email addresses will continue to work for an unspecified period of time.  To ensure continuity of service and communication with our agency, please modify your electronic address books, contact lists and safe sender lists accordingly.

~          Elizabeth Glazer, the Governor’s deputy secretary for public safety, announced on December 14th the availability of the state’s first Domestic Incident Report Repository, offering law enforcement officials cross-jurisdictional information about reported incidents of domestic violence in Upstate and Long Island counties. Police are required to file a paper Domestic Incident Report to document each call, regardless of whether an arrest is made, and provide copies of those reports to DCJS.  The document contains a wealth of information, including the names of the individuals involved and the circumstances surrounding each call, which can be crucial to victim and officer safety and the effective prosecution of domestic violence cases.  For the first time, law enforcement will be able to search for incident information regardless of which police agency responded to a call or filed a report. The Repository gives authorized users such as police officers, sheriffs’ deputies, prosecutors, probation and parole officers the ability to search domestic incident reports filed by agencies in the 57 counties outside of New York City; those agencies file approximately 175,000 domestic incident reports (DIRs) annually. Authorized users will be able to search the secure, electronic database by victim or offender name, incident address or document number. Probation staff should consult with their agency administrator and terminal access coordinator (TAC) regarding access eligibility and requirements.

~          Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health is pleased to announce it will conduct the “Crisis Intervention Officer Course.”  This one week course will be held January 16-20, 2012 in Bronx County.  Data confirms officers are more likely to be hurt when responding to calls involving the mentally ill than they are when responding to other types of calls for service. Recruit police officers receive an approved 14 hours of training to deal with emotionally disturbed persons. Peace Officers who receive further specialized training for dealing with people in crisis can perform better. Course topics include indicators of emotionally disturbed behavior, mental health issues that have special significance for juveniles and the elderly, key provisions of State Mental Hygiene Law, suicide, Kendra’s Law, actions that officers should take or avoid, selected types of mental illness, and the impact that certain types of medication can have on a person’s behavior. This training is available at no charge to police officers, parole officers, probation officers, correction officers, and others who interact with people in crisis and the mentally ill, pursuant to their responsibilities in the criminal justice system. You do not need to work or provide services in Bronx County to attend this training class. If the course is over-enrolled, the County reserves the right to give preference to service providers within Bronx County. Although services provided to Bronx County clients are covered, similar services are available in every county and will be described in detail.  The training announcement, including the course registration form, has been posted on the New York State DCJS Training Calendar website: http://calendar.dcjs.state.ny.us/

~          Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) are given discretion when determining whether to consider housing persons returning home from incarceration.  Each year, more than a half of a million people are released from prison or jail.  In an effort to assist those eligible for public housing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has engaged in several initiatives that seek to balance the needs of ex-offenders returning to live with families in HUD subsidized housing and ensuring the safety of the community.   There are two (2) explicit HUD bans on occupancy based on criminal activity; those individuals manufacturing or producing methamphetamine on the premises of federally assisted housing (24CFR 960.204, 24 CFR 982.553) and sex offenders subject to a lifetime registration requirement under a State sex offender registration program (24 CFR 960.204, 24 CFR 982.553). See the letter sent from HUD: http://www.nlihc.org/doc/Donovan-PHA-ExOffenders-Letter.pdf

~          The National Reentry Resource Center's recently hosted a webinar entitled, How and Why Probation Departments Should Partner with Families: A Conversation with San Francisco Chief Adult Probation Officer Wendy Still and New York City Department of Probation Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi. The webinar and related resources are now available online. To watch a recorded version of the webinar, please visit: http://councilofstategovernmentsjusticecenter.createsend5.com/t/r/l/ijgqd/alktumdl/r/
To download a PDF of the presentation used during the webinar, please visit:
http://councilofstategovernmentsjusticecenter.createsend5.com/t/r/l/ijgqd/alktumdl/y/

~          The Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division: Second Department, recently ruled that a drug-testing laboratory can be sued for negligence by individuals accusing the lab of erroneous test results. In a unanimous opinion published last week, the Appellate Division, Second Department, reinstated a proposed class-action lawsuit against Kroll Laboratory Specialists Inc brought by a group of plaintiffs who said they had lost their jobs, freedom, visitation rights and more as a result of drug-testing errors. "[W]e cannot help recognizing that a positive toxicology result may have far-reaching, permanent and devastating effects on, among other things, an individual's livelihood, family life and liberty," Justice Robert Miller wrote.  To access the full Landon et al v. Kroll Laboratory Specialists Inc decision, please visit the NYS Unified Court System website at: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/courts/ad2/calendar/webcal/decisions/2011/D31813.pdf

~          New data recently released in the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010 Summary Report from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that on average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States. Over the course of a year, that equals more than 12 million women and men. Those numbers only tell part of the story – more than 1 million women are raped in a year, and over 6 million women and men are victims of stalking. These findings emphasize that sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence are major public health problems in the United States. In addition, they underscore the heavy toll that violence takes on Americans, particularly women.  The full report can be found here: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_Report2010-a.pdf

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10.        Practice Tip:  During 2009, 9,111 of 39,286 or 23.1% of probationers were discharged early, having complied with and completed their terms of probation supervision.  An additional 15,288 or 38.9% of probationers successfully completed their supervision through the maximum expiration. 

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11.        Quick Facts: Probation officers across New York State have completed a total of 182,910 NYCOMPAS assessments for individual classified by legal status into the following categories: 101,107 Pre-Plea/PSI; 44,845 Post Sentence; Pre-Trial 32,872; 2,074 Other; 1,028 Deferred Sentence; and, 984 Probation Violator.

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eFocus is the property of the Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives.  Articles may be reprinted with attribution to the Office.  For more information on any of the topics mentioned above, to report any difficulties you may have experienced receiving this email, or, if you have information you would like posted in the next issue of OPCA's eFocus, please contact Bill Schaefer at (518) 485-5157 or Bill.Schaefer@dcjs.ny.gov.

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The eFocus is now distributed to thousands of community corrections professionals across New York State.  You may receive more than one copy if your name and email address appear on different criminal justice and community corrections mailing lists.  If so, please e-mail Bill Schaefer the name you would like removed from distribution.