Welcome to eFocus, 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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eFocus, Issue Number 103, February 7, 2012
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://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/opca

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In this Issue:

1. Sara Tullar Fasoldt Leadership and Humanitarian Awards Presented
2. OPCA Interstate Unit Unveils New Protocol Manual
3. OPCA Supports Local Re-entry Efforts
4. New Offender Employment Initiative Launched to Reduce Recidivism
5. Offender Assessment Tools More Accessible by Probation
6. Governor Cuomo Closes Gun Loophole for Felons in New York State
7. Additional Training, Awards, Events and News
8. Practice Tip
9. Quick Facts

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From the left: Elizabeth Glazer, Secretary to the Governor for Public Safety, Marsha Weissman, Director of the Center for Community Alternatives, and Robert Maccarone, Deputy Commissioner and Director, NYS DCJS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives.
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Director Maccarone, Gerry Zimmerman, Director
Cattaraugus County Probation Department and Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Glazer.

1. Sara Tullar Fasoldt Leadership and Humanitarian Award Presented – The Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (OPCA) is very pleased to announce that the 2012 Sara Tullar Fasoldt Leadership and Humanitarian Award was presented to Marsha Weissman, Director of the Center for Community Alternatives (CCA) and Gerry Zimmerman, Director of the Cattaraugus County Probation Department for their outstanding leadership and significant contributions to the field of community corrections. This award symbolizes the life’s work of Sara Tullar Fasoldt, former State Director of the NYS Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives. This year’s award was presented to Ms. Weissman before her peers during a meeting of Alternative to Incarceration program leaders in New York City on January 12, 2012. In presenting the award, Deputy Commissioner and Director Robert Maccarone stated that Marsha Weissman has, "demonstrated a longstanding commitment to humanitarian efforts in promoting re-entry and reducing reliance on incarceration through advocacy, services and public policy development in pursuit of civil and human rights." Gerry Zimmerman was presented the award before his peers at the Council of Probation Administrators Winter Conference in Albany, New York on February 1, 2012. In presenting the award, Director Robert Maccarone stated that Gerry Zimmerman has, “been at the forefront of implementing effective evidence-based supervision strategies that have increased the probation department’s efficiency, while providing more effective interventions to both persons under supervision and the community.” For additional information, please contact Yvonne.Behan@dcjs.ny.gov or (518) 485-5153.

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2. OPCA Interstate Unit Unveils New Protocol Manual – Since October 2011, the OPCA Interstate Unit has been diligently working on developing a manual documenting unit protocols. This completed manual is the result of a collaborative effort between the Interstate Unit staff and management, and is an accurate reflection of the day to day work activities that this unit completes. This manual will be used primarily to train future unit members, but will be available to county probation departments through the probation services suite in eJusticeNY. The new Interstate Protocol Manual includes a number of interstate transfer “desk-top” aides for probation officers, which have been distributed during the monthly Live Meetings conducted by the Interstate Unit Staff with Department designees. Please take the time to read this forthcoming Protocol Manual. For additional Interstate information please contact Community Corrections Representative Matthew Charton at Matthew.Charton@dcjs.ny.gov or (518) 485-2402.

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3. OPCA Supports Local Re-entry Efforts – Deputy Commissioner and Director Robert Maccarone and ATI Unit Manager Yvonne Behan recently attended a very informative meeting conducted by the Rensselaer County Re-entry Task Force of the Phase I Mentoring session at St. Anthony’s Church Rectory basement corner of Fourth and State Streets, in Troy, NY one evening last month. They were joined by Rensselaer County District Attorney Richard McNally. The meeting was attended by nearly 30 individuals who were recently released from state prison and returning home to Rensselaer County. During the week of February 21-24, 2012, the 18 County Re-entry Task Forces will be trained in how best to utilize the COMPAS Re-entry Risk and Need Assessment Instrument in addressing the criminogenic needs of individuals returning to the community. This training will be offered in four regional trainings throughout New York State and will include re-entry parole officers. Please contact Yvonne.Behan@dcjs.ny.gov or (518) 485-5153.

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4. New Offender Employment Initiative Launched to Reduce Recidivism – OPCA recently held a special Live Meeting for all 18 County Re-entry Task Force groups to introduce the upcoming evidence-based Offender Workforce Development Specialist Training and “Ready, Set, Work!”. The goal of this initiative is to increase the employment of persons under community supervision and reduce recidivism. For additional information, please contact Cynthia.Blair@dcjs.ny.gov or (518) 485-5145.

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5. Offender Assessment Tools More Accessible by Probation – COMPAS users have expressed strong interest in the ability to view additional assessments created and stored in the COMPAS Suite, and pointed out the benefits to the field of community supervision. Effective December 22, 2011, authorized users are now able to view Case Plans, Case Supervision Reviews (CSR) and Texas Christian University Drug Screenings (TCU) created by other agencies regarding offenders of mutual interest. User permission changes now in effect include: Probation Agency 2 can view a Case Plan, CSR or TCU created by another Probation Agency; and, Probation Agency 2 can view a CSR or TCU created by a Parole Agency. Please contact OPCA Community Correction Representative Gary Govel at (518) 457-4336 or Gary.Govel@dcjs.ny.gov with any questions you might have. Should you require any technical support please contact the Portal Help Desk at (888) 462-8003 or portalhelpdesk@ejusticeny.state.ny.us.

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6. Governor Cuomo Closes Gun Loophole for Felons in New York State – On August 3, 2011, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law Chapter 357 of the Laws of 2011. This new law closes a loophole which has allowed certain individuals, otherwise banned from possessing a rifle or shotgun, to lawfully possess an antique firearm, black powder rifle, black powder shotgun, or any muzzle loaded rifle. As of January 30, 2012, the crime of Criminal Possession of a Weapon, (CPW) 4th degree, Penal Law (PL) §265.01(4), will prohibit those convicted of a felony or serious offense from legally possessing an antique firearm, black powder rifle, black powder shotgun, or any muzzle loaded rifle.

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7. Additional Training, Awards, Events and News

~ The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) has awarded $3 million to the state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to fund reimbursement for ignition interlock monitoring costs. This is the second consecutive year that funds have been made available for these services. The funds provided to localities through the Governor’s Highway Traffic Safety Committee will ensure that persons convicted of DWI offenses are properly monitored and supervised in accordance with the conditions ordered by the courts, resulting in safer highways throughout New York State. The full DCJS press release is available here: http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/pio/press_releases/2011-12-28_pressrelease.html

~ An amendment to the state’s Executive Law, which was signed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in September and took effect on December 22, 2011 provides for the misdemeanor strangulation charge to be included in the list of crimes for which a victim may receive compensation for certain expenses incurred as a result of those crimes. Victims are now eligible to seek compensation and assistance from the New York State Office of Victim Services (OVS), regardless of whether they suffered physical injuries when they were attacked. More than 10,000 individuals have been charged under the strangulation statute since it took effect (Nov. 11, 2011); of those, more than 8,000 faced the misdemeanor charge, many of them in connection with domestic violence incidents. The full DCJS press release is available here: http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/pio/press_releases/2011-12-29_pressrelease.html

~ OPCA recently updated the statewide directory of Ignition Interlock Devices Service Center Locations. For additional information, please contact Patricia Hogan at Patricia.Hogan@dcjs.ny.gov or (518) 485-8855.

~ The 2012 Youth Summit will be held at the Albany Marriott Hotel on March 22-23rd, 2012, and will address challenges faced by adolescents and young adults with mental health and substance use disorders who may be involved with the justice, child welfare or other service delivery systems. This event is sponsored by: Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of NYS, Inc. (ASAP). For additional information about this event visit:
https://registration.sitesolutionsworldwide.com/synergy/v_1_/home/login.php?ccc=9_14_639&syntrack=&scid=639&ccc=9_14_639&syntrack=&scid=639

~ The National Interstate Commission for Juveniles (ICJ) held their Annual Business Meeting in Norfolk, Virginia, October 24, 2011 through October 26, 2011 and voted on several changes to the rules and forms governing the Interstate transfer of juvenile supervision, that will become effective March 1, 2012. The ICJ and its governing rules have the force and effect of federal law. Please visit the ICJ website, www.juvenilecompact.org to view all of the amendments to the ICJ rules and forms. For additional information, please contact Matthew Charton at Matthew.Charton@dcjs.ny.gov or (518) 485-2402.

~ The New York State Sheriffs' Association Institute, Inc. will hold their Sixth Annual New York Statewide Conference on VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) at the Holiday Inn on Wolf Road in Albany, NY on Friday, April 27, 2012. This program will feature presentations by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Office of Victim Services. Registration begins at 8:00 AM. The conference will commence at 9:00 AM and conclude at 4:00 PM. For more information on the program, registration and hotel accommodations, please contact Irene Colwill at (518) 434-9091 or icolwill@nysheriffs.org.

~ The New York Tactical Officers Association is hosting the Tactical Conference ’12 from May 1-3, 2012 at Turning Stone Resort in Verona, NY. Registration fee is $199.99 for members and $249.99 for non-members. For additional details, please visit: http://www.nytacticalexpo.com/

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8. Practice Tip: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – Authorized Probation personnel can submit inquiries to the ICE Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC) through the Integrated Justice Portal (IJP). This search function is found under the “People” tab of the IJP. Upon receipt of such an inquiry, the LESC staff will perform searches of multiple immigration related data bases and provide a response to the requestor. Requests to add this search capability to your IJP permissions must be submitted to your agency Terminal Access Coordinator (TAC).

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9. Quick Facts: As of Dec. 20, there were 33,299 registered sex offenders on the state’s Sex Offender Registry: 12,599 Level 1 offenders; 11,781 Level 2 offenders; 8,220 Level 3 offenders; and 699 offenders whose risk level is pending. County-by-county statistics are available here: http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/nsor/stats_by_county.htm

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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.

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