Welcome to eFocus, an electronic newsletter produced by the NYS Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (DPCA). As part of DPCA's goal to promote public safety through probation services and other community corrections programs, it publishes this newsletter. We welcome your suggestions.

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eFocus, Issue Number 21, January 21, 2004

NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives

Sara Tullar Fasoldt, State Director

Robert Maccarone, Executive Deputy Director

http://dpca.state.ny.us

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1. eJusticeNY to provide "Hit Notices" for greater range of arrest events

Currently, probation departments receive a "Hit Notice" when a probationer who is supervised by that department is arrested on fingerprintable charges. With the upcoming release of eJusticeNY, scheduled for February 5, departments will receive a "Hit Notice" whenever DCJS receives a fingerprint card for an offense which cannot be, for whatever reason, added to the Computerized Criminal History (CCH) system (which contains the information from which Rap Sheets are produced). Thus, these are offenses which would not appear on a Rap Sheet. These notifications will only be available to probation departments subscribed to eJusticeNY. More information and a more detailed listing as to the types of events that will generate these Hit Notices will be distributed to Probation Directors within the next week.

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2. Pathways to Employment; training for probation officers continues in February

In conjunction with the NY State Department of Labor, DPCA has planned the first Probationer job readiness group to be held in Schenectady this February. In addition, the first two Probation Officer trainings of 2004 are also scheduled for February. Erie County is hosting the training on February 10th and 11th, and Monroe County on February 17th and 18th. Both departments have planned to send all officers to this training. For more information contact DPCA’s Cynthia Blair by telephone at (518) 457-0501 or Cynthia.blair@dpca.state.ny.us.

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3. Dutchess County’s placement rate dropped nearly 50% for 2003 from previous year; Department attributes reduction to the use of YASI

Many probation departments are rapidly improving the effectiveness and efficiency of case management protocols by building on the validated YASI risk, needs, and strengths assessment protocol. Several have enthusiastically reported their positive results. For example, as of October 2003, the placement rate in Dutchess County was reduced from 60 in 2002 to 27 in 2003. According to Dutchess Co. Probation Director Mary Ellen Still, the use of the Youth Assessment Screening Instrument (YASI) and the accompanying YASI training is behind their dramatic reduction in placements. “We have invested a great deal of time in training staff in motivational interviewing and in using the YASI. Our department holds quality control meetings on a regular basis to discuss issues, resolve any problems and assist staff in transitioning to the YASI,” said Director Still. “And,” she continued, “in following what the research tells us, we have referred low risk youth out of the juvenile justice system to our Youth Services Unit.” Dutchess County has begun to restructure the PINS Assessment Team to an Early Intervention Team and is confident that this restructuring will further enhance their ability to keep cases out of court and provide improved quality services to youth and families. For more information on the YASI project contact Norma Tyler at (518) 485-5160 or norma.tyler@dpca.state.ny.us.

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4. First Implementation Training for COMPAS held in December 2003

Late last year, DPCA divided COMPAS training into two segments: Implementation Training for administrators to learn about COMPAS and begin planning for use in their departments; and User’s Training for probation staff to learn about the instrument, perform assessments and integrate the data into case planning. The first Implementation training was held in December and attended by four new departments who are now in the planning stage. User’s Training will be held on-site and regionally throughout 2004. Directors are encouraged to contact Jami Krueger ASAP to discuss and arrange for training at 518-485-5158 or jami.krueger@dpca.state.ny.us.

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5. Dual Recovery Coordinators in fourteen locations in the state

The NYS offices of Mental Health (OMH) and Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) have jointly funded positions for Dual Recovery Coordinators in fourteen locations across the state. These key positions exist for the purpose of helping the Mentally Ill Chemically Addicted achieve success in treatment for both problems. They have the potential to be extremely helpful to probation officers and workers in other Alternatives agencies to link offenders with co-occurring disorders who are under criminal justice supervision to appropriate services. They are eager to work with Probation Officers having Probationers who are dually diagnosed. Coordinators are in place in the following counties: Broome, Columbia, Cayuga, Erie, Oneida, Onondaga, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Suffolk, Tompkins and Westchester; and regionally in: Warren/Washington; and Wyoming, Genesee and Orleans; and in New York City. For more information contact Bernard Wilson, at DPCA at (518) 485-5137 or bernard.wilson@dpca.state.ny.us.

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6. Community Corrections programs and professionals asked to share knowledge on elder abuse and victimization issues

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), U. S. Department of Justice, has awarded a Cooperative Agreement to the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) to develop a model training curriculum on elder abuse. APPA hopes to identify any community corrections programs or professionals in NYS who presently provide any specialized services or training on this issue. In the event that crimes are perpetrated against elderly individuals with whom probationers and parolees have contact -- community corrections professionals should be aware of the indicators of elder abuse and have appropriate knowledge and skills related to this victim population. The training to be developed will provide probation and parole officers skills for identifying and responding to elderly victims of crime and preventing their ongoing victimization. If you have information to share or any questions please contact Anne H. Crowe at APPA at (859) 244-8198.

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7. Welcomes, Awards and Remembrances: Thank you Oneida County Probation Director Al Belmont for sending us information on the December 2003 retirement of Supervisor Anthony G. Showa. Supervisor Showa started with the Oneida County Adult Probation Department in 1968. Under the leadership of Director Frank Scalise, Showa was instrumental in formulating a consolidation plan for the Oneida County Adult Probation Department and Oneida County Juvenile Probation Department. Supervisor Showa graduated from the Syracuse University School of Social Work in 1974 receiving a Masters of Social Work Degree. He served with the 865th Combat Support Hospital as the Executive Officer during Operation Enduring Freedom in Kuwait from November 2002-July 2003. We recognize Supervisor Showa for his outstanding dedication to advancing the professionalism in the field of probation and congratulate him on this retirement. Also, former Seneca County Probation Director Terry Lee is now the Probation Director for Ontario County, and his new e-mail address is Terry.Lee@co.ontario.ny.us. Probation Supervisor, David Terry, will be Acting Director in Seneca County until further notice. Should you have transitions to announce, forward information to be included in eFocus to Yvonne Behan at yvonne.behan@dpca.state.ny.us.

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eFocus is the property of the NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives. Articles may be reprinted with attribution to the Division. 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 DPCA's eFocus, please contact Yvonne Behan at (518) 457-5275 or at yvonne.behan@dpca.state.ny.us.

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The eFocus is now distributed to well over 3000 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 Yvonne Behan the name you would like removed from distribution.

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