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 22, February 24, 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. Nationally recognized "best practices" expert to be featured in statewide teleconference: A panel of representatives from your community corrections professional organizations to follow

“Advancing the Effectiveness of Community Corrections,” a live statewide teleconference, will be broadcast from Albany on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 from 9:30am to 11:30am to County Departments of Social Services (DSS) downlink locations. This teleconference is presented by DPCA and features Dr. Faye S. Taxman, Director of the Bureau of Governmental Research at the University of Maryland. Her appearance is being sponsored by the National Institute of Corrections. Dr. Taxman’s presentation will focus on translating what is learned through assessment into case plans through automated environments. She will address the development and implementation of interventions that best match and help the offender to change. The panel discussion to follow will include questions from the audience received via fax from across the state during the telecast. The panel will be made up of presidents of the statewide associations including the Council of Probation Administrators (COPA), the NYS Probation Officers Association (POA), the New York Association of Pretrial Services Agencies (NYAPSA) and the New York Association of Alternative Sentencing Programs (NYAASP).

County probation departments have designated site coordinators in each county. Probation personnel should make reservations through their own departments. Other community corrections professionals should contact Yvonne Reece at the NYC Criminal Justice Agency at (646) 213-2509 for the name of their local site coordinator. Seating is limited and will be reserved on a first come, first served basis. Attendance will earn the Probation Officer approved training credits. Please don’t miss this opportunity to be included in a dialogue with your colleagues in community corrections across the state! Make your reservation today!

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2. Probation Officer Safety and Survival Training (OSST) Train-the-Trainer Program offered

Probation Directors have been invited to send staff to training to earn instructor certification in the Probation Officer Safety and Survival Training. Probation staff will become trainers upon completion of a Train-the-Trainer program being conducted in Canton, NY (St. Lawrence County) from March 8th through 12th, 2004. Candidates for this training must have had a minimum of five years of field experience and demonstrated training skills, including the ability to train using the lesson plans as contained in the curriculum. For more information contact DPCA Training Director Steve Powers at (518) 485-2402 or via email at Stephen.powers@dpca.state.ny.us.

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3. DPCA to pilot Pathways to Employment program for probations in Schenectady County

The first Pathways to Employment training program for probationers will be held on February 24, 2004 in Schenectady County. Currently, 15 probationers are registered to attend this six session program which is being facilitated by Schenectady County Probation Officer Judy Sogoian. Pathways to Employment training for Officers was held on February 10th and 11th in Erie County at the Buffalo Employment and Training Center (BETC). 63 officers attended, with two from Wyoming County. The BETC is a one stop center equipped with an on-site child care, GED classes, VESID services, Social Services, Job Corps sign-up and orientation, as well as employment counseling, job readiness classes and a boutique to help with interview clothing. The next scheduled Pathways to Employment training for officers is scheduled for March 3, 2004 in Saratoga County in Ballston Spa. For additional information on this training contact DPCA Community Corrections Representative Cynthia Blair at (518) 457-0501 or Cynthia.blair@dpca.state.ny.us.

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4. Erie County Probation pilots a much needed juvenile weekend release program

A pilot program in the Erie County Probation Department is utilizing the YASI assessment in an after hours program to determine for release from detention to their own homes those eligible City of Buffalo youth arrested on felony charges over the weekend. This program is in operation every weekend and helps to avoid detention costs for appropriate detained youth in Erie County. For more information on this program, contact Principal Probation Officer Martha Yagle at (716) 858-8002 or yaglem@erie.gov. Again, please contact Yvonne Behan at DPCA at 518 457-5275 or yvonne.behan@dpca.state.ny.us by February 27th, 2004 to include your staff in the new round of YASI training.

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5. Clarification on item in last "e-Focus" pertaining to hit notices and rap sheets

It was stated in Issue #21 of the eFocus that, with the February 5th, 2004 release of eJusticeNY, subscribing probation departments will receive hit notices for a greater number of arrest events. The following example provides a clearer explanation: John Jones is on probation with the Albany County Probation Department for Assault. He subsequently is arrested in Plattsburgh for PL 240.20 sub 01, "Disorderly Conduct: Fight/Violent Behavior." Since it's a non-fingerprintable offense, the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) would process the fingerprint (if submitted) to establish identity and return wants/warrants, but NOT update the arrest to the subject's rapsheet. Currently, DCJS would also NOT send a hit notice, and Jones' PO would likely never even know about the incident. The upcoming change will be that, although DCJS will still not update the rapsheet, the Albany County Probation Dept. will get a hit notice when John Jones is identified as the result of the fingerprint processing because: 1) he has an OPEN probation supervision case with Albany County Probation Dept, and 2) Albany County Probation Dept is an eJustice site. The contact for more information is Holly Warner at DCJS at (518) 457-1811 or holly.warner@dcjs.ny.gov.

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6. Westchester County Probation, part of a team conducting “Operation Predator”, removes 30 sex offenders from the streets

On January 10th, 2004, a five-month collaborative investigation involving the Westchester County Probation Department, the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, police officers, and district attorney's investigators resulted in the arrest of 30 legal and illegal immigrants. Those arrested, Westchester County Probationers convicted of sex crimes, are facing possible deportation. According to Westchester County Probation Commissioner Rocco Pozzi, predawn raids were conducted seeking convicted Sex Offenders under Westchester County Probation Supervision in Bedford Hills, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Ossining, Peekskill, Port Chester, Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, White Plains and Yonkers. “Operation Predator clearly illustrates the significant role that probation contributes to maintaining the maximum level of community protection for all victims of crimes", Pozzi said, adding that 85 percent of convicted sex offenders are sentenced to probation. More than 130 special agents, county probation and police officers and district attorney's investigators were involved in the raid.

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7. Free Braille transcription service available to government agencies including probation departments and other ATI programs

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance's Office of Affirmative Action offers a free Braille Transcription Service for New York State Government employees, Customers of New York State, and participants in New York State Programs. Local probation departments and ATI agencies are included. There are guidelines for preparing and submitting document(s) to be transcribed. Contact 518-485-2903 to discuss a project or to get additional information about this free service. Document(s) to be transcribed may be submitted via email to michael_durocher@tax.state.ny.us.

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8. “QuickViews” a link to NYC data

The NYC Criminal Justice Agency (NYCJA) has shared information of a research tool available on the web. “QuickViews” provides graphs that highlight interesting data about the criminal justice system in New York City and new graphs are introduced on a regular basis. The link to QuickViews is on the main research page of the web site: http://www.nycja.org/research/research.htm, or, directly to the first “QuickView” at http://www.nycja.org/research/quickviews.htm. Marian Gewirtz, a Senior Research Analyst at NYCJA, will oversee the “QuickViews” series, developing ideas for topics to be covered and analyzing new data as needed. If you have any suggestions for future topics, please contact her at mgewirtz@nycja.org.

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9. “Kids Well-being Indicators Clearinghouse,” an interactive, publicly accessible website provides data as a means to improve outcomes for New York’s children and families

The New York State Council on Children and Families has announced the availability of a “Kids Well-being Indicators Clearinghouse” database at www.nyskwic.org. The council has presented children’s health, education and well-being indicators in the database as a means to help assess needs, design and improve programs, and sharpen the focus on outcomes. The database answers numerous queries and can be used to make graphs and charts which should be a very valuable resource in preparing to address the needs of your communities.

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10. Tool for identifying delinquency prevention strategies available

An exciting opportunity for research and planning was announced at the recent American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) annual winter institute in Reno, Nevada. Project staff from the federal Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) presented on a new publication ”Model Programs Guide and Database” and their online searchable database as well. Both tools are designed to assist communities in delinquency prevention through suggested strategies which enhance their likelihood for success by detailing scientifically tested and proven evidence-based programs and promising strategies. The database is located on the OJJDP website at: http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org/titlev.html and can be searched by age group, ethnicity, gender; target population; or program type. New programs that meet the strict evaluation criteria are added continually.

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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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