I am happy to announce that DPCA’s website has been updated and is now available at http://dpca.state.ny.us/. This site was designed to provide you with the information you need and to inform the general public of the work Probation and ATI does in support of New York State’s criminal justice initiatives. I hope you find the site both useful and informative. As always, I welcome your comments. Thank you.

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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 26, July 20, 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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IN THIS ISSUE

  1. Repeat DWI Offenders are Subject of New Training
  2. Identifying the Signs of Mental Illness: Training and Programs
  3. Upcoming Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision Training
  4. Orange Co. Probation to use IMPACT Monies for Youth and Crime Prevention
  5. May 2004 OASAS/Probation Survey Results
  6. DPCA Welcomes 12 Additional Counties to YASI Project
  7. Probation Department’s New Approach with Youth Seeing Positive Outcomes
  8. Onondaga County Probation Facilitates 75 to receive GED
  9. Online Federal Series Examines “Access to Counsel” in the Juvenile Justice System
  10. Awards and Events

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1. REPEAT DWI OFFENDERS ARE SUBJECT OF NEW TRAINING - State Director Sara Fasoldt presented copies of two new computer-assisted instruction courses on the repeat DWI offender to NYS Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Raymond Martinez at a Statewide DWI Symposium in June. The Symposium, Probation Management of the Repeat DWI Offender, was held on June 4th in Warren County. Nearly 170 representatives including 30 probation departments, STOP-DWI Coordinators, the NYS Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, NYS Department of Motor Vehicles, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) attended. The topics addressed at the Symposium were Probation and Traffic Safety, new DWI legislation, current NYS DMV Re-licensing Policies and Regulations, and the DWI offender’s experience with Drug Courts. DPCA also provided an introductory demonstration on the two instruction courses: one created for probation officers who supervise the repeat DWI offender and the other, developed for the DWI offender. Copies of each CD were provided to attendees and have recently been distributed to all probation departments. For more information contact Stephen Powers, DPCA Director of Training at (518) 485-2402 or Stephen.powers@dpca.state.ny.us.

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2. TOOLS FOR PROBATION AND MENTAL ILLNESS: TRAINING AND PROGRAMS – DPCA currently funds seven programs, (five programs in probation departments and two in Alternatives to Incarceration programs) for those criminal justice involved persons with mental illness. Each of these programs has found that it makes a huge difference having access to, or having on-site, one person with mental health expertise. DPCA places a high importance on correctly identifying mental health problems and mental illness in the criminal justice involved population. The recently published directory of these programs entitled “Shared Services: Alternatives to Incarceration for Defendants and Offenders with Mental Illness” has been distributed. Please visit the new DPCA website at http://www.dpca.state.ny.us to view a recent report on these and other programs entitled “Forensic Mental Health Services in New York State.” The report features practical strategies for improving work in this area.

In addition, DPCA collaborated with the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES) to produce the recently released CD entitled, “Signs of Mental Illness: Training in Identification of Mental Illness for Probation and Community Alternatives Practitioners.” Probation departments have recently received copies of the CD. For additional information on this CD or the programs mentioned above, contact Bernard Wilson at DPCA at (518) 485-5137 or bernard.wilson@dpca.state.ny.us.

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3. INTERSTATE COMMISSION FOR ADULT OFFENDER SUPERVISION TRAINING - Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision Training will be held on Thursday, July 22, 2004 at DPCA, 80 Wolf Road in Albany in the 4th Floor Training Room from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Probation Directors and Interstate Designees are encouraged to attend as this session will provide information on the implementation of the new compact, effective August 1, 2004. Seating is limited. Contact Laura Bauer, DPCA Community Corrections Representative at 518-485-5160 or laura.bauer@dpca.state.ny.us.

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4. GOVERNOR LAUNCHES FULL-SCALE OPERATION IMPACT MISSION IN NEWBURGH - Orange County Probation to utilize grant on their strategies with youth and crime prevention - Operation IMPACT in Newburgh began last week with an intensive two-day operation involving the local police departments, as well as the Orange County Sheriff's Department, specialized units of the New York State Police, Orange County Probation Department, and New York State Parole. The Orange County IMPACT task force has designed a multi-phase plan, which focuses on a coordinated sharing of intelligence among the three local police departments, as well as state and federal law enforcement agencies, to aggressively reduce gang activity, prostitution, drug-trafficking, violent juvenile crimes, and a number of other quality-of-life crimes. Orange County received $150,208 from the State for IMPACT. In addition, Governor Pataki announced a $234,676 grant for the City of Newburgh to implement the Youth Violence Reduction Strategy initiative. Aimed at reducing the rate of recidivism for young offenders, the program will enhance services provided through the Youth Service Center. The center will train Youth Service Officers within the City of Newburgh Police Department, create a Community Accountability Board to implement restorative Justice Practices, and increase collaboration between the police department and the Orange County Department of Probation. The Youth Service Center will coordinate the Youth Violence Reduction Strategy with the Operation IMPACT Strategy. The grant will also be used to expand the city's juvenile probation strategy and enable probation officers to work during evening hours to enforce curfews and assist with evening Operation IMPACT patrols. Orange County Probation Director Victoria Casey said, "The Orange County Probation Department fully supports the goals and strategies of Project IMPACT and is committed to actively participating as a full partner in this collaborative effort. The result of this good work is immediate and impressive."

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5. OASAS/PROBATION SURVEY IDENTIFIES CHALLENGES AND NEEDS - DPCA has recently gathered information about the working relationships between probation and treatment providers. Forty-two probation departments participated in the May 2004 OASAS/ Probation Survey. Many of the departments reported a deficiency in the availability of treatment options for probationers in special populations including MICA, the juvenile/adolescent population ages 16-18, the Spanish speaking population, and sex offenders. Barriers to treatment including cost and transportation were also areas of concern. Although many departments reported to have a good working relationship with their local treatment providers, it was suggested that both treatment and probation staff would benefit from training to define and clarify the roles each play in the process. In the coming months, DPCA, OASAS, and probation representatives will explore specific training needs to improve services. For further information on this survey please contact Laura Bauer, DPCA Community Corrections Representative, at (518) 485-5160 or laura.bauer@dpca.state.ny.us. Probation and other community corrections professionals are also encouraged to visit the New York State OASAS online treatment directory at http://aps.oasas.ny.gov/providers/.

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6. YASI PARTICIPATION INCREASES BY 12 MORE COUNTIES - Phase 4 of the YASI project added 12 new counties - bringing the total number of counties in New York State participating in the Youth Assessment Screening Instrument (YASI) project to 46. Each of the 46 counties is implementing and utilizing YASI at various stages and progress is being recognized. Some counties have requested, and will receive, additional assistance with implementation and application. In June 2004, 3 separate two-day Initial Trainings were held in Nassau and Erie Counties. Also, a Supervisor’s Training was conducted in Albany, and a series of Regional Forums on YASI were also held across the state in Albany, Genesee, Ontario, Rockland and Onondaga Counties. DPCA welcomes the 12 new YASI sites: Wyoming, Fulton, Yates, Washington, Schuyler, Rensselaer, Cortland, Rockland, Otsego, Nassau, and Tioga counties, and the New York City Department of Probation, along with the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES) ATI program in NYC. For additional information contact Patricia Donohue, DPCA Community Corrections Representative at (518) 485-5158 or patricia.donohue@dpca.state.ny.us

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7. PROBATION DEPARTMENT’S NEW APPROACH WITH PINS NOTED - The Poughkeepsie Journal ran a story in May 2004 highlighting the work of probation officers with youth in Dutchess County. According to the story, some probation officers in the Dutchess County Probation Department’s PINS Unit are using new methods when working with PINS, and, combined with their professional experience, are seeing some positive results. Rather than focusing entirely on the crisis or unchangeable negatives, the officers are looking at ways to build on the youths’ strengths and encourage their interests. These changes in perspective also prompted officers to begin art and photography clubs for their young probationers and, through the Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Poughkeepsie, encourage sports, music, art and poetry. Ulster County Probation has been recognized for similar methods and was highlighted in eFocus #25.

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8. ONONDAGA COUNTY PROBATION DEPARTMENT OFFERS ON-SITE GED PROGRAM: 75 Receive High School Equivalency Diplomas - The Onondaga County Probation Department and the Syracuse City School District began a partnership in 2001 to provide GED classes on-site in the Probation Department. The Syracuse City School District assigned a teacher to provide the GED services and the Probation Department provided classroom space, equipment and referrals. Classes are held three days per week from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Participants are referred by their probation officer and can attend all three days. This program offers high-risk individuals who, for whatever reason, could not adjust to regular school, an opportunity to master the skills needed to complete their high school education. Individuals who pass the test are invited to a graduation exercise. In less than three years, over seventy-five (75) probationers have graduated. We applaud these youth for their commitment and for their accomplishment.

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9. “Access to Counsel” JUVENILE JUSTICE PRACTICES SERIES - The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) announced the availability of "Access to Counsel." This 34-page bulletin is the second in OJJDP's online Juvenile Justice Practices Series. It examines access to legal counsel in the juvenile justice system, describes problems affecting access at each stage of the juvenile justice process, discusses factors that hinder access to and quality of counsel, and identifies elements of effective counsel. The Bulletin outlines five approaches to improving access, cites examples of these approaches, and lists resources for practitioners. "Access to Counsel" (NCJ 204063) is available online only at http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org/publications/PubAbstract.asp?pubi=11679.

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10. AWARDS & EVENTS

  • The World's Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child has achieved global prominence by honoring people working to uphold the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Osborne Association’s Executive Director, Elizabeth Gaynes and her daughter Emani Davis were nominated for this year's award. Liz and Emani are the first US nominees in the history of the Prize, and the only nominees who have worked on behalf of children of incarcerated parents. Together, they received the 2004 World's Children's Honorary Award from Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden in recognition of their groundbreaking work. The Osborne Association is one of the nation’s largest multi-faceted criminal justice agencies. DPCA funds an ATI day treatment program, TREATMENT SERVICES EL RIO at Osborne which focuses on substance abuse treatment and other medical interventions. Studies show that offenders who remain connected to their families are less likely to recidivate and their children are more likely to steer away from crime. Our congratulations go out to Liz and her daughter Emani.
  • Westchester County Probation Officer Bob Grant was recognized recently for his heroic action. Officer Grant witnessed a serious accident and, after calling 911 for help, he directed traffic, most likely preventing other accidents from happening. Officer Grant received the Life Saving Award at the Westchester County Probation Department’s Employee Recognition Day Ceremony in June. Other officers receiving awards were Suzanne Schatzle and Jack Bambace. Congratulations to all!
  • A reminder that the Annual NYS Probation Officer Association (POA) Conference will be held from August 11-14th, 2004. Call (914) 995-3738 for more information. Please note that there will not be another NYSPOA conference until 2006 due to the American Probation and Parole Association conference in NYC in 2005.
  • Congratulations to Barbara Rivadeneyra of the Suffolk County Probation Department for receiving an award from the Middle Atlantic States Correctional Association (MASCA) for her “outstanding achievements in the field of probation and tireless dedication to the continued professionalism to the field.” Officer Rivadeneyra received the award in June at the MASCA conference held in Albany. Barbara is currently the President of the Suffolk County Probation Officers union and sits on the executive board as Treasurer for the NYS Probation Officers Association.
  • “WORKING TOGETHER: THE BEST PRACTICE” - 11th ANNUAL TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY CONFERENCE - Wednesday, October 6, 2004 in Albany The conference’s seven tracks will highlight the most innovative and successful models for serving, supporting and empowering people who have experienced a brain injury and their families. For more information, please call Laura Roe at (518) 474-6580 or e-mail her at lar04@health.state.ny.us.

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eFocus is the property of DPCA. 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) 485-5157 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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