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 32, January 27, 2005
NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
Sara Tullar Fasoldt, State Director
Robert Maccarone, Executive Deputy Director
Yvonne J. Behan, Editor
Visit the DPCA website at http://www.dpca.state.ny.us

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In this Issue. . .

1 Probation collection of DNA samples invaluable to criminal justice system
2. Employment…still job number one!
3. Integrated Probation Registrant System (I-PRS) update
4. New Probation Directors attend advanced training program
5. Fundamentals of Probation Practice Spring 2005 Rescheduled
6. Probation departments propose partnership to enforce orders of protection
7. Did You Know?
8. Resources, events and awards

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1. Probation collection of DNA samples invaluable to criminal justice system - It is critically important that Probation strive to obtain a DNA sample from each and every appropriate case. As of December 23, 2004, 1754 samples have been collected in counties outside New York City. This represents approximately 63% of DNA samples identified following the July 6, 2004 legislation. Notably, 48 counties have collected 50% or more of these required samples; nine counties have collected all of the samples. In New York City, 765 samples have been collected, representing approximately 35% of the owed samples. DNA evidence is a powerful tool for law enforcement agencies. Historically, probation departments have played a key role in facilitating this collection process. To date, ten criminal offenders have been identified, apprehended and convicted of serious crimes based on DNA evidence collected and submitted by probation officers throughout New York State. Additional “hits” have been made and are pending investigation.

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2. Employment…still job number one! - Albany County Probation Officer, Matt Charton will conduct a Ready, Set, Work group in Albany on February 15th. Officer Charton will work with unemployed and underemployed probationers using the skills he obtains from the National Institute of Corrections’ Offender Workforce Development training program he is attending in Oklahoma City in January 2005. PO Judy Sogoian of Schenectady County Probation and Officer Charton plan to run additional Ready, Set, Work groups. Any department interested in beginning a group should contact Cynthia Blair, DPCA Community Corrections Representative II at 518-457-0501 or Cynthia.Blair@dpca.state.ny.us.

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3. Integrated Probation Registrant System (I-PRS) Update - A key feature of the new Integrated Probation Registrant System (I-PRS) will be data entry through eJusticeNY, replacing the current entry through NYSPIN. Data entry through eJusticeNY will be tightly integrated with Criminal Case History (CCH) records, offering the capability to pre-fill most of the data fields. The new system will also be able to provide real-time feedback on the acceptability of the data for posting to CCH. On-line report capabilities to support the tracking of probationers by county will also be offered. For agencies that enter probation data through NYSPIN (batch export submitting agencies will be unaffected), access to eJusticeNY will be necessary in order to sustain the ability to enter that information. This underscores the need for all agencies to access eJusticeNY.

An I-PRS test site has been developed and is accessible through the Probation Services Suite on eJusticeNY. At this time, the probation search screen is available, through the test site, and will display all probation data currently on file at DCJS. The pre-entry screen is also available, but will require some new data elements. The closing, transfer and delete screens are also all available to perform those functions as appropriate. These are test screens and available for you to view and input test information; official case record keeping must still be processed through the CDS until officially announced. DCJS welcomes your input on this project through the FEEDBACK function located on the homepage of eJusticeNY. Questions about eJusticeNY connectivity should be directed to 1-800-262-DCJS (3257).

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4. New Probation Directors attend advanced training program - DPCA provided Probation Executive Leadership, an advanced training program for new probation directors, on January 12 and 13 in Albany. The training and information presented was consistent with the best interests of public safety, the reduction of crime and the restoration of victims. According to feedback received by DPCA, this program was extremely beneficial in providing accurate, up-to-date information and advice. Experienced probation directors (Pat Aikens, Tom Slater, Jacqueline Stormes and Mary Lolik and Deputy Director Joe Mancini) discussed all phases of probation department management with the new directors including critical incidents, psychological testing and fingerprinting of new employees, negotiating as agency head within the county government regarding union issues, personnel and career matters and mistakes to avoid and steps to take and personnel decisions to be considered when a director retires to name a few. A binder containing all the materials presented at the program will be provided to those new directors who were unable to attend.

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5. Fundamentals of Probation Practice Spring 2005 Rescheduled and Redesign – The next session of Fundamentals of Probation Practice (FPP) has been rescheduled for June 2005. This class will include the new, redesigned FPP curriculum. Please note that the new schedule in June has FPP in two consecutive weeks. Office Safety and Survival Training (OSST) and Peace Officer Supplement, expanded to five days, are the last week in June. The new dates are as follows:

Fundamentals of Probation - Week (1) - June 6 – 10, 2005

Fundamentals of Probation - Week (2) - June 13 -17, 2005

OSST and Peace Officer Supplement - June 27 – July 1, 2005

The FPP re-design incorporates evidence-based practice principles and the ‘what works’ research into the existing Fundamentals training provided to all new probation officers statewide. DPCA is working with a consultant to develop this new curriculum. Certain topics in the new curriculum for Fundamentals of Probation Practice will require specific probation content and are being addressed through workgroups made up of DPCA staff and probation professionals:

Powers of Peace Officers – Steve Powers, DPCA – Stephen.powers@dpca.state.ny.us

Justice System and the Law – Kathi Pallotta, DPCA – Kathi.pallotta@dpca.state.ny.us

Investigation Report Preparation/PSI/Victims –

Laura Bauer, DPCA -Laura.Bauer@dpca.state.ny.us

Cultural Awareness – Yvonne Behan, DPCA – Yvonne.behan@dpca.state.ny.us

Officer Safety – Steve Powers, DPCA – Stephen.powers@dpca.state.ny.us

Supervision Maintenance Skills – Walter Cogswell, DPCA – walter.cogswell@dpca.state.ny.us

Testifying – Linda Valenti, DPCA – Linda.valenti@dpca.state.ny.us

Criminal Justice Data Systems and Technology –Jamie Krueger, DPCA - Jamie.krueger@dpca.state.ny.us

Stress Management – Bernard Wilson, DPCA – Bernard.wilson@dpca.state.ny.us

For more information contact Steve Powers, DPCA Director of Training at (518) 485-2402 or Stephen.powers@dpca.state.ny.us.

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6. Two western county probation departments propose partnership to enforce orders of protection and provide victim advocacy in rural, most isolated regions – Since April 2004, the Erie County Probation Department has utilized funds from a federal Office of Justice Programs’ Violence Against Women Act grant to encourage arrest policies and enforce orders of protection. This enhanced probation service, especially critical for residents in the rural, more isolated regions of the county, has resulted in the review of 260 domestic incident reports, the supervision of 87 cases and the provision of more immediate advocacy services for over 100 women. Additionally, 16 offenders were arrested for violating orders of protection. A new grant request was recently submitted jointly by the Erie and Cattaraugus County Probation Departments. Nearly 300,000 people live in the City of Buffalo and the combined population of the surrounding metropolitan area totals 934,471. Cattaraugus County includes the two small cities, 32 townships, 13 villages and the Cattaraugus and Allegany Indian reservations, home of the Seneca Nation. Cattaraugus County is mainly rural and has an estimated population of 84,000. Erie and Cattaraugus County officials said, “We are most excited about the prospect of this project growing into a much needed partnership serving the most isolated and perhaps, the neediest, residents along a shared border. This proposal will address the critical 24 hours following arrest/arraignment of a domestic incident, decrease victim attrition in prosecution and intensify the supervision of batterers.”

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7. Did you know?

a The first half of the 2004 Criminal Probation Workload Statistics (PWS) and the first half of 2004 Family PWS have been posted to the Probation Suite of eJusticeNY. Please be sure to read the cover letter first.

a During the fourth quarter of 2004, probation departments verified the addresses of 3,306 sex offenders and confirmed that a total of 94% of those offenders were located at the correct address given.

a Effective July 1, 2005, Section 3205 - Title IV, Article 65, Part I of State Education Law will be amended, as follows: “In each school district, the board of education shall have power to require minors from sixteen to seventeen years of age who are not employed to attend upon full time day instruction until the last day of session in the school year in which the student becomes seventeen years of age. Use the following link to go to the NYSSED website. The new legislation is available under “Compulsory Attendance”, then “EL3205”:

http://emsc33.nysed.gov/sss/Attendance/Matrix-AttLawsRegs.htm#Compulsory%20Attendance

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8. Resources, Events and Awards

a The 2nd Annual Bridges and Barriers Forensic Conference: Integrating Community Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System will be held on March 15, 2005 at Sage College, Albany Campus. DPCA’s Training in Identification of Mental Illness for Probation and Community Alternatives Practitioners - Signs of Mental Illness CD will be among many items presented and available. Registration deadline is March 8th. Please contact the Albany County Forensic Task Force at (518) 448-6413 for information.

a Grants News – The NYS Assembly issues the Grants Action News by mail and electronically. The newsletter provides information on available state and federal grants. Here is a link to the latest issue - http://assembly.ny.gov/gan/20050101/. This link has also been added to the DPCA website’s Quick Links section.

a The New York State Crime Victims Board (CVB) will hold a statewide training entitled “Elder Crime Victims: Myths and Realities” - Space is very limited at this training. Organizations are asked to call (518) 485-2763 in advance to register more than two participants. The deadline for registration is Friday, February 4, 2005. Contact the New York State Crime Victims Board (CVB) Grants Unit by email at cvbgrants@ovs.ny.gov.

a The National Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) makes available resources for over 150 professionals to attend one of 5 trainings to teach Civics in Juvenile Justice settings and more - YOUTH FOR JUSTICE (YFJ) is a name for the National Law-Related Education Program at the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). YFJ is making resources available for over 150 individuals and "teams" from various settings to be trained to teach increased numbers of youth about civics and law-related education. The Nation's Leading Civic Organizations, the Center for Civic Education, Constitutional Rights Foundation and Street Law have received cooperative agreements from DOJ to administer these trainings to increase civic education, with a particular emphasis on those youth who are incarcerated, and likely not receiving quality education, and many are our minority children, who comprise disproportionate numbers incarcerated, and are in need of such civic and law-related education. Application instructions are located at www.youthforjustice.org.

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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 at Yvonne.behan@dpca.state.ny.us the name you would like removed from distribution.

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