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 34, April 1, 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. Message from State Director Sara Fasoldt

2. APPA Annual Institute * July 24-27, 2005 * New York City

3. NYS Probation Officer’s Association (NYSPOA) to co-sponsor DACUM Training

4. Resources, Recognition, Events and Awards, etc.

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1. Message from State Director Sara Fasoldt

I recently attended a very inspirational speech given by Dr. James Garbarino, from the Cornell University School of Human Ecology, and a widely regarded expert on issues of aggression in adolescents. Dr Garbarino is a popular speaker and the author of Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them and also And Words Can Hurt Forever: How to Protect Adolescents from Bullying, Harassment, and Emotional Violence. Today he is working on a new book about girls’ aggression, which he said he plans to publish as See Jane Hit. Dr Garbarino provided a thought provoking review of research on contributing causes of the rise in female crime and violence. He also told the audience that an indicator of a society is “those at the edges,” and he cautioned that good intentions don’t necessarily get good outcomes. “You can change the world,” Garbarino warned, “but unless you know what you’re doing, please don’t!”

I bring this up because here at DPCA we are working hard to help Probation Officers learn how to motivate offenders to change. To ensure that they will “know what they’re doing”, we are reworking the Fundamentals of Probation Practice curriculum to teach the skills of assessing risk, need and responsivity in both juvenile and adult offenders and probationers. We are developing training approaches to help connect the assessments with intentional case planning, specific to their risk areas and criminogenic needs, and building on their protective factors. DPCA has had the benefit of voices from the field in this process: Greene County Probation Director Barbara Valicenti representing the Council of Probation Administrators (COPA), and Albany County Probation Officer Kevin McKay representing the NYS Probation Officer’s Association (NYSPOA), have been working hard along side all of the DPCA Community Corrections Representatives and executive staff, together with our consultants, on this ambitious project. We will keep you posted on our progress.

Change is difficult for all of us; however, in New York State, Probation has embraced the shift from a contact counting to an outcome measuring approach. We are listening to the growing body of research that leads us toward doing “what works”. In this process we are finding our way to articulating the role of the Probation Officer, no longer in terms of the extremes --- law enforcer or social worker --- but as a blend of all of the skills involved in dual roles in risk management and risk reduction of the community corrections population. While we work on the Probation curriculum redesign, we are not forgetting our Alternative to Incarceration (ATI) friends and colleagues. I am a new board member of the NYS Association of Drug Court Professionals, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary at a conference in Rochester from March 2 through 4. There were over 700 attendees, and many from the ATI world presented there. The New York Association of Pretrial Service Agencies (NYAPSA) organized and worked with the Drug Court Professionals in providing a pre-conference workshop in Problem Solving Courts with a plenary which included Jerry McElroy, the Executive Director of the NYC Criminal Justice Agency (CJA). Mr. McElroy also participated in a break-out session reviewing the American Bar Association (ABA) and national Pre-Trial Standards (NYS standards available on the DPCA website). Barb Darbey, Executive Director of Pre-Trial Services Corporation in Rochester, Trey Lockhart, Executive Director of the Wayne County Pretrial Services and Hank Pirowski, COURTS Program Coordinator in Buffalo City Court all participated in a panel on the importance of Pretrial Diversion as a valuable tool to courts. Barb Darbey and Peter Kiers, Associate Director for Operations at CJA were on a panel on issues related to confidentiality and technology discussing the implications of linking databases and sharing information. A concurrent workshop presented information about the benefits to specialty courts of using existing pretrial services, rather than duplicating them. On that panel were: Craig McNair, Director of Operations, Pre-Trial Services Corp of Rochester; Cathy Scheffer, Women’s Opportunity Resource Center (EAC) Nassau County; Catherine Alexander, Regional Director, NYC CJA; and Cathy Lane, Deputy Director, Dutchess County Probation and Community Corrections.

Other presenters, to name a few from our funded agencies, were Tim Meester, Dutchess County Probation Department, who participated on a panel discussing best practices in Adult Treatment Courts and on a Family Treatment Courts best practices panel, Karen Ecklund, Forensic Counselor in the Tompkins County Treatment Court’s Day Reporting Program. PO Rosario Zucco from Monroe County participated in a session on best practices in Juvenile Treatment Courts.

Our trusted advisor Dr. Faye Taxman, who is now with the Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at the Virginia Commonwealth University, was a luncheon speaker. She and John Roman from the Urban Institute discussed the Research perspective. Dr. Taxman reminded the audience that assessment is critical to getting the right population in this resource for the best results and best use of finite criminal justice dollars. She said the research shows that the most successful drug court graduates are those older people with long histories of addiction who are facing very serious criminal justice consequences if they don’t succeed in drug court. As you can see, I found the conference full of valuable information and resources, which I happily share. Please continue to include me and my staff in your plans for education and information sharing events.

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2. APPA Annual Institute * July 24-27, 2005 * New York City – Important Hotel Reservation Information! – DPCA has identified funds and will be awarding up to 425 full scholarships to 37 probation departments throughout the State. Specific information went out to probation departments about these scholarships on March 15th. The APPA registration can be found online at http://www.appa-net.org. Additionally, the deadline to make reservations at the Marriott Hotel is June 24th. After June 24th, the hotel has no obligation to sell rooms to APPA at the group rate of $149.00; therefore the Marriott will be offering rooms in the $200 plus range, if they are even available. Also, individuals who have booked 2, 3, 4 and more rooms in their name must PLEASE cancel any unused rooms by May 1.

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3. New York State Probation Officer’s Association (NYSPOA) to co-sponsor National Institute of Corrections DACUM Training for Facilitators - The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Regionalization Project will be conducting a three-day train-the-trainer for DACUM Facilitators on May 25-27, 2005. The training will be held from 8:00am-4:00pm daily in Albany at 80 Wolf Road in the 4th floor training room. Individuals from community corrections agencies who are responsible for staff training programs, staff development officers, and general human resource management should attend this seminar to learn skills and techniques for the use of the Job-Task-Analysis-Technique known as DACUM. DACUM or “Developing A Curriculum” is a relatively new and innovative approach to occupational analysis. It has proven to be a very effective method of determining, at a relatively low cost, the tasks that must be performed by persons employed in a given occupational area. There is no fee for seminar participation or materials, but you or your agency is responsible for the cost of travel, lodging (if needed), and other meals. NYSPOA will be providing lunches for the three day training seminar to all participants. Inquiries about this program can be made by contacting NIC regional field coordinators: Karen Birch at president@nyspoa.com or Jo Glazier at jglazier@parole.state.ny.us.

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4. Resources, Recognition, Events and Awards

Problem-Solving Initiative Grant Released - Deadline: April 14, 2005 – The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has released the FY 2005 grant announcement for the Community-Based Problem-Solving Criminal Justice Initiative. The Initiative's purpose is to improve court and community outcomes and reduce recidivism. The mission of Problem-Solving Approaches Initiative is to improve outcomes for defendants and reduce recidivism through the collaboration between courts, law enforcement, human service organizations and community based organizations. The solicitation seeks to fund projects which demonstrate and focus the energy of the criminal justice system on solving the underlying problems that bring defendants into the criminal justice system and to the Problem-Solving Approaches Initiative. For more information, visit: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/grant/05PSCsol.pdf.

Family Justice – Spreading the Message - Word from our colleague, Carol Shapiro, Executive Director of Family Justice that Family Justice was featured on the radio show "Community Connections" Sunday, February, 27th discussing prisoner reentry in New York City and across the nation, as well as the recommendations of the Reentry Policy Center (RPC). Carol said it was a “great opportunity to educate listeners about Family Justice's efforts to bring a family-focused, strength-based perspective to the work of our many government partners. Also, Family Justice participated in a live broadcast hosted by the National Institute of Corrections that explored the inherent strengths of family support networks in prisoner reentry. Many of you may remember Carol Shapiro’s presentation to us at the November 2004 Statewide Symposium for Directors. Family Justice draws on the unique strengths of families and neighborhoods to break cycles of involvement with the criminal justice system. For more information about Family Justice visit http://www.familyjustice.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. 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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