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.

Focus, Issue Number 37, July 7, 2005
NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
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. DPCA/DOL/Probation departments partner to reduce recidivism
2. New Fundamentals of Probation Practice delivered in June 2005
3. DPCA and the NYS Commission of Corrections (SCOC) sponsor IDC course
4. Domestic Violence Training Packages available
5. Resources and Reminders

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1. DPCA, NYS Department of Labor and County Probation Departments partner to bring employment training to probation and community correction professionals - New York team members Cynthia Blair (DPCA), Matt Charton (Albany County Probation), Elaine Kost (NYSDOL), Rochelle Cohen Lempert (Monroe County Probation), Ana Angell Neustat (Dutchess County Probation), and Judy Sogoian (Schenectady County Probation) completed the three week Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS) training in Oklahoma City on April 22 and will be delivering additional Pathways to Employment trainings: Ready, Set, Work! and the new Employment Matters across New York State. On May 9, Probation Directors, Pat Aikens from Albany, Mary Ellen Still from Dutchess, Robert Burns from Monroe, and Mary Lolik from Schenectady counties and a number of assistant directors and supervisors were in Albany to hear first hand from the team what they had learned over the three week training. Also in attendance were representatives from the NYS Department of Labor, Karen Papandrea, Director of the Division of Employment Services and Fran McGee, CSC Manager III. Former DPCA State Director Sara Fasoldt welcomed the group and Executive Deputy Director Robert Maccarone facilitated a discussion on program implementation.

Training uses research that supports employment for probationer and its positive effect on reducing recidivism – The RAND study of Intensive Supervision Programs (ISP), initiated by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, identified greater participation in employment, among other factors, “as associated with lower levels of recidivism (both technical violations and new arrests)” (Petersilia and Turner, 1991). In their manual, Restructuring Intensive Supervision Programs: Applying “What Works”, the American Probation and Parole Association concluded: “there appears to be a relationship between greater participation in treatment and employment programs and lower recidivism.” Dr. Edward Latessa in From Theory to Practice, “What Works in Reducing Recidivism” advocates the use of behavioral programs. According to Dr. Latessa “Behavioral programs are action oriented rather than talk oriented.” DPCA and the NYS Department of Labor’s Ready, Set, Work! Trainings for probationers incorporate Dr. Latessa’s findings by including activities in the curriculum that give the probationers a chance to practice the skills they need to get and keep a job. Read more about these employment training programs below:

Advanced employment training, Employment Matters, will be offered to those who work with the criminal justice population – Through a DPCA and NYS Department of Labor (DOL) initiative, in 2004, a total of 30 regional and county Phase I Pathways to Employment trainings were delivered throughout the state to over 400 probation officers and many other service providers. Employment Matters, is now an additional employment training which builds on the initial Pathways Phase I training and will also be offered throughout NYS as a result of the New York team receiving Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS) training in Oklahoma City. Those who have attended the initial Pathways trainings are especially encouraged to be a part of this new training – Employment Matters.
Phase II Ready Set Work! - Employment Training Provided to Offenders – Ready, Set, Work! Is employment training for probationers that include activities which give probationers a chance to practice the skills they need to get and keep a job. Probationer groups are encouraged to actively participate in the job readiness program by becoming familiar with the various aspects of the job search process. Some of the behavior based training involves participants completing job applications, learning how to dress for successful results, and participating in mock interviews. Rather than simply telling probations to get a job, Ready Set Work! teaches probationers, through structured activities, the skills they need to both find and keep a job.

Ready, Set, Work!, for probationers is underway- Schenectady and Albany Counties have started Phase II of Pathways to Employment, Ready, Set, Work! training which uses a curriculum specifically addressing the offender population. Dutchess and Monroe counties will begin new programs July. These four counties will serve as model resource centers for other probation departments in this extremely important and result oriented training. The Offender Workforce Development Specialists (OWDS) team members are available for assistance in getting the Ready, Set, Work! groups started in your department. If you would like to start the program for your county, please contact Cynthia Blair, DPCA Community Corrections Representative II, at (518) 457-0501 or Cynthia.Blair@dpca.state.ny.us.

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2. New Fundamentals of Probation Practice delivered in June 2005 - Twenty-five newly hired probation officers from across New York State attended the re-designed Fundamentals of Probation Practice training from June 6th through 10th and June 13th through 17th. The training was delivered to the officers and a rotating group of Probation Directors who observed. In addition to providing training in the required elements of probation practice, the new curriculum provides a comprehensive, cohesive training based on evidence based practices and established “What Works” principles. Using a grant obtained through the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), DPCA worked with consultant - Orbis Partners, and probation officers throughout the state who served on focus groups, along with representatives from the Council of Probation Administrators (COPA) and the Probation Officer’s Association (POA) in developing the curriculum. Jeffrey A. Mileham, a probation officer with the Genesee County Probation Department, attended the training and said “the What Works module provided concepts a Probation Officer can use when directing Probationers to treatment facilities and ensuring greater treatment accountability with the offender. The Motivational Interviewing module gave us the opportunity to think outside the box on interviewing the offender in an effort to bring about intrinsic change. “Over all,” he continued, “I enjoyed learning the new material and am hopeful that updates will be provided to all Probation employees in order to ensure that as new information is developed it is shared with all Probation Officers throughout New York State.”

DPCA and Probation Directors will be sharing information about the Fundamentals curriculum at the Director’s Symposium scheduled for October 26th-28th of this year. DPCA is also developing a plan to inform probation supervisors in the new curriculum. The process of developing a complete curriculum for probation officers in New York State is ongoing and your input is always welcome. Please contact Yvonne Behan, DPCA Community Corrections Representative II at Yvonne.behan@dpca.state.ny.us for additional information.

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3. DPCA and the New York State Commission of Correction (SCOC) to sponsor Instructor Development Course – The 80 hour Instructor Development Course will be offered on August 8-19, 2005. This course is offered to probation officers and county correction officers to address the growing need for General Topics Instructors. DPCA will cover Academy expenses of lodging (dormitory style) and meals for probation officer trainees accepted into the program. Travel expenses will be the responsibility of the trainee or employer. Those staff completing the course will be certified as general topic instructors by the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services’ (DCJS) Office of Public Safety. Seating is limited. Please contact DPCA Training Director, Steve Powers at Stephen.powers@dpca.state.ny.us for additional information.

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4. Domestic Violence Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) and the Probation Supervision Procedural Packages now available - DPCA has announced the availability of training on the Domestic Violence Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) and the Probation Supervision Procedural Packages. These training packages have been distributed to all Probation Directors and Probation Domestic Violence Liaisons. The training packages are also available in the Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY. To make arrangements for this training on these topics in your county or region please contact Michael Thomas from the Probation Domestic Violence Intervention Project staff. He can be reached by phone at 585-428-5587 or e-mail him at mthomas@monroecounty.gov.

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5. Resources and Reminders: American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) 30th Annual Training – The Marriott Marquis, W New York and Renaissance Hotel will accept tax-exempt certificates and allow payment by personal credit card. However, the Paramount Hotel has advised that if you use a tax-exempt certificate you MUST pay with a company check or cash (Travelers checks are also accepted). Visit http://www.appa-net.org for more information.

PINS and Detention Reform - Effective 4/1/05 – New statutory provisions which change the Statewide approach to youth who are at risk of becoming a Person In Need of Supervision (PINS) and their families became effective April 1, 2005. The new provisions require diversion services to be provided to all youth at risk of becoming a PINS and their families and discourages the use of detention for PINS youth. For more information and “Frequently Asked Questions” visit the NYS Office of Children and Families Services' website at ocfs.ny.gov.

NYS Touchstones/KIDS COUNT 2005 Data Book Now Available - The Data Book profiles present data for New York State, New York City, and each of New York's 62 counties. This edition also features the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System and highlights results from New York State Youth Risk Behavior Surveys conducted between February and December 2003. DPCA has a supply of hard copies. Please contact Barbara Flanigan at 518-485-7692 or by email at Barbara.flanigan@dpca.state.ny.us for a copy. The data book can also be accessed via the Council on Children and Families' web site at www.ccf.state.ny.us. Individual county profiles are only available on the Kids' Well-Being Indicators Clearinghouse (KWIC) www.nyskwic.org where all indicators are included in the profile and access to county demographic profiles is provided. Please contact the Council at 518-473-3652 or e-mail KWIC@ccf.state.ny.us for additional information.

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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 with the name you would like removed from distribution.