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 43, March 7, 2006
NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
Robert M. Maccarone, State Director
Yvonne J. Behan, Editor
Visit the DPCA website at http://www.dpca.state.ny.us

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  1. Fundamentals of Probation Practice–Expanding the new training; maintaining curriculum integrity
  2. Improving Academic Performance–Rockland Probation Department takes an innovative approach
  3. Probation Automation: a Joint DPCA/probation department Goal!
  4. DPCA to hold statewide meeting on April 13th regarding 2005 PINS Laws
  5. Schoharie County Probation Director Tom Slater named DPCA Executive Deputy Director
  6. Resources, Information and Upcoming Trainings

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1. Fundamentals of Probation Practice – Expanding the new training; maintaining curriculum integrity – DPCA is responsible for providing the required Fundamentals of Probation Practice (FPP) training to newly hired probation officers across New York State. DPCA, along with probation focus groups, the Council of Probation Administrators (COPA), the Probation Officer’s Association (POA) and Orbis Partners has recently completed the redesign of the FPP curriculum. The new Fundamentals is the result of research which has led the way to more effective approaches and innovations in the field of probation. These innovations have emerged from a body of research that is generally referred to as “What Works” or evidence-based practice. Today’s Fundamentals training is the most up-to-date, state of the art training in the field of probation. Fundamentals is taught in Albany by DPCA and by the larger counties including Westchester, Suffolk, NYC, Nassau and Monroe. As part of DPCA’s overall plan to ensure the consistency and integrity of the new training curriculum, trainers in the larger counties have completed a certification process. The certification process includes attending a 2-week Fundamentals class, participating in a Train-the-Trainer (TfT) program and then conducting certain modules of the training with a mentor. Staff development officers and in-house trainers from Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Monroe Counties completed their certification process by attending a TfT held in January and then actually conducting the next FPP class which was held for 2 weeks beginning January 25th. Congratulations to the following trainers for successfully completing the FPP Instructor Certification process: Terri Dohrenwend, Lynette Murphy and Dave Maddox from Suffolk County; Elyse Josephson, Judy Sage and Joseph Rinaldi from Westchester County; Janet Licht, Daria Bour, and Kim VanCamp from Monroe County and John Willdigg, Mike Elkind and Cheryl Garber from Nassau County.

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2. Improving Academic Performance – Rockland Probation Department takes an innovative approach to helping at-risk youth find academic success - With a grant from the County Executive and Legislature, the Rockland County Department of Probation has been providing a Tutorial Program to at-risk youths since 1999. The program is administered by the Rockland Teachers’ Center and the focus is on improving academic performance of PINS and JD youth. The tutors, in addition to providing direct instruction in designated academic areas, often provide less tangible ancillary benefits to their clients. Several students told their probation officer that they looked forward to their tutorial sessions, even if they didn’t care for school too much. One student was referred to several sessions of the program and, learning the values of commitment and persistence from her tutors, gained admission to the college of her choice. She is now a sophomore. In another case, a troubled eighth grader went from being a leader in suspensions to a repeat member of the Honor Roll as a tenth grader. Now an eleventh grader, he has his sights set on college. This partnership with the Rockland Teachers’ Center demonstrates how resources can be structured to meet the academic needs of at-risk youth.

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3. Probation Automation: a Joint DPCA/probation department Goal - DPCA has secured in excess of $300,000 in federal Law Enforcement Block Grant Funds to dramatically increase the number of probation departments that are fully automated. This agency has also received final approval for the use of these funds to offer 17 counties the opportunity to implement the PROBER web-based information system. These counties expressed interest in doing so in two successive DPCA/DCJS technology surveys. Our goal is to have all county probation departments automated and to have delivered technology to the desktops of all probation officers through the state.

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4. DPCA to hold statewide meeting on April 13th regarding 2005 PINS Laws – DPCA is hosting this meeting to provide opportunity for counties to have a productive exchange of ideas and information regarding innovative planning, services and collaborations that have been developed in implementation of the PINS law, as well as to identify and discuss outstanding issues and concerns. We anticipate that these discussions will guide us all in planning next steps for meeting the needs of the PINS population, including PINS Intake Rule Revision (Part 357). Each county has been asked to send no more than two persons to the meeting. By Friday, April 7th, please provide the names of those who plan to attend to Gerald Morton, Community Correction Representative II at Gerald.Morton@dpca.state.ny.us , or you may call Gerry at 518-485-5133.

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5. Schoharie County Probation Director Tom Slater named DPCA Executive Deputy Director – Tom Slater will be joining DPCA as the Executive Deputy Director, effective Thursday, March 9, 2006. For the past 15 years, Tom has proudly served Schoharie County as the Probation Director and STOP-DWI Coordinator. He also served with the State Commission of Correction as a Senior Program Analyst and prior to that time, as a Probation Officer and Deputy Sheriff for Schoharie County. Tom is a former President of the Council of Probation Administrators (COPA) and a known leader in the probation community. Tom holds a Masters Degree and a Doctoral Degree from the State University at Albany and currently teaches in the criminal justice program there. We welcome Tom to DPCA!

New York State Director of Criminal Justice Chauncey G. Parker administered the Oath of Office to Robert M. Maccarone, who was confirmed by the NYS State Senate to serve as Governor Pataki's State Director of the NYS Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (DPCA). Mr. Maccarone has been serving as Acting State Director of DPCA since November 2005. Visit DPCA website at www.dpca.state.ny.us for additional information.

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6. Resources, Awards, Information and Upcoming Trainings:

~~ Gary Govel has joined DPCA as a Community Correction Representative 2. Gary is a former probation officer for Albany County with over 15 years of experience in various key positions. Gary will work in the Adult Services Bureau and will be primarily responsible for the ISP Programs and other high-risk populations. In addition, we welcome Ron Bergstrom to the DPCA Training Unit. For over the last 15 years, Ron has served as the Executive Director of the Schoharie County Council of Alcohol and Substance Abuse. He joins DPCA as a Community Corrections Representative I and will work on a grant supported by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. The DPCA Budget and Fiscal Services Unit is pleased to announce that Veronica Sturn has joined their team. Veronica will assist with processing claims received from DPCA funded programs and brings to DPCA a great deal of experience. Previously, Veronica worked with the NYS Division of the Treasury as a Principal Account Clerk in the Unemployment Insurance Benefits Section. Welcome to all!

~~ The New York Association of Pretrial Services Agencies (NYAPSA) presented a pretrial track at the Drug Court Conference on March 2-4, 2006. Pretrial professionals from around the state gathered to network and discuss relevant issues including: the new Defender Based Advocacy (DBA) and National Pretrial Release Standards, Pretrial as the Information “Gatekeepers” in the Court, Diversion as an Alternative Option and Pretrial Roundtable: What’s new around the state? NYAPSA had its annual Business Meeting during the conference. For more information contact NYAPSA President Craig McNair at cmcnair@monroecounty.gov or (585) 454-4411 Ext. 3006.

~~ A retirement dinner honoring Oneida County Probation Department Director Allen J. Belmont will be held on Saturday, March 18th in New Hartford, NY. For information and to purchase tickets please contact Tom Marcoline or Kathie Scalise at the County Probation Department at 315-798-5914.

~~ Save the Date!! - A Symposium on State and Local Corrections entitled “Cycle of Sex Offenses” – Understanding What’s Effective in the Community” will be held on Thursday, April 20th, 2006 at the Elmira College Gibson Theatre. Topics to be covered include: “Understanding the Behavioral Cycles of Juvenile and Adult Sexual Offenders and Implications for Community Supervision and Treatment” and “Understanding the Behavioral Cycles.” Additional workshops will also be offered. For more information contact John Sutton, Chemung County Probation Director at JSutton@co.chemung.ny.us or David S. Nemec, Broome County Probation Director at 607-778-2121 or at dnemec@co.broome.ny.us.

~~ National Crime Victims' Rights Week is April 23-29, 2006. Each April since 1981, the National Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) has helped lead communities across the country in their observances of National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW). Public rallies, candlelight vigils and a host of commemorative activities promote victims' rights and services in all sectors of our society. For additional information visit http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/ncvrw/welcome.html.

~~ Don’t miss the New York State Probation Officer’s Association (NYSPOA) 2006 Summer Conference to be held at the Crowne Plaza in Downtown Albany from August 2-4, 2006. Look to future eFocus issues for information about POA Award nominations. Visit http://www.nyspoa.com for more information about the conference and registration materials.

~~ Coordinated Children’s Services Initiative (CCSI) Tier III Committee has launched a state wide wraparound training and evaluation initiative - The Tier III Committee has contracted with the Research Foundation at SUNY Albany to provide free, intensive, multi-year wraparound training, follow-up technical assistance, train-the-trainer sessions and evaluation to five selected counties. A consortium of adjacent counties can jointly apply as a single applicant. There is no fiscal match required for selected counties. Information on the full announcement can be accessed at http://www.ccf.state.ny.us/ccsiwraparound.html.

~~ The 13th National TASC Conference on Drugs and Crime “Recovery Rights and Responsibility” will be held at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel in Birmingham, Alabama from September 17 through 20, 2006. For more information, please visit www.NationalTASC.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 with the name you would like removed from distribution.