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.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

eFocus, Issue Number 45, April 26, 2006
NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
Robert M. Maccarone, State Director
Thomas Slater, Executive Deputy Director
Yvonne J. Behan, Editor

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

IN THIS ISSUE. . .

  1. Probation Directors to attend program at the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Tolerance
  2. Probation Officers to receive criminal intelligence training designed for PO’s
  3. Employment Matters training held in Suffolk County
  4. DPCA supports DNA Databank initiative
  5. Chautauqua Probation moves ahead with conversion to PROBER-Web
  6. Case Record Management and Supervision emergency rules continued through 7/16/06
  7. New on the Probation Services Suite
  8. Basic Course for Peace Officers with Firearms training schedule for May announced
  9. College Initiative Programs facilitates growth and offers hope for those reentering society
  10. YASI Technical Assistance Availability
  11. Probation and Mental Health Services program featured at national conference
  12. Resources, Information and Upcoming Trainings

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

1. Probation Directors to experience training at the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Tolerance in NYC - The Simon Wiesenthal Center for Tolerance provides training and information to law enforcement and criminal justice professionals through an initiative entitled, Tools for Tolerance for Law Enforcement Professionals. Specifically, their one-day program for law enforcement is “Building Community Trust in a Diverse Post 9/11 Environment.” Through a grant to the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Tolerance by the Ford Foundation, DPCA has organized a training program for all Probation Directors on May 15, 2006 at the Tolerance Center. As law enforcement professionals, we know that building and maintaining trust with the community is essential to our success in crime reduction. NYS and many localities have adopted policies and implemented programs, such as Project IMPACT that require an active partnership among law enforcement agencies and the public. For information on the Tolerance Center, please visit http://www.toolsfortolerance.com. For additional information about attending the program please contact Yvonne Behan, DPCA Community Corrections Representative II at Yvonne.behan@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 485-5157.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2. Probation Officers across NYS to receive criminal intelligence training designed exclusively for PO’s – The NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and DPCA recently announced a unique training for designated probation officers in the field of criminal intelligence. Probation Intelligence Officer PIO training will provide instruction on how to create, collect, analyze and share criminal intelligence information useful to the law enforcement community. This specialized one-day training is open to each department’s designated Probation Intelligence Officer (PIO) and alternate PIO and probation supervisors. The first three of six sessions will be as follows: Montgomery County on May 16th, Syracuse on May 17th and Suffolk County on May 31st. The remaining three training locations, which are yet to be scheduled, will be held in Western New York (Erie or Niagara Counties), the Mid/Lower Hudson Valley; and in NYC. Seating for these sessions is limited - registration is required. A copy of the PIO Training Announcement was sent to all county probation departments. Please contact DCJS Senior Training Technician Bill Holt at Willard.Holt@dcjs.ny.gov or (518) 485-9935 for additional registration information.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

3. Employment Matters training held in Suffolk County - Matt Lucas, Employment Specialist for Suffolk County Probation Department, recently attended the Schenectady County Probation Department’s Employment Matters training in January and decided to bring the training to his department on March 23rd. Members of the Offender Workforce Development Specialist team joined Matt and presented in Hauppauge to over 70 participants including 37 probation officers from Suffolk County Probation and representatives from 18 different community agencies. Employment Matters training covers the following topics: Informal Assessments, Barriers and Resources, Job Retention and Legal issues and obtaining employment when someone is on probation or has a criminal history. For more information, please contact Cynthia Blair, DPCA Community Corrections Representative II at (518) 457-0501 or cynthia.blair@dpca.state.ny.us.

Upcoming Employment Matters Training – The Wayne County Probation Department will host Employment Matters training on Wednesday, May 31st at the Wayne County Fire Training Facility in Lyons, NY. Please contact Rick Stevens for directions at (315) 946-7448 and Cynthia Blair, DPCA Community Corrections Representative II at (518) 457-0501 or cynthia.blair@dpca.state.ny.us for additional information on the training.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

4. DPCA supports DNA Databank initiative – In January 2006, Director of Criminal Justice Chauncey Parker advised district attorney’s that the New York State Commission on Forensic Science and the DNA Subcommittee, pursuant to authority in Executive Law §995-c, approved a new DNA initiative pertaining to the creation of a new index in the New York State DNA Databank called the “Subject Index”. The change, effective January 3, 2006, allows the Databank to accept and maintain in the Subject Index, DNA profiles obtained from offenders convicted of crimes whose DNA specimens were collected: (1) pursuant to a plea agreement; (2) as a condition for participation in a DOCS’ temporary release, comprehensive alcohol and substance abuse treatment (“CASAT”), or shock incarceration program; (3) as a condition of release on parole, post-release supervision, presumptive release, or conditional release on a definite or indeterminate sentence; or (4) as a condition of probation or interim probation supervision. Notably, the Databank will accept profiles related to those persons currently under probation supervision or the jurisdiction of the Division of Parole. DPCA State Director Maccarone recently reiterated Director Parker’s call and contacted all district attorney’s calling the initiative “important because it will provide an effective supervision tool for probation departments across the State. Simply put, a probationer on supervision with a DNA sample on file is more likely to comply with the terms and conditions of release and less likely to engage in criminal behavior. Having a DNA sample on file for non-designated offenders promotes offender accountability and safeguards the public.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

5. Chautauqua County Probation Department moves ahead with conversion from PROBER-Plus (Access-based) to PROBER-Web and attends training – Chautauqua County Probation Department is the county scheduled to convert from PROBER-Access based to PROBER-Web (as reported in the last issue of eFocus dated March 2006). Staff from Chautauqua Probation recently attended a full week of training on the PROBER-Web (Caseload Explorer). According to Chautauqua Probation Director Mike Ricketts, the training ”is initially a little overwhelming but by midway through you start to see the light bulbs come on and is like any other change. In the end,” Mike said, “this program’s potential will far exceed PROBER (Access version).” The PROBER automated cased management system follows probation functionality from Family Court Intake and Criminal Court Pre-Trial through Investigation, Supervision and Restitution. Local probation departments using the software are provided a comprehensive automated information system that also enables them to meet their reporting requirements to the courts, the state, etc.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

6. Case Record Management and Supervision Emergency Rules continued through July 16, 2006 - The emergency rule with regard to Case Record Management and Supervision of those under probation supervision has been continued to July 16, 2006. The amendment of the case record rule is to promote public/victim safety, increase offender accountability, facilitate appropriate communication and/or sharing by probation of certain case record information where deemed necessary. For complete information visit Rules and Regulations posted on the DPCA website at http://www.dpca.state.ny.us.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

7. New on the Probation Services Suite – State Director’s Policy Memo #2006-4 Probation Officer Safety/Access to Criminal History Records – Dated April 18, 2006. This memo outlines DPCA’s recent agreement with DCJS that effective immediately, probation officers may utilize the Probation Associate Investigation (PAI) Reason Code contained in your respective Use and Dissemination agreements for the limited purpose of searching the criminal history records of subjects and members of their households in order to ensure officer safety. The memo also provides information on Fingerprint-Based Inquiries for Court Ordered Custody, Adoption, Visitation and Guardianship Investigations, Interstate Transfers and DPCA and DCJS’ new initiative to ensure that everyone sentenced to probation is properly identified through fingerprints and appropriately registered in the criminal history file. For a copy of the entire memo visit the Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY.

Voting Rights of Probationers - DPCA re-released a cover memorandum dated October 25, 1989, from DPCA Counsel Linda Valenti to a NYS Board of Elections Formal Opinion #6 dated August 15, 1983, concerning the voting rights of probationers. The cover memo was sent to all Probation Directors because it is still the current law on this important subject. Both the cover memo and Formal Opinion are located on the DPCA Public Website at http://www.dpca.state.ny.us and in the Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

8. Basic Course for Peace Officers with Firearms training scheduled for May announced – Classes are Full - DPCA has confirmed the registration of twenty-five newly hired probation officers to attend the next round of Basic Course for Peace Officers with Firearms training beginning on May 8, 2006. This program includes Fundamentals of Probation Practice, Peace Officer, Officer Safety and Survival and Firearms training. The entire Basic Course for Peace Officers with Firearms training will be held again in September and October 2006. For additional information please contact DPCA Training Director Kathi Pallotta at Kathi.pallotta@dpca.state.ny.us

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

9. College Initiative Program facilitates growth and offers hope for those re-entering society with success in mind - The College Initiative Program is an innovative and very successful program that operates under the auspices of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Re-entry Institute and receives funding through DPCA. This program facilitates college enrollment and success of former inmates who upon release from prison demonstrate the desire and initiative to attend and succeed in college. According to the final quarter report of the program for 2005 submitted to DPCA, the program served 160% of its targeted caseload. 75% of the active participants are currently enrolled in college. One participant in particular, “Jennifer”, was a young mother with three children who at the age of 19, was sentenced and served 12 years in prison. Jennifer was incarcerated at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility where she assisted in the Parent Center and also taught literacy, GED and computer technology courses to fellow inmates. Jennifer has reported that when she recently returned home from prison, she found that many of the people she left in the “street” were still in the same negative place she left them 12 years earlier. Upon release from prison, her two older children were living independently and her youngest daughter was living in the group home she was placed in while Jennifer was in prison. Within three months of her release from prison, Jennifer focused on bringing her daughter back home and began working at the Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center as a Community Liaison. She was soon promoted to Senior HIV Counselor and also began taking courses at the Hunter College School of Social Work. With assistance from the College Initiative Program, Jennifer has recently applied to the Hunter MSW program and NYU’s dual Master’s degree program for the fall 2006 semester. Jennifer’s daughter is now home with her and in the future Jennifer hopes to create an organization to serve children of women who are incarcerated. The College Initiative is a program model that serves individuals upon returning to the community from incarceration to achieve educational goals, resulting in improved employability and community ties.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

10. Youth Assessment Screening Instrument (YASI) Technical Assistance Availability - One day of on-site, no-cost technical assistance from Orbis Partners and DPCA is now available to all 49 YASI jurisdictions between February and September 2006 around implementation and evidence-based practices. Technical assistance will be individualized to meet jurisdictions’ needs, as identified in advance. In addition to any special requests, technical assistance is available around building a model of evidence-based practice using the Four Principles of Effective Intervention (Risk Principle, Need Principle, Responsivity, and Program Integrity); quality assurance; assessment; reassessment; case planning; PDI report software: interventions and referrals; and use of the data and administrative functions. This is also an opportunity for counties to convene their juvenile justice partners (such as schools, county agencies, service providers, and court personnel) to discuss how the juvenile justice system and service providers can maximize the potential benefits of YASI to improve outcomes for youth and families. To schedule your county's YASI technical assistance site visit, please contact Patti Donohue at either 518-485-5158 or Patricia.Donohue@DPCA.state.ny.us.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

11. Program in New York State connecting probation and mental health services for people with co-occurring disorders included at National GAINS Conferences – A joint DPCA/NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) initiative was the topic of a workshop presented at the 2006 National Gains Center Conference “System Transformation at the Interface of the Criminal Justice and Mental Health Systems” held in Boston, MA from April 5-7, 2006. Valerie Chakedis of OMH and Bernard Wilson of DPCA presented Connecting Probation and Mental Health Services for People with Co-occurring Disorders. Their presentation focused on the importance of accessing evidence-based practices for persons with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders (COD) through the use of the CONNECT Program. The CONNECT Program in New York State is a staff development and technical assistance program offered by the NYS Office of Mental Health designed to promote recovery and assist probation and (Alternatives-to-Incarceration) ATI staff in working with individuals with serious mental illnesses and co-occurring substance abuse disorders. Currently ten county probation departments: Broome, Clinton, Dutchess, Monroe, Schenectady, Suffolk, Ulster, Warren, Washington, and Westchester are participating in the CONNECT rollout in New York State. For more information on CONNECT contact Lori Schatzel at Codflts@omh.ny.gov or Bernard Wilson at Bernard.Wilson@dpca.state.ny.us. The Honorable Judy Harris Kluger of the NYS Unified Court System and Richard Miraglia of the NYS Office of Mental Health also presented at the Conference. Their workshop focused on the state-level collaboration in planning for the Brooklyn Felony Mental Health Court.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

12. Resources, Awards, Information and Upcoming Trainings:

~~ Bronx Mental Health Court selected to participate in national learning initiative - The Bronx Mental Health Court TASC (Treatment Alternatives to Safer Communities) has been selected as one of five national learning sites to participate in a new Mental Health Courts Learning Sites Initiative, a project of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs' Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). State and local officials considering whether to establish mental health courts in their jurisdictions, as well as those who have recently launched mental health courts, often seek out more experienced courts for guidance and advice. As one of the five learning sites, the Bronx Mental Health Court will provide other jurisdictions with opportunities to observe operating and sustainable mental health courts; and showcase strategies for solving problems that mental health courts typically confront. The Bronx Mental Health Court targets for diversion adult offenders with co-occurring alcohol, drug and mental health disorders who are involved in the criminal justice system. The program has focused particularly on linguistic, cultural and clinical competency for the Hispanic and African American Bronx community. The Court includes mentally ill defendants who are charged with felony offenses or who are persistent misdemeanants, within an alternative-to-incarceration, deferred sentencing paradigm.

~~ Probation Departments invited to participate in the NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) Strategic Collaborative County Planning: Moving Forward II event to be held in Syracuse May 24-25, 2006 - DPCA has collaborated with OCFS to support the involvement of Probation in the county planning process, especially for PINS, given the recent emphasis on diversion services. Workshops on restorative justice, juvenile diversion, youth violence reduction strategy, Aggression Replacement Training, among others are planned. For additional information contact Larry Pasti, Director, OCFS Bureau of Planning & Intervention Design at (518) 561-8740 or Larry.Pasti@ocfs.state.ny.us.

~~ Guide helps communities respond to juvenile runaways- The U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) has released "Juvenile Runaways." This 86-page guide describes the problem of juvenile runaways, reviews risk factors, and identifies a series of questions designed to assist communities in analyzing their runaway problem. The guide also reviews responses to the problem from the perspectives of evaluative research and police practice. "Juvenile Runaways" is available online at http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/mime/open.pdf?Item=1694. You may also call COPS toll free, at 1–800–421–6770.

~~ NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives to name 2006 Probation Officer of the Year - The State Director’s 2006 Award for Outstanding Service by a Probation Officer is presented in recognition of exceptional service, dedication and professionalism performed by a probation officer who has significantly contributed to the field of community corrections and strengthened its role within the criminal justice and/or juvenile justice system. Nomination forms have been sent to Probation Directors and are available on the eJustice Probation Services Suite or by contacting Yvonne J. Behan, DPCA Community Corrections Representative at (518) 485-5157 or Yvonne.behan@dpca.state.ny.us. In addition to receiving a scholarship to attend the American Probation and Parole Association’s Winter Training Conference, this year’s recipient will receive a scholarship to attend the NYS Probation Officer’s Association Annual Training Conference in August 2006. The deadline for nominations for the State Director’s 2006 Award for Outstanding Service by a Probation Officer is May 1, 2006.

~~ NYS Probation Officer’s Association (NYSPOA) seeks Probation Officer Award Nominations – The NYSPOA has asked for nominations of colleagues who stand out as probation professionals. The awards will be presented at this year’s NYS POA Conference to be held in Albany, NY from August 2-4, 2006 at the Crowne Plaza. Please contact Marcia Abbey at Broome County Probation at MAbbey@co.broome.ny.us for a description of each of the award categories and the nominating procedure. Nominations must be received by June 1, 2006. Award winners will be notified by POA President and invited to attend the conference. Visit http://www.nyspoa.com for more information about the conference and registration materials.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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.

####