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 47, July 26, 2006
NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
Robert M. Maccarone, State Director
Thomas H. Slater, 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 examines its role with respect to victims
2. Dutchess County Probation Officer to be named DPCA Probation Officer of the Year
3. ATI Directors and Program Managers to attend training at Tolerance Center
4. State Director addresses significant areas of concern with Judges
5. Probation’s use/support of Evidence-Based Programs consistent with Transition from Prison to Community Initiative
6. Production of new COMPAS Adult Risk and Needs Assessment Instrument Continues
7. Youth Assessment Screening Instrument (YASI) Technical Assistance Update
8. NYC Probation Officers trained in Employment Matters
9. Westchester County Probation facilitates federal arrest of ten sex offenders
10. New Law Expands DNA Databank
11. New York State Enacts a New Sentencing Model to Meet the Challenge of Reentry and Public Safety
12. Resources, Information and Upcoming Trainings

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1. Probation examines its role with respect to victims – In May 2006, the State Director initiated a Crime Victims and Probation Workgroup, co-chaired by DPCA Executive Deputy Director Thomas Slater and Ulster County Probation Director Robert Sudlow, and charged the group to develop recommended comprehensive policy guidance for all aspects of probation practice concerning victims of crime. The workgroup includes professionals from probation, the Crime Victims Board, Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, Office of Court Administration, Council on Children and Families, Department of Correctional Services, advocacy groups representing domestic violence and sexual assault victims and DWI coordinators. This workgroup is reviewing many areas including victim impact statements and outreach, victim restitution and payments, victim advocate services, orders of protection, special offender populations (DWI, sex offender, domestic violence) and the respective needs of victims, intrastate and interstate transfers and victim notification and safety, to name a few. The group has been meeting monthly and has developed an extensive timeline in order to accomplish their established goals. The monthly meetings have clear directives and expected outcomes planned through next year. The next meeting is scheduled for August 22, 2006. All meetings are held at DPCA in Albany. Please look to future issues of eFocus for information and initiatives created as a result of this most impressive and highly committed group. For more information contact Gary Govel, DPCA Community Corrections Representative II at gary.govel@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 457-4336.

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2. DPCA 2006 Probation Officer of the Year Award will be presented to Dutchess County Probation Officer –The State Director’s Award for Outstanding Service by a Probation Officer will be presented to Roger N. Roush (Norm), of the Dutchess County Office of Probation and Community Corrections. This award is presented annually as part of the New York State Probation Officer’s Association (POA) Conference to be held at the Crowne Plaza in Albany, New York from August 2nd through 4th, 2006. In presenting the award, DPCA recognizes the 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. Officer Roger N. Roush’s nomination was submitted by Dutchess County Office of Probation and Community Corrections Director Mary Ellen Still. Director Still praised Officer Roush’s consistent performance, enthusiasm and dedication, especially with regard to his work with gang involved youth. DPCA received many nominations from local departments, each naming those whose contributions enhance public safety across New York State. However, Officer Roush’s actions and continuous involvement on behalf of youth in Dutchess County set his nomination apart. DPCA State Director Robert Maccarone said of the selection of Officer Roush, “As law enforcement professionals, we know that building and maintaining trust with the community is essential to our success in crime reduction. New York State 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. As public servants, how we conduct ourselves and how we are perceived is paramount to our effectiveness. Officer Roush’s efforts in collaboration for the purposes of education and prevention are the perfect example of an effective, efficient, proactive criminal justice approach to community safety and recidivism reduction.” Officer Roush has been a probation officer with the Dutchess County Office of Probation and Community Corrections since September 1989. He lives in West Hurley with his wife and two children. Congratulations Officer Roush!

An aside on Dutchess County . . . DPCA receives copies of minutes from the Quality Assurance meetings being held monthly at the Dutchess County Office of Probation and Community Corrections. Thank you. The meetings are held as part of the Youth Assessment Screening Instrument (YASI) quality assurance process and last month’s meeting reviewed the four components of peer review from the National Institute of Corrections manual, Implementing Evidence-Based Practice in Community Corrections Quality Assurance Manual and developed strategies and a time line for addressing each of the four components. Wonderful work!

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3. Alternative to Incarceration Program Directors to attend dedicated training session at Tolerance Center – Nearly 40 program directors and managers representing Alternative to Incarceration programs from across New York State will be attending training at the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Tolerance in NYC on August 10th. The Tolerance Center provides training and information to law enforcement and criminal justice professionals through an initiative entitled, Tools for Tolerance for Law Enforcement Professionals. The Center’s programs examine the process of building trust and respect, and challenges participants to enhance their critical thinking skills in the areas of diversity, human dignity, ethics and values. Nearly twenty-five probation directors and DPCA representatives attended a one-day program specifically for law enforcement entitled, “Building Community Trust in a Diverse Post 9/11 Environment” on May 15th. For information on the Tolerance Center, please visit http://www.toolsfortolerance.com. For additional information about attending the program for ATI Program Directors please contact Yvonne Behan, DPCA Community Corrections Representative II at Yvonne.behan@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 485-5157.

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4. State Director Addresses Significant Areas of Concern with Judges - State Director Robert Maccarone presented to over 65 judges (both administrative and supervision) at the Statewide Administrative and Supervising Judges Conference in Wading River, NY on July 11th, 2006. At the invitation of the State's Chief Administrative Judge, the Honorable Jonathan Lippman, Mr. Maccarone was able to provide valuable information to the Judges on signing probation warrants, scheduling probation violation hearings and ordering ignition interlock conditions. Probation Directors have received copies of the actual presentation to the Judges, which also included the importance of ensuring that offenders are properly fingerprinted and of the courts in providing the Criminal Justice Tracking Number (CJTN) to probation departments when ordering pre-sentence investigations and sentencing offenders to probation supervision.

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5. Probation’s Support of Evidence-Based Programs consistent with New York’s Transition from Prison to Community Initiative – Dr. Ed Latessa, Professor and Head of the Division of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati, who is a frequent speaker at DPCA facilitated trainings and events, presented to members, and other guests, of New York’s Transition from Prison to Community Initiative at the NYS Police Academy on July 6th. Martin Cirincione, Deputy Executive Commissioner at DCJS welcomed Dr. Latessa whose presentation reiterated and supported the use of evidence-based principles, which is the foundation for DPCA’s new Fundamentals curriculum currently provided to newly hired probation officers and also now being explained in orientation sessions to probation supervisors. The use of evidence-based principles and approaches when addressing offender reentry needs is consistent with Probation’s use of effective and efficient approaches to reducing risk, thereby reducing recidivism. Also, speaking at the July 6th event was Sally Kreamer, Assistant Director of Field Services at the 5th Judicial District, Iowa Department of Corrections. Assistant Director Kreamer spoke of the use of evidence based principles as being crucial in the process of identification and adoption of program interventions with solid research support and also the importance of realigning organization infrastructures to support these interventions. Dr. Ed Latessa spoke to Probation Directors at the 2005 Statewide Symposium and was also enlisted to address Alternative to Incarceration (ATI) Program Directors last year at DPCA meeting of ATI programs. Evidence-based practice and how we measure success will be the theme of this year’s 2006 Statewide Symposium for Probation Directors and Deputy Directors to be held at the Comfort Suites Hotel in Clifton Park from October 25th through Friday, October 27th, 2006.

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6. Production of new COMPAS Adult Risk and Needs Assessment Instrument Continues - During the months of December and January, probation departments conducted 1,180 risk and needs assessments utilizing the new draft COMPAS instrument. Thank you for your cooperation and commitment to the development of this new adult risk and needs assessment instrument. Northpointe, Inc. research staff is now conducting the validation study on the new questionnaire items. The reliability and validity tests are being conducted on NYS’ pilot assessment data. These tests include psychometric reliability and factorial, concurrent, construct, convergent and discriminate validity tests. These tests will determine what scales can be developed using the items in the new COMPAS questionnaire, and what if any, items may need to be added to the new COMPAS questionnaire developed by the workgroup to augment scales to reach necessary levels of validity. Northpointe, Inc. is planning to have the reliability tests completed in the next several weeks so the final instrument content and scales can be passed along to the consultant’s programmers. DPCA anticipates the new COMPAS software will be ready for beta testing by four probation departments mid-August with an instrument available to all probation departments October 1st.

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7. Youth Assessment Screening Instrument (YASI) Technical Assistance Update - During Winter and Spring 2006, DPCA and Diana Wavra from Orbis Partners Inc. visited nine probation departments across the state to provide on-site, no-cost YASI technical assistance. Visits were made to Dutchess, Schenectady, Columbia, Warren, Herkimer, Sullivan, Rockland, Orange and Schoharie counties. During July-August-September 2006, more site visits are scheduled in Nassau, Oswego, Ontario, Genesee, Orleans, Schuyler, Steuben and Chemung counties. Technical assistance is individualized to meet jurisdictions’ specific needs. In addition to any special requests from counties, technical assistance is available around building a model of evidence-based practice in probation and juvenile justice systems using the Four Principles of Effective Intervention (Risk, Need, Responsivity and Program Integrity). Many counties have scheduled time during their site visit to bring together their juvenile justice partners (such as schools, social services, youth bureaus, service providers and court personnel) to discuss how the juvenile justice system and other service providers can maximize the potential benefits of YASI to improve outcomes for youth and families. Site visit dates are still available for the week of September 25-29th, 2006. To schedule a technical assistance visit, please contact Patricia Donohue, DPCA Community Corrections Representative at (518) 485-5158 or patricia.donohue@dpca.state.ny.us.

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8. NYC Probation Officers trained in Employment Matters - Members of the Offender Workforce Development Specialists (OWDS) Team have provided the Employment Matters training to all five NYC boroughs to maximize the impact of the training for NYC probation. Manhattan hosted the first training on June 2nd. Twenty-two probation staff and six partners attended. Training was held on June 20th in Brooklyn with 24 probation staff and four partners. On July 12th and 13th the OWDS team traveled to the Bronx and Queens with 16 probation staff and 5 partners attending the Bronx and 21 probation staff and 21 partners in Queens. Staten Island on July 20th had 12 probation officers and six partners participate. A total of 95 probation staff have been trained in anticipation of a full scale Ready Set Work! initiative for the city. Each borough is holding follow up groups to discuss implementation of the job readiness groups for probationers. DPCA is working with the NYC Department of Probation to become the state’s fifth model resource site for employment training. For additional information on Employment Matters or Ready, Set, Work! training please contact DPCA Community Corrections Representative II Cynthia Blair at (518) 457-0501 or Cynthia.blair@dpca.state.ny.us

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9. Westchester County Probation facilitates federal arrest of ten sex offenders – Ten convicted sex offenders, currently serving probation sentences, arrived at the Westchester County Probation Department in White Plains last month, were arrested and taken away to face deportation proceedings by agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division of the Department of Homeland Security. The ten men, all of whom are in the country illegally, were on probation after having been convicted of sex offenses. "The criminals arrested today have forfeited their privilege to remain in this country," said Martin D. Ficke, special agent-in-charge of ICE in New York in a written statement. "ICE will continue to partner with Westchester County Probation and other state and local law enforcement agencies to arrest and remove these criminals who prey on our children and threaten the welfare of our communities." The arrests were part of the program Operation Predator, which began nearly three years ago and has resulted in the arrests of nearly 8,200 suspects nationwide.

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10. New Law Expands DNA Databank - The new DNA law, which went into effect on June 23, 2006, amends section 995(7) of the Executive Law to require anyone convicted of and sentenced for any penal law felony or an attempt to commit a penal law felony, where such attempt is itself a felony offense, as well as to 18 new specified misdemeanor offenses (including petit larceny), to provide a DNA sample for the State DNA Databank. The legislation applies to offenders convicted and sentenced for one of the newly designated offenses committed on or after June 23, and also to offenders who committed their offense prior to June 23, but who did not complete their sentence imposed thereon before June 23. Recent studies by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) show that, on average, offenders linked to crimes using the DNA Databank had approximately 11 prior arrests and 5 prior convictions. In addition, 83% of offenders linked to sexual assault cases were in the State’s DNA Databank for a crime other than a sex-related offense.

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11. New York State Enacts a New Sentencing Model to Meet the Challenge of Reentry and Public Safety - On June 7, 2006 Governor George Pataki signed into law an important change affecting sentencing in New York. Penal Law §1.05(6) has been amended to add a new goal, "the promotion of their (defendant's) successful and productive reentry and reintegration into society..." (Chapter 98 of the Laws of 2006) to the four traditional sentencing goals of deterrence, rehabilitation, retribution and incapacitation. In the Justice Strategy policy paper, the Center for Community Alternatives explains the significance of the recent amendment and explores some of the questions and challenges faced with the introduction of reintegrative sentencing. Visit the Center for Community Alternatives’ website at http://www.communityalternatives.org/pdfs/NYS%20New%20Sentencing%20Model to read the PDF version.

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12. Resources, Awards, Information and Upcoming Trainings:

~~ Onondaga County Probation Commissioner Mary Winter and her staff recognized by the Salvation Army – Recently, the Salvation Army of the Syracuse area celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the PRISM Program. The PRISM Program, a collaborative program between the Salvation Army and the Onondaga County Probation, Social Services and Mental Health Departments, is an innovative alternative to incarceration strategy that has proven that positive outcomes can be achieved when utilizing therapeutic intervention with juvenile offenders and their families. This team approach has achieved significant outcomes and the program has received national recognition. During their recent celebration, the Salvation Army presented Onondaga County Probation Department Commissioner Mary Winter and her team of probation professionals with the organization’s “Can Do Award.” In presenting the award, Linda Wright, Executive Director of the Salvation Army said, “The Onondaga County probation officers and supervisors are professionals who get involved, think in new ways, and dive in with a willingness to collaborate. Whenever there is a new issue to address we know that the Probation Department will invite us to join with them in thinking through new strategies and efforts.”

~~ It is with sadness that we report the passing of Douglas Brown, 36 – Doug Brown, a Probation Officer for Wyoming County Probation, died on June 27th after a long illness. Officer Brown was a 1991 graduate from Brockport State. He started as a Probation Officer in 1995. He was the first Officer to supervise the new Wyoming Drug Court in 2003 and was also a Probation Eligible Diversion (PED) officer. He was a member of St. Mary's Church, Silver Springs, a former referee and coach for boy’s basketball, played softball and was an avid hunter and fisherman. Officer Brown was instrumental in developing Officer Safety standards and policies for the Wyoming County Probation Department and participated in many collaborative efforts on behalf of probation with local police agencies. Doug is survived by his parents, Donald and Stacia Brown, brother David (Barbara) Brown and wife of 8 years, Kim Brown with two sons Dustin, 7, and Zachary, 5. A trust fund has been set up for Officer Brown’s children at the Bank of Castile, 2367 Main St., Warsaw, NY 14569.

~~ Fundamentals of Probation Practice (FPP) – Fall 2006 class announced – The next round of the FPP will be offered from September 25th through September 29th (Week 1) and October 2nd through October 6th, 2006 (Week 2). Announcements have been sent to departments and the roster for this class is nearly complete. Please contact Carolyn Temple of the DPCA Training Unit for information at Carolyn.temple@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 485-2400.

~~ The "National Youth Gang Survey 1999-2001" was recently released. Click link to view http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/209392.pdf

~~ Probation Supervisors to attend Orientation in new Fundamentals (FPP) Curriculum – The next offerings of DPCA’s Probation Supervisor’s Orientation program entitled Understanding and Supporting Evidenced-Based Fundamentals of Probation Practice will be held in Suffolk County on September 11th and 12th and in Goshen (Orange County) on September 13th and 14th . This 2-day program provides an intensive overview of the new evidence-based FPP training and examines the critical role of the supervisor in supporting this new curriculum and has been offered to full classes in Batavia, Albany and Syracuse this summer. We are very pleased to report that evaluations of this Orientation have been very positive. Many reported being very impressed with the new FPP and, after attending the Supervisor’s piece are, “now really able to be supportive of their employees they send to FPP.” Other comments included “I found it to be energizing for myself as a supervisor – hearing new ‘supervision’ techniques for probation supervision is inspiring to me as a supervisor.” Another supervisor attending stated that, “This was informative and helpful. I am anxious to spend more time reading the entire FPP manual and just as anxious to share the information with all my staff.” For additional information please contact Yvonne Behan, DPCA Community Corrections Representative II at Yvonne.Behan@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 485-5157 should you wish to attend.

~~ Glenn Goord, NYS Department of Corrections Commissioner to retire - Commissioner of the nation's fourth largest prison system is retiring this month after 32 years of service. Goord was the first commissioner confirmed by the Senate to rise through the ranks. He served as a substance abuse counselor from 1973 to 1981 followed by deputy superintendent for administration at the maximum security Eastern New York Correctional Facility, then became assistant commissioner for correctional facilities in 1982. He became deputy commissioner for correctional facilities in 1988. Gov. George Pataki named the Clifton, N.J., native his acting commissioner in 1996 and he was confirmed later that year.

~~ The 23rd World Conference of the Therapeutic Community will be held in New York City at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers (7th Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Street in midtown Manhattan) from September 1st through 6, 2006. The scientific program of the 23rd World Conference has been designed with the goal to foster Therapeutic Community (TC) appropriateness and effectiveness in addressing the treatment needs of generations of substance abusers, their families and communities. Visit http://www.wftc.org/WFTC_conference/index_nyc.html for more information.

~~ According to an analysis of youth in wrap programs study, the youth are less likely to recidivate and serve less detention time - The rate of youth with mental health needs is disproportionately high in juvenile justice. Wraparound planning involves families and providers in coordinating juvenile justice, mental health and other services and supports. This study compares data from two groups of juvenile offenders with mental health problems: 106 youth in a juvenile justice wraparound program called Connections and a historical comparison group of 98 youth in traditional mental health services. Cox regression survival analyses revealed that youth in Connections were significantly less likely to recidivate at all, less likely to recidivate with a felony offense, and served less detention time. The publisher’s abstract for this article is available at this link.

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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.

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