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 50, November 14, 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 Directors convene for the 3rd Annual Statewide Symposium
2. New Directors Attend Executive Leadership Training Program
3. Employment Matters Regional Training to be held in Chemung County
4. DOL Increases Bonds to accommodate the emphasis on Probation
5. Governor George Pataki signs New York State’s tough new gun law
6. DPCA Forms 2 Workgroups to Address Critical Probation Issues
7. NYS Department of Motor Vehicles streamlines the LENS enrollment
8. YASI Technical Assistance Site Visits
9. Genesee County Probation reports successes with PED on IPS
10. New DWI –Specific ListServe created
11. Caseload Explorer User Group meetings scheduled
12. Resources, Information and Upcoming Trainings

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1. Probation Directors Convene for the 3rd Annual Statewide Symposium for Probation Directors – This year’s Statewide Symposium for Probation Directors and Deputy Directors entitled, Probation: Moving Forward, Measuring Success, Making a Difference was held from October 25-27th, 2006 in Clifton Park and focused on Evidence-Based Practices. Program highlights included presentations by Steve Aos of the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, Dutchess County officials on implementing evidence-based practices system-wide and a dinner address on “Situational Influences” by the well respected Dr. Julie Horney, Dean of the School of Criminal Justice at the University at Albany. Attendees heard from their colleagues on cognitive behavioral approaches being used across the state, the results of the statewide Probation Sex Offender Survey, the new Fundamentals of Probation Practice, the “New York COMPAS” Risk and Needs Assessment and discussed its impact on probation supervision and caseload standards, the Caseload Explorer System and an important presentation on the Performance Management Program (STARS) used by the NYC Probation Department. The Symposium drew to a close with remarks from Senator John Dunne, Chair of the Judicial Task Force on Probation. The participant evaluations praised the program content and stressed the importance of its collaboration building emphasis.

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2. New Directors Attend Executive Leadership Training Program - The Executive Leadership Training Program preceded the Symposium and was held October 24th and 25th, 2006. This Program was advanced training designed for new directors which provided detailed information on topics such as annual plans, staff safety, critical incident reporting, sex offender registry, DNA collection, legal issues, the Case Management Rule, ATI and Performance Based-Contracting, Interstate Transfers, state aid, internal controls including restitution collection, juvenile justice issues, probation officer training and technology. The Program also included a panel discussion of experienced probation directors (Pat Aikens of Albany, Lucille Sitterly of Montgomery, Gene Funicelli of Putnam and Bob Sudlow of Ulster) addressing the new administrators on a wide range of topics. Attendees included Russell Homme (Chautauqua), Julie Smith and Tim Michalak (Genesee), Edward Brown (Jefferson), Edward Erhard (Livingston), Karen Birch (Madison), Anthony Mauro (Niagara), Thomas Marcoline (Oneida), Colleen Thorne (Otsego), Jay Hayes (Rensselaer) and Denise Minton (Schoharie).

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3. Employment Matters Regional Training to be Held in Chemung County – A regional training of Employment Matters will be held on Thursday, November 16, 2006 from 9am to 4:30pm at the Elmira Career Center in Elmira, NY (Chemung County). The training will be given by a team of Offender Workforce Development Specialists which includes probation officers and representatives from the Department of Labor and DPCA. The training includes information on the following: informal career assessments of probationers; identifying and managing barriers; answering questions pertaining to criminal history and other job search information tailored for probationers; job retention information and assisting offenders to use referral sources. Also included is information on how employers can access no-cost fidelity bonds in $5,000 and $10,000 amounts through the Federal Bonding program and other employer incentives. We are especially encouraging the attendance of ISP and PED officers as stated in the letters approving ISP plans. Specifically, the training will be held at the Elmira Career Center, 200 Baldwin Street, Elmira, New York. All probation officers and others who service those with a criminal history are welcome to attend. Please contact Chemung County Probation Director John Sutton at 607-737-2800 or Jsutton@co.chemung.ny.us if you are interested in attending. For further information on this program and others being scheduled, please contact Cynthia Blair, DPCA Community Corrections Representative II at (518) 457-0501 or cynthia.blair@dpca.state.ny.us.

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4. Department of Labor Increases the # of Bonds to Accommodate Emphasis on Probation – The following segment was written by Elaine Kost, NYS Federal Bond Coordinator - The New York State Federal Bond Program is a unique job placement tool to help a “high risk” job applicant get and keep a job. The bond is not a deal maker, but is often a deal “closer” and has proven to be a very effective tool to use during the interview process. Ex-offenders and others with red flags in their backgrounds have difficulty, as they need to explain their conviction in the most positive, yet honest, way possible. One example of many ex-offenders who are successfully employed with the help of the New York State Federal Bond Program is “Shebrea.” Shebrea was incarcerated in New York and released to the Capital Region. She applied for and was offered an assistant manager position at a McDonalds in the Saratoga area in May of 2005. Shebrea was to be the assistant manager in charge of the 11-7 shift. Because of her criminal conviction and her job duties as assistant manager, the Human Resource Director requested and received a bond for $10,000. Shebrea is currently participating in the manager training program for McDonalds. She has recently married and regained custody of her children. For more information on the Department of Labor’s Bonding Program please contact Elaine Kost at 518-485-2151 or elaine.kost@labor.ny.gov.

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5. Governor George Pataki Signed New York State’s Tough New Gun Law - Effective November 1, 2006, the penalties associated with the illegal possession of a loaded firearm under Section 265 of the Penal Law increase substantially. The new law makes possession of just one illegal loaded firearm, a Class C Felony Offense, punishable by a mandatory determinate sentence of 3 ½ to 15 years in state prison. Also, the new law amends Section 265 of the Penal Law defining the Class C Felony of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd Degree, removing the element of intent that was necessary for possession of a loaded firearm to constitute a crime. The new law sends a clear message that the people of New York State will not tolerate violence perpetrated by offenders carrying illegal weapons. Accordingly, probation departments have been requested to join parole in providing information to offenders concerning New York State’s new gun law AND the certain penalties associated with its violation. To assist departments, DPCA has provided a suggested statement/sample notice to offenders. For further information, see the eJusticeNY Probation Services Suite, State Directors Policy Memorandum 2006-10.

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6. DPCA Forms Two New Workgroups to Address Critical Issues Pertaining to Probation – DPCA has invited probation professionals to serve on two separate workgroups addressing critical issues facing probation today. First, as you know, probation warrants and violations and how they are processed can have serious consequences. Therefore, the Statewide Probation Warrants and Violations Workgroup has been established and is being co-led by Warren County Probation Director Robert Iusi and Orange County Probation Director Vicky Casey. The first meeting of this workgroup was held on October 17th at DPCA; the next meeting is scheduled for November 30th also at DPCA. The second workgroup will examine the methods by which Probation recruits officers, determines professional qualifications and experience required to do the job and ensures that the system to train, promote and maintain professionals in our workforce are in place. This workgroup is being led by two members of the State Probation Commission, Probation Director Robert Burns from Monroe County and from Rensselaer County, Probation Supervisor Wayne D’Arcy. The first meeting of this group is scheduled for November 15th, 2006. Additional information about the findings and recommendations of these very important workgroups will be forthcoming in future issues of eFocus.

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7. NYS Department of Motor Vehicles Streamlines LENS Enrollment - The NYS DMV has modified and streamlined the LENS enrollment process. So far, 32 county probation departments have enrolled in LENS and several others have called to express their interest. LENS automatically notifies the department or probation officer about the driving records of probationers. This includes accident information as well as convictions for infractions anywhere in New York State. LENS also provides a way for your department to monitor the New York driver license records of probationers who drive and/or have travel restrictions. If your department is interested in the LENS program, please visit the updated website at www.nysdmv.com/lens. Registration can occur on-line and in minutes. If you have questions, feel free to call Ron Bergstrom, DPCA Community Corrections Representative I at 518 485-5651 or by email at ron.bergstrom@dpca.state.ny.us if you have other questions.

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8. YASI Technical Assistance Site Visits - From February to November 2006, Diana Wavra of Orbis Partners and DPCA have completed YASI Technical Assistance site visits in 27 of the 49 counties currently utilizing YASI. The site visits were a great success in that they provided an opportunity for counties to self-assess their PINS and JD processes within the context of the YASI Pre-Screen, Full Assessment, PDI, Case Planning, Reassessment and data usage. One theme that arose throughout the site visits is that counties are utilizing the YASI assessment component with confidence and competence, but are struggling with applying the assessment results to the YASI case plan. To assist counties with this, four (4) Case Planning Booster sessions are scheduled: 12/4 in Monroe County; 12/5 in Onondaga County; 12/6 in Rockland County; and 12/7 in Albany County. To schedule a future YASI Technical Assistance site visit or to register staff for the Case Planning Booster sessions, please contact Patti Donohue at either 518-485-5158 or Patricia.Donohue@DPCA.state.ny.us.

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9. Genesee County Probation Report Points to Successes in DWI Case - “Steve” is a single male, age 38, who was placed under the Probation Eligible Diversion (PED) program on Interim Probation Supervision. “Steve” lives alone and works as a manager at a local farm. He was placed on Interim Supervision in October 2005 for one year, upon his conviction for DWI, a Class E Felony. Failure to comply with Interim Supervision would likely have resulted in a sentence of state incarceration. The present offense was his fifth conviction for DWI, the second as a felony. Steve also has three previous misdemeanor Penal Law arrests, two resulting in a conviction. He had been on probation supervision for three previous sentences with four violations filed, two resulting in revocations and incarceration. PED Interim Supervision cases are all supervised under Level One (Intensive) requirements throughout the period of supervision. Steve complied with all of his terms and conditions--he completed outpatient substance abuse treatment and attended a DWI Victim Impact Panel sponsored by MADD. Alco-Sensor III Tests were conducted randomly including several unscheduled at the offender’s residence and work during the evenings and on weekend mornings -- all results were negative. “Steve” appeared in County Court this past August, two months before his scheduled maximum expiration date, for review of an Updated Pre-Sentence Report summarizing his performance under Interim Supervision. At that time the Court terminated the Interim Supervision early and sentenced the offender to five years probation, four months intermittent incarceration, and a $2500 Fine. Steve is succeeding and continues to demonstrate law-abiding behavior.

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10. ListServe Created for DWI Related Issues - DPCA, in cooperation with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the STOP DWI Coordinator's Association, hosted a symposium in September on Ignition Interlock issues. That symposium brought to the forefront many of the areas in which probation and the STOP DWI programs work collaboratively. In order to be more effective in sharing information between the two groups, the STOP DWI Coordinators Association has offered to host a listserve that is dedicated to DWI issues. For more information contact Ron Bergstrom, DPCA Community Corrections Representative I at ron.bergstrom@dpca.state.ny.us.

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11. Caseload Explorer User Group Meetings Scheduled – A number of user group meetings have been scheduled during the month of November. These meetings will provide an opportunity for users and future users of Caseload Explorer to discuss problems and proposed solutions in an effort to continually refine the software, ensuring that it meets the needs of probation professionals. It is anticipated that the meetings will be held on a quarterly basis. Group membership will include Probation Directors/ Commissioners, Prober/Caseload Explorer System Administrators and designated Super Users. For information on dates and locations, please contact Barbara Flanigan of DPCA at barbara.flanigan@dpca.state.ny.us.

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12. Resources, Awards, Information and Upcoming Trainings:

~~ PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING IS A CORRECTED DATE FOR THIS TRAINING: The Capital District Center for Sex Offender Management (CDCSOM) is providing training on the use of the Static 99, a specialized risk assessment instrument for use with the Sex Offender population. The training will be held in Albany on December 13th, 2006 from 10 am to 12 Noon at 112 State Street in the Cahill Room. The presenter will be Dr. Richard Hamill. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. For more information or to reserve a seat, contact Bill Connors of the Albany County Probation Department at William.Connors@albanycounty.com or (518) 487-5230.

~~ Fundamentals of Probation Practice (FPP) in 2007 --The next offering of the Fundamentals of Probation Practice class for new officers has been announced. This full 70-hour program will begin with Officer Safety and Survival Skills (OSST) and Peace Officer Supplement from January 8th through 12th. The 1st week of Fundamentals (FPP) will be held on January 29th through February 2nd, 2007 and the 2nd week of FPP will be from February 5th through 9th. The deadline for registration is November 17th. 2006. Please contact Carolyn Temple, DPCA Training Unit at (518) 485-2400 or Carolyn.temple@dpca.state.ny.us.

~~ Probation Department Director Transitions –

Colleen Thorn has been appointed Otsego County Probation Director. Her email address is thornc@otsegocounty.com. Genesee County Probation Director Gary Clark has retired and Julie A. Smith has been appointed Interim Probation Director. Julie can be reached at 585-344-2550 x2263 or jasmith@co.genesee.ny.us. Nassau County Probation Director John Carway has also announced his retirement. Additional information will be provided.

~~ "Domestic Violence and Reentry" - The John Jay College of Criminal Justice in NYC has announced that the next lecture for the Occasional Series on Reentry Research will take place on Friday, November 17th, from 8:30 am to 10:00 am at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (899 Tenth Avenue, between 58th and 58th Streets, Room 630). The topic for this lecture is "Domestic Violence and Reentry" and will feature new research. Please RSVP to Debbie Mukamal at (212) 484-1327 or dmukamal@jjay.cuny.edu). Please note that you will need to present an ID when you enter the college.

~~ National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Releases New Drug Abuse Treatment Recommendations to Cut Costs, Save Money and Reduce Crime - NIDA is releasing a landmark scientific report showing that effective treatment of drug abuse and addiction can save communities money and reduce crime. Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations outlines some of the proven components for successful treatment of drug abusers who have entered the criminal justice system, leading to lower rates of drug abuse and criminal activity. This comprehensive report offers 13 principles based on a review of the scientific literature on drug abuse treatment and criminal behavior. To read more about this area of interest and order Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations (NCADI# BKD 550) visit NIDA's Web site at www.drugabuse.gov or call the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI) at 1-800-729-6686 to order the FREE publications.

~~ "NYS, Reentry and Employment: A Current Snapshot and Recommendations for the Future" - This conference will take place on December 6, 2006 from 8am to 3:30pm at New York University’s Vanderbilt Hall. This event will be a series of facilitated panels between practitioners, advocates, people directly affected by the criminal justice system, New York State and New York City criminal justice and workforce development policymakers and other stakeholders. Some of the invited speakers include Chauncey Parker, Director of the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services, Martin Horn, NYC Commissioner of Correction and Probation, John Feinblatt, NYC Criminal Justice Coordinator, Anthony Ellis, Executive Director at the NYS Division of Parole, Jeffrion L. Aubry, Chairman of the Assembly standing Committee on Corrections, Barry Kamins, President, NYC Bar, Elizabeth Gaynes, Executive Director, Osborne Association, Mindy Tarlow, Executive Director, Center for Employment Opportunities, Patricia Gatling, Commissioner, NYC Commission on Human Rights, Clyde Haberman, NY Times Journalist, Dawn Hoffman, Vice President Global Strategy Group, Inc., and Miguel Martinez, Chairperson, City Council Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services. Please RSVP as soon as possible to gmartin@hirenetwork.org. Seating for this event will be limited and reserved on a first-come basis.

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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.

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