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 60, October 2, 2007
NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
Robert M. Maccarone, State Director
Thomas H. Slater, Executive Deputy Director
William M. Schaefer, Jr., Editor
http://dpca.state.ny.us

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In this Issue:

1. Three New Laws Strengthen Probation and Increase Offender Accountability
2 Caseload Explorer Training Delivered with Step-by-Step Guide
3 DPCA Announces Regional Training in the Use of Static 99
4. Probation Violation Residential Centers RFP Released
5. NYC Probation “Project Zero” Wins Innovation Award
6. DPCA Updates Ignition Interlock Vendors List
7. Oneida County Probation Supports Universal Healthcare Coverage for Children
8. Ulster County Probation Shares Program Expertise with Southern Tier
9. Recently Enacted Legislation Increases Penalties for SORA Classified Offenders Who Fail to Register
10. Awards, Events and News

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1. Three New Laws Strengthen Probation and Increase Offender Accountability - Governor Eliot Spitzer has signed into law three DPCA initiatives that will strengthen probation and improve public safety.

Intrastate Transfer of Probation (Chapter 191 of the Laws of 2007)

Effective September 1, 2007

Requires complete intrastate transfer of supervision and jurisdiction over probationers where individual resides in another jurisdiction in New York State, subject to DPCA’s governing rules in this area.

This new law serves the interests of public/victim safety and sound probation management by requiring complete intrastate transfer of probation supervision and court jurisdiction. The new law will also allow more timely and efficient handling of intrastate transfer cases, especially with respect to violations.

Probation Pilot Detainer Warrant Project (Chapter 377 of the Laws of 2007)

Effective July 18, 2007

Addresses what had been a critical void in state law with respect to handling of certain probation violations, those involving high-risk probationers under supervision for conviction of a “sex offense” or “sexually violent offense” as such terms are defined in Correction Law §168-a(2) or (3) or a “family offense” as defined in Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) §530.11(1). Statutorily establishes a probation detainer warrant pilot project for over 2 ½ years (until March 31, 2010) with special attention to the above-mentioned populations under probation supervision in four diverse regions in New York State outside NYC, designated by DPCA. Implements a new piloted statutory framework whereby particular probation officials (Director and/or Deputy Director) can issue temporary detainer warrants for these high-risk probationers, to ensure a swift response to unlawful behavior in violation of probation conditions, where there is a public safety risk and the sentencing court and alternate court is unavailable.

It also amends Correction Law §500-a to clarify that a probation detainer warrant constitutes sufficient authority to detain the probationer in any jail, penitentiary, lockup or detention pen where he/she may be delivered.

Ignition Interlock Chapter 669 of the Laws of 2007

Effective October 27, 2007

Reforms existing laws governing ignition interlock devices and drunk driving to better serve the communities in New York State and the interests of justice. Strengthens certain statutory language to ensure that ignition interlock devices are installed on all vehicles an offender owns or operates. Ensures that all jurisdictions can utilize the restrictions and benefits of a Post-Revocation Conditional License (PRCL’s) previously only available in pilot jurisdictions. With respect to certain employer vehicles, stronger language has been added to better ensure the employer knows of the interlock restriction and has granted permission to operate without an ignition interlock device. Additionally, establishes that any such exemption granted by an employer does not apply to personal use of any such vehicle. By strengthening ignition interlock laws, it will ensure greater uniformity and increase judicial utilization of ignition interlock devices in safeguarding the public, preventing victimization caused by drunk driving, and through holding offenders more accountable deterring criminal behavior and subjecting violators to appropriate sanctions.

This law also amends the Mental Hygiene Law to expand the listing of those who meet the definition of an “alcohol and substance abuse professional” and who legally can assist in conducting screening and assessment evaluations of persons charged with or convicted of alcohol-related offenses.

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2. Caseload Explorer Training Delivered with Step-by-Step Guide – The last issue of eFocus reported on a two-week intensive meeting between programmers from Automon, Inc. and probation professionals from across the state. As a result of that meeting, many revisions were made to Caseload Explorer. The majority of those changes having been made and four probation professionals who are very familiar with the software, have been retained by DPCA to conduct on-site trainings during the month of September for those departments that have installed Caseload Explorer. We would like to acknowledge the hard work of the those individuals: John Adams (Probation Supervisor, Warren County); Rodney Glasspoole (Probation Officer, Allegany County); Jerry Mackey (Probation Supervisor, Jefferson County); and Lisa Baker (Probation Assistant, Tioga County).

The probation trainers have developed a thorough step-by-step guide that shows probation users how to navigate through Caseload Explorer and use its extensive functionality. These guides have been used in trainings and are available in the Probation Services Suite under the Automation tab. For additional information, please contact Walter Cogswell at (518) 485-5168 or Walter.Cogswell@dpca.state.ny.us.

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3. DPCA Announces Regional Training in the Use of Static 99 - DPCA, in cooperation with the State Office of Sex Offender Management, announces the availability of Static-99 training for probation officers and supervisors who specialize in either pre-sentence investigation or supervision of sex offenders. The Static-99 is a specialized risk assessment for adult sex offenders that indicates the relative risk of re-offending and is recommended for use at the PSI and initial supervision stages.

Master Trainer Randy Cole will be conducting this series of trainings. The Trainings will be held on the following days: October 22nd (Batavia); 23rd (Syracuse); 24th (Lake George); 29th (New York City); and 30th (Kingston).

Please register by October 12th. Should you have any questions regarding this training, contact Jami Krueger, Community Correction Representative II, at 518-457-5275 or jami.krueger@dpca.state.ny.us.

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4. Probation Violation Residential Centers RFP Released - DPCA released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the operation of three pilot regional Probation Violation Residential Centers (PVRC) this week. These Centers will provide a graduated sanction and diversion from state prison for appropriate probationers. The primary target populations are criminal court probationers with probation violations pending before the court for whom probation has recommended incarceration in state prison. Service providers eligible to submit proposals include public, private and not-for-profit organizations/agencies within New York State. The total annual amount of funds available through this RFP is $600,000; $200,000 per site per year. Proposals must be submitted to DPCA by Wednesday, November 14, 2007 at 4:00pm. Please see the RFP in its entirety at www.dpca.state.ny.us.

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5. NYC Probation “Project Zero” Wins Innovation Award – The Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) has honored the New York City Department of Probation for its Project Zero initiative designed to reduce the number of juveniles that are removed from their homes and placed in state institutions each year. The Department was presented with the 2007 Honorable Mention for Public Service Innovation for this effort that has saved taxpayers approximately $22 million since it began operating in 2002. Probation’s Project Zero represents a fundamental shift away from a heavy reliance on state placement as the solution for juvenile crime. In presenting the award, the CBC said, “Project Zero places juvenile offenders in the most suitable treatment program, providing maximum rehabilitation while maintaining community safety.” For additional information see the full article in Probation Today:

http://home2.nyc.gov/html/prob/pdf/prob_today_vol_vi_1_082007.pdf

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6. DPCA Updates Ignition Interlock Vendors List – In order to assist probation departments with work involving interlock devices, DPCA has developed an updated list of Ignition Interlock Vendors in New York State by make and location. This list is posted on the DPCA public website and in the Probation Services Suite of e-Justice. Should you have any questions regarding this list, Ignition Interlock in general or the LENS (License Event Notification System), please contact Ron Bergstrom at (518) 485-9941 or Ron.Bergstrom@dpca.state.ny.us.

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7. Oneida County Probation Supports Universal Healthcare Coverage for Children – The Oneida County Probation Department has established an innovative program to meet the healthcare needs of children. Protocol has been established to poll all clients regarding the status of their healthcare coverage. Brochures are made available in probation waiting rooms and the department has reached a working agreement with the Mohawk Valley Perinatal Network to screen and refer all cases regardless of income level to determine need and help with the application process. A Healthcare Coverage Coordinator has been tasked with providing clients with a monthly list of referrals and they have pledged to contact all those who fail to follow through. For additional information, please contact Norma Tyler at (518) 485-5153 or Norma.Tyler@dpca.state.ny.us.

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8. Ulster County Probation Shares Program Expertise with Southern Tier – Ulster County Probation Supervisor Nancy H. Schmidt, LMSW was recently recognized for her teamwork and leadership in providing information and assistance regarding the implementation of Sex Offender Chaperone Programs for Schuyler, Steuben and Yates County Probation Departments. Through these programs, sex offenders who are court ordered to have a chaperone present when having contact with minors or in public places identify significant others who agree to chaperone sex offenders. Chaperones are taught extensively about the dynamics of sex offending behavior, and trained to recognize and respond to the signs of relapse behavior. This is another shining example of teamwork across borders enhancing our profession. Congratulations to all.

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9. Recently Enacted Legislation Increases Penalties for SORA Classified Offenders Who Fail to Register:

SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION ACT/PENALTIES

Chapter 373 of the Laws of 2007

Effective: August 17, 2007

Amends Correction Law §168-t to increase the criminal penalty for failing to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) from a class A misdemeanor to a class E felony upon the first offense. It retains existing language that subjects a violator to a class D felony upon the second or subsequent offense. This change recognizes the seriousness of the violation in terms of public/victim safety and hopefully will prove an effective deterrent. For additional information, please contact Linda Valenti at (518) 485-2394 or Linda.Valenti@dpca.state.ny.us

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10. Awards, Events and News

~ Statewide Symposium for Probation Directors scheduled for October 24-26, 2007 – This year’s program will be held at the Holiday Inn in Saratoga Springs, NY. Deadline for hotel registration is October 3, 2007. For more information, please contact Bill Schaefer at (518) 457-7905 or Bill.Schaefer@dpca.state.ny.us.

~ Regional Interstate Compact Training Offered by DPCA – DPCA will be offering Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS) Trainings around the State beginning this Fall. The first training is scheduled for Tuesday, October 16, 2007, 10:00am to 1:00pm in Warren County. DPCA Interstate Case Coordinator Sandra Layton will be presenting an overview of important legal and liability issues, as well as critical procedures of the Interstate Compact that govern the interstate transfer of adult offenders. Location--Warren County Municipal Center, Exit 20 off the Northway. Probation departments from surrounding areas are encouraged to send participants. Please contact Dorothy Ray at DPCA at (518) 485-2393 or Dorothy.Ray@dpca.state.ny.us to register by October 2, 2007. Seating is limited.

This is the first of several regional trainings that will be offered on this subject. If you are interested in hosting a regional training for your staff in your area, please contact Yvonne Behan at (518) 485-5160 or Yvonne.Behan@dpca.state.ny.us.

~ Suffolk County Senior Probation Officer Assists in Capturing Serial Domestic Violence Murder Suspect – Senior Probation Officer Donald A. O’Connor of the Suffolk County Probation Department, assigned to the U.S. Marshall’s Regional Fugitive Task Force assisted in the capture of a former Suffolk County probationer wanted by Texas authorities for allegedly committing five homicides. Car keys found on the defendant during the arrest were to a vehicle with Texas plates parked in the driveway and belonging to an 81 year old woman murdered the day before. The defendant subsequently confessed to all six murders. We salute SPO O’Connor and the Task Force members for taking this individual into custody. For additional information, please visit: http://www.abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=3528350

~ OASAS Sponsors Free Training on Adolescents and Problem Gambling – The NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services is sponsoring a regional training series entitled, “Adolescents & Problem Gambling: Prevention & Treatment Implications” Registration is limited to 100 participants at each site and preference will be given to those currently providing adolescent prevention or treatment services. For additional information and to register, please visit:

http://www.oasas.ny.gov/gambling/documents/registration.pdf

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eFocus is the property of the NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives. 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 Bill Schaefer at (518) 457-7905 or at Bill.Schaefer@dpca.state.ny.us.

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The eFocus is now distributed to thousands of 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 Bill Schaefer the name you would like removed from distribution.

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