Welcome to eFocus, an electronic newsletter produced by the NYS Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (DPCA). DPCA publishes this newsletter to further its goal of promoting public safety through probation services and other community corrections programs. We welcome your suggestions.

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eFocus, Issue Number 61, November 13, 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. Probation Directors Symposium Convened in Saratoga
  2. DPCA Announces Phase 2 Regional COMPAS Training
  3. Caseload Explorer Quarterly Quality Assurance Meetings Continue
  4. DPCA Continues Regional Adult Interstate Compact Trainings
  5. Motivational Interviewing Skills Training for TASC Case Managers
  6. Offender Workforce Development Specialist--Instructor (OWDS-I) Training
  7. Awards, Events and News
  8. Quick Facts

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1. Probation Directors Symposium Convened in Saratoga – State Director Robert Maccarone welcomed Probation Directors and Deputy Directors from across New York State to the Fourth Annual Probation Directors’ Symposium held October 24-26, 2007 in Saratoga Springs, New York. This year’s Symposium addressed the challenges of implementing organizational change, the value of empirical data and how it can be used to shape policy as well as the valuable role of actuarial risk and need assessment instruments. The Symposium also included a presentation on Ethics and Leadership in Probation. The State Director presented “DPCA and Probation Priorities for 2007-08—A Shared Vision” to Probation Directors and their Deputies. For additional information, please visit the DPCA website: www.dpca.state.ny.us/pdfs/2007-2008probationpriorities.pdf

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2. DPCA Announces Phase 2 Regional COMPAS Training—SAVE THE DATE-Follow-up training in the use of the “New York COMPAS” Risk and Need Assessment Instrument for Adult Offenders will be offered during this December and January. This important training opportunity will address the needs of probation officers and supervisors in implementation, case planning, case review and reclassification, and the most recently developed preformatted pre-sentence investigation and report. The training dates are as follows and more detailed information will be sent to probation directors during the next week: December 4th (Orange County); December 5th (New York City); December 6th (Suffolk County); January 15th (Livingston County); January 16th (Madison County); and January 17th (Warren County). At this time, the “New York COMPAS” is being utilized in 45 counties by 950 probation officers who have completed 13,500 assessments. For additional information, please contact Walter Cogswell at Walter.Cogswell@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 485-5168.

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3. Caseload Explorer Quarterly Quality Assurance Meetings Continue – DPCA will continue to convene quarterly assurance regional meetings in 2008. The meetings will be held January 16th (Oswego); January 23rd (Cattaraugus); and January 25th (Albany). Version 3.8 of the Caseload Explorer Software is currently being implemented in Phase 2 Counties included in the Probation Automation Project. Version 3.10 will be released in the latter part of November following an extensive two-day testing period conducted by the statewide workgroup. Phase 1 Counties, utilizing the Access-based PROBER PLUS System, have been granted an extension to March 15, 2008, to convert to the Web-based Caseload Explorer Software System. Phase 1 counties must deliver a purchase order to the vendor, AutoMon, by December 15, 2007 to benefit from the extension and preserve 2007 pricing for conversion. For additional information, please contact Walter.Cogswell@dpca.state.ny.us.

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4. DPCA Continues Regional Adult Interstate Compact Trainings – DPCA Interstate Case Coordinator Sandy Layton will be offering the second round of several regional trainings on Interstate Compact Transfer issues on Monday, November 26th from 12pm to 4pm in Steuben County. The Training will include an overview of important legal and liability issues as well as critical procedures of the Interstate Compact that governs the interstate transfers of adult offenders. This training will be held at 3 East Pulteney Square in Bath, NY in the South Conference Room on the 2nd Floor. All probation departments from surrounding areas are encouraged to send participants. Brown bag lunch is suggested. Please contact Dorothy Ray at DPCA at (518) 485-2393 or Dorothy.Ray@dpca.state.ny.us to register by November 16, 2007. Seating is limited and will be granted on a first come first served basis.

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5. Motivational Interviewing Skills Training for TASC Case Managers – A limited number of seats remain available for the Motivational Interviewing skills training being hosted by DPCA and the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). This training is specifically designed for TASC case managers and their program supervisors and will be held at the offices of OASAS at 1450 Western Avenue in Albany on November 28th and 29th. The goal of the training is the development of the clinical skills, style and spirit of Motivational Interviewing in the treatment of substance abuse. This training is two full days with two half-days of follow up training for supervisors. Agencies interested in this training will be allowed up to three participants, one of whom must be a supervisor or lead case manager. All attendees must participate in the audio taping of interviews during the training. To apply for the training, please contact Yvonne Behan at DPCA at (518) 485-5160 or Yvonne.Behan@dpca.state.ny.us by Friday, November 16, 2007.

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6. Offender Workforce Development Specialist--Instructor (OWDS-I) Training – DPCA and its partner the Department of Labor (DOL) will join with the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) in conducting a three-day training in New York City November 13-15, 2007. As a result, DPCA and DOL staff, as well as probation officers in Albany, Schenectady, Monroe, New York City and Suffolk that have completed the 180-hour OWDS Curriculum will now be certified as “OWDS Instructors”. Earlier this fall, DPCA received a grant from NIC that will enable it to train up to 25 new probation officers in the 180-hour, nationally-recognized OWDS Curriculum here in New York State. This training will occur in the spring of 2008 and will greatly expand the number of probation officers certified in the OWDS. Probationer employment is an important outcome that DPCA and Probation Departments are working to increase and measure. For more information, please contact Cynthia Blair at Cynthia.Blair@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 485-5162.

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7. Awards, Events and News

~ License Event Notification System (LENS) Operational in 50 Counties – Fifty (50) county Probation Departments are now enrolled in the License Event Notification System (LENS) in New York State and over 11,000 probationers have been entered into this important notification system. Probation departments are receiving drivers license related “hits” and are finding it helpful in monitoring probationers. In addition to notifying departments of probationer traffic convictions, LENS provides notification of probationer license suspensions, failure to pay Driver Risk Assessment fees and scofflaw tickets. Having this information can assist probation officers increase offender accountability and avoid the loss of the driving privilege. For more information on LENS, contact Ron.Bergstrom@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 485-9941.

~ Ulster County Probation Director Recognized by the Council of State Governments Justice Center – Robert Sudlow was recently called upon for his expertise in the development of Repaying Debts, a report dealing with the financial obligations of people released from prisons and jails. The project was produced through a partnership between the Council of State Governments Justice Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. To obtain a copy of the report, visit: http://www.reentrypolicy.org/

~ Orange County Probation Launches High School Truancy Prevention Effort – The Middletown City School District has partnered with the Orange County Probation Department to increase school attendance from 93% to 95%. An on-site truancy probation officer has been funded by the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative to work with home school liaisons, teachers, guidance counselors and high school administrators to monitor student attendance. Absences result in a range of graduated responses including phone calls, letters and home visits. For additional information, visit: http://middletowncityschools.org/academics/attendance.htm

~ Prisoner Reentry Institute Publishes Venturing Beyond the Gates: Facilitating Successful Reentry with Entrepreneurship – This monograph represents the culmination of a year-long project, funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, exploring the viability of entrepreneurship as an employment strategy during reentry. Venturing Beyond the Gates is a highly practical and informative tool for professionals in the fields of workforce development, economic development, criminal justice and entrepreneurship. If you have any questions, would like to find out more about this topic, or request a hard copy of the monograph, contact Nicole Lindahl, Assistant Director of the Prisoner Reentry Institute, at (646) 557-4534 or nlindahl@jjay.cuny.edu. The full report can be accessed by visiting:

http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/centersinstitutes/pri/pdfs/venturing_beyond_the_gates.pdf

~ National HIRE Network’s Third Annual NYS Policy Conference – Legal Action Center’s National HIRE Network and the College and Community Fellowship at the CUNY Graduate Center are co-sponsoring the National HIRE Network’s Third Annual NYS Policy Conference entitled "The Nexus Between Education, Employment and Successful Reintegration" This day-long conference is free of charge and will take place on November 28, 2007 from 8am to 3:30pm EST, at The Graduate Center at the City University of New York, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York City. 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, education and workforce development policymakers and other stakeholders. To ensure meaningful community participation and make the event more engaging, the planners have scheduled time in each session for questions from the audience. We plan to engage state and city-level policymakers in discussions about the current state of "reentry" and prison/jail policy and the barriers to education and employment faced by the tens of thousands of men and women returning to New York State’s communities from prisons and local jails each year. To register, please visit: https://app.e2ma.net/app/view:Join/signupId:26206 For additional technical assistance, please visit: http://www.hirenetwork.org/tech_assistance.htm

~ “Parallel Justice” Concepts Shared with Local Probation Departments – During the month of September, two workshops were funded through the NYS Community Justice Forum and facilitated by Susan Herman to present the concepts of Parallel Justice to three probation departments, and their community partners. The concept of Parallel Justice elevates the goal of helping victims rebuild their lives to a fundamental component of justice. Parallel Justice requires us to decouple the pursuit of justice for victims from the administration of justice for offenders. Under a system of Parallel Justice the societal message to victims would be, "What happened to you is wrong and we will help you rebuild your life."

A total of 90 participants from Albany, Orange and Schenectady counties attended these sessions, which outlined the guiding principles and defined the roles of government in a Parallel Justice framework. Ms. Herman initially presented this framework to the DPCA Crime Victims and Probation Workgroup in July to assist with their efforts to develop recommendations for model policies and practice. For further information on the concepts of Parallel Justice, visit http://www.ncvc.org/ncvc/main.aspx?dbID=DB_ParallelJustice156

~ Operation IMPACT Assists Probation Response in Schenectady County – Schenectady County Probation Department more than doubled their field intelligence reports this year. Indicators include heightened collective intelligence sharing by the police and probation officers. This has been realized through the proactive communication of intelligence to prevent crime and the increased use of warrants served as a result of probation’s knowledge of probationers and their activities. The Schenectady County Probation Department participates in enforcement activities in cooperation with the Schenectady Police Department and the New York State Police including Targeted Gun Patrol (TGP) in focused neighborhoods. To learn about Operation IMPACT, please visit: http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/crimnet/ojsa/impact/index.htm

~ DPCA Administrative Officer Howard Bancroft is retiring the end of November. A farewell luncheon is planned for Thursday, November 29th, at 12:30. For specific details, please contact Barbara.Flanigan@dpca.state.ny.us or (518-485-7692).

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8. Quick Facts: 28% of the 125,000 adult probationers statewide are 16-21 years of age. In New York City, probationers 16-21 years of age constitute over 31% of the adult probation population.

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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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