Wishing you and your family a safe and happy holiday season!

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 62, December 24, 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. COMPAS Risk and Need Assessment Instrument Phase 2 Training
2. DPCA, DCJS, and Local Departments Collaborate on Identifying Service Gaps
3. DPCA Completes Regional Adult Interstate Compact Training
4. Motivational Interviewing Skills Training for TASC Case Managers
5. Offender Workforce Development Specialist--Instructor (OWDS-I) Training
6. Awards, Events and News
7. Quick Facts

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1. COMPAS Risk and Need Assessment Instrument Phase 2 Training – Follow-up training in the use of the “New York COMPAS” Risk and Need Assessment Instrument for Adult Offenders began this month and will continue through January. This important training opportunity addresses the needs of probation management staff in implementation, case planning, case review and reclassification, and the most recently developed COMPAS-based pre-sentence investigation and report. The future upstate training dates are as follows: January 15th (Livingston County); January 16th (Madison County); and January 17th (Warren County). At this time, the “New York COMPAS” is being utilized in 50 counties by 1166 probation officers who have completed 15,489 assessments. For additional information, please contact Walter Cogswell at Walter.Cogswell@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 485-5168.

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2. DPCA, DCJS, and Local Departments Collaborate on Identifying Service Gaps – The NYS Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (DPCA) and the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) have asked local Probation Departments and Alternative to Incarceration (ATI) programs to assist the New York State Commission on Sentencing Reform by completing a detailed survey. The Commission’s tasks are assessing the quality and availability of community-based correctional services and determining where gaps exist in local service delivery systems for offenders. This survey is one of several activities that has been undertaken to assist the Commission in this task. This is an important opportunity to identify programs and services as well as gaps that may exist. For additional information, please contact Sharon Lansing, Ph.D. at Sharon.Lansing@dcjs.ny.gov or (518) 485-7956.

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3. DPCA Completes Regional Adult Interstate Compact Training – DPCA Interstate Case Coordinator Sandy Layton continued the second round of regional trainings on Interstate Compact Transfer issues earlier this month in Steuben County. The Training included 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. Sandy Layton and DPCA Counsel Linda Valenti will be providing a regional training in New York City on January 8, 2008. For more information about this training series, please contact Sandy Layton at Sandra.Layton@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 485-2399 (ext. 3).

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4. Motivational Interviewing Skills Training for TASC Case Managers – Motivational Interviewing skills training for TASC case managers and their program supervisors was hosted by DPCA and the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) on November 28th and 29th. The goal of the training was the development of the clinical skills, style and spirit of Motivational Interviewing in the treatment of substance abuse. This training includes two half-days of follow-up training for supervisors that will be scheduled in the future. For additional information about this program, please contact Yvonne Behan at Yvonne.Behan@dpca.state.ny.us. or (518) 485-5160

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5. Offender Workforce Development Specialist--Instructor (OWDS-I) Training – DPCA and its longstanding partner, the Department of Labor (DOL), joined with the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) in conducting a three-day training in New York City November 13-15, 2007. DPCA and DOL staff, as well as probation officers in Albany, Schenectady, Monroe, New York City and Suffolk have completed the 180-hour OWDS Curriculum and are now 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 is an exciting development in employment training because our team now has the authority to train probation, community corrections/ATI and TANF Program Staff here in New York State. The first group of 25 professionals will be trained in the spring of 2008 and will greatly expand the number of probation officers certified in the OWDS. An application for the Spring Training will be distributed in January 2008. Probationer employment is an important outcome that DPCA and Probation Departments are working to increase and measure. For more information about this initiative, please contact Cynthia Blair at Cynthia.Blair@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 485-5162.

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6. Awards, Events and News

~ The Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) is conducting a Statewide Assessment of child welfare services. Input from customers and stakeholders will shape the statewide assessment. We are asking you to inform any foster youth ages 14 to 21 who you may be working with about the OCFS anonymous internet survey. The survey will be open for approximately 5 weeks, from this week through the end of December. The survey does not ask for the youths' names, so there is no way to connect the youth's identity to his or her answers. When a youth logs on to ocfs.ny.gov/main/fostercare/fcsurvey.asp, the youth will see a short video by a foster youth who will explain the purpose of the survey and how to start the survey. The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete, as the youth just need to click on the answer choices. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Joanne Ruppel at (518) 486-7634 or joanne.ruppel@ocfs.state.ny.us.

~ On November 28, DPCA announced three one-day YASI Director Data Workshops to be held on January 22, 23, and 24, 2008. State Director Robert Maccarone, in a recent presentation to DSS Commissioners at White Eagle, invited them to work with probation to attend these sessions to better understand the risks and service needs of PINS and JD youth, and is urging probation directors to take this opportunity to attend and bring their DSS Commissioners, Directors of Children’s Services, and other key policy makers from schools, mental health, etc. For further information, please contact Norma Tyler, CCRIII at norma.tyler@dpca.state.ny.us

~ “Operation Rolling Fingerprint” Visits Erie County Probation Department – In addition to closing sixty-three outstanding IPRS tickets [unable to register probationers on the statewide automated probation system], eight DNA samples were collected for individuals who had not participated in the DNA collection process. Two of these cases had additional significance in that they involved convicted sexual offenders [child pornography] who had not been fingerprinted at arrest. This case involved both the Erie Co. Sexual Assault Bureau of the Erie County District Attorney’s Office and ICE officers assigned at the Peace Bridge.

~ Static-99 Training was delivered to 222 participants. 188 probation staff including five Directors and all NYC Branch Chiefs, 17 Parole officers, 13 from Office of Mental Health, 2 from Office of Sex Offender Management and 2 DPCA. The Static-99 Regional Quality Assurance groups are in the process of being scheduled for late February and early March, and will be held in 12 regional locations. For additional information, please contact Jami Krueger at Jami.Krueger@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 457-5275.

~ New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, Office of Sex Offender Management will host Georgia Cumming, who will be presenting a training on Managing High Risk Sex Offenders in the Community on February 28, 2008 from 8:00am to 5:00 pm in Albany. Additional details will follow.

~ The New York State Council on Children and Families reports that the REFORM NY initiative will host a summit in February to present innovative reinvestment strategies for juvenile justice reform across New York State. REFORM NY is a partnership between the Council on Children and Families, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids NY, and teams from six counties comprised of probation directors, Departments of Social Services, Mental Health, youth bureaus, Weed & Seed, police, advocates and others interested in juvenile justice. The six counties currently involved are Albany, Nassau, Orange, Rensselaer, Schenectady and Suffolk. Summit participation is by invitation only. For additional information, please contact Janelle Cleary at (518) 473-9638 or Janelle.Cleary@ccf.state.ny.us.

~ “Reducing Youth Violence In New York State” will be held February 4 – 6, 2008 in Albany, New York. The conference will focus on factors that contribute to youth violence, strategies for promoting youth development and enhancing public safety; prevention, intervention, treatment, re-entry and aftercare; and, effective programs, partnerships and collaborations. For further details, please visit: www.criminaljustice.ny.gov or call the Office of Program Development and Funding at (518) 457-3670.

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7. Quick Facts: The State’s 58 local probation departments supervise nearly 130,000 adult offenders – twice the number of offenders incarcerated in state prison and a population that is greater than both the state prison and parole populations combined. Half of the probationers are convicted felony offenders.

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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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