Division of Criminal Justice Services

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 64, March 7, 2008
NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
Robert M. Maccarone, State Director
Thomas H. Slater, Executive Deputy Director
William M. Schaefer, Jr., Editor

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In this Issue:

  1. DPCA Fundamentals of Probation Practice Receives APPA Accreditation
  2. Latest Version of Caseload Explorer Enhances Probation Efficiency
  3. DPCA Explores Expanded Polygraph Examination for Sex Offender Supervision
  4. Project Connect: Improving Linkage Between Probation and Mental Health
  5. Awards, Events and News
  6. Quick Facts

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1. DPCA Fundamentals of Probation Practice Receives APPA Accreditation – The DPCA Fundamentals of Probation Practice 70-hour curriculum has been accredited by the American Probation and Parole Association. State Director Robert Maccarone and Training Director Kathi Pallotta were presented a Certificate of Accreditation at the APPA 2008 Winter Training Institute held in Phoenix, Arizona, last month. Karen L. Dunlap, APPA Training and Accreditation Chair, stated, “I am very impressed by the work of this agency. The training required for the faculty on adult learning, the continuing case studies, and the final presentations of the case plans by the participants are all excellent and exceed the standard I have seen in past applications.” This recognition is the culmination of significant effort and collaboration by representatives from the Council of Probation Administrators (COPA), the New York State Probation Officers Association (NYSPOA), DPCA Staff and Orbis Partners. The curriculum is now standardized and delivered to new probation professionals across New York State.

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2. Latest Version of Caseload Explorer Enhances Probation Efficiency – DPCA is pleased to announce that the latest version of Caseload Explorer (V 3.10.4) has been deployed. This event marks a major milestone in our mutual efforts to automate probation departments in New York State. This current version is the result of major efforts by our Caseload Explorer Forms and Reports Workgroup to reconfigure Caseload Explorer to meet the needs of probation officers in New York State. The Forms and Reports Workgroup is comprised of staff from many probation departments, DPCA, DCJS and our professional partners at AutoMon. Caseload Explorer Version 3.10.4 contains the functionality necessary for probation officers to perform their jobs more efficiently. This version includes letters and template forms as well as some updates to the financial application. The DPCA Forms and Reports Workgroup is now turning its attention to formatting of automated reports, which are expected to be available to all departments in April. In future months, we will be working closely with DCJS on some exciting projects including the Caseload Explorer-IPRS System Integration and Caseload Explorer-CCH connection. Should you have any questions or comments regarding system improvement, please direct them to Walter.Cogswell@dpca.state.ny.us or Warren.Crow@dcjs.ny.gov.

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3. DPCA Explores Expanded Polygraph Examination for Sex Offender Supervision – The NYS Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (DPCA) recognizes the value of Post Conviction Sex Offender Testing (PCSOT) polygraph examination in the community supervision and management of sex offenders, and seeks to expand the use of this tool. DPCA’s commitment to this initiative includes the designation of $400,000 of $2.3 million in state aid assistance to localities for enhanced supervision services. These resources are directed specifically to the polygraph examination of SORA registered level 2 and 3 probationers. DPCA has also reached out to the American Polygraph Association to foster collaboration between qualified PCSOT examiners and probation departments that can benefit from their services.

To advance the use of PCSOT around the state, the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services' Office of Sex Offender Management (OSOM) is exploring the feasibility of hosting a PCSOT polygraph training academy during the summer of 2008. This would include the 8-12 week basic polygraph course, as well as the one week PCSOT course. OSOM is willing to sponsor a limited number of participants in this academy, who would then use these skills by performing PCSOT examinations on probationers and others in community sex offender treatment programs.

In exchange for receiving this sponsored training, examiners would contract with probation departments, treatment providers or other partners in community sex offender management to perform the PCSOT examinations at a contracted rate. These new examiners could further supplement their incomes by marketing their skills to others who need polygraph services beyond the field of sex offender management. Based on the commitment required and the needs of the field, DPCA and OSOM believe that retired/soon to be retired probation, parole or other law enforcement professionals may be the ideal candidates for this opportunity. Individuals selected would have the opportunity to continue contributing to the field of community corrections.

On 3/4/08, DPCA and OSOM hosted a conference call with those who had expressed interest in learning more about this proposed polygraph training. Dozens of people participated in that call to discuss this exciting proposal. A summary of that call can be obtained by contacting Gary Govel of DPCA at (518) 457-4336. Anyone interested in being considered for this training must submit a resume, cover letter (including reasons for interest, ability to commit to the required training and subsequent demands of the field, ability to travel to perform the exams and whether or not lodging would be required should you be selected to receive the training), and list of 3 references (at least one of which must be from a current or recent employer). Please send these materials by March 14, 2008 to: NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives, ATTN: Gary Govel, 80 Wolf Rd., Albany, NY 12205 or via e-mail to Gary.Govel@dpca.state.ny.us.

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4. Project Connect: Improving Linkage Between Probation and Mental Health – Columbia University’s Center for the Promotion of Mental Health in Juvenile Justice expects to be refunded by SAMHSA for a 3-year expansion of Project Connect, via an application due 4-22-08. We anticipate that participating counties will receive: in-service training in identification of suicide risk and mental health problems and procedures for better linkage to mental health providers; computers for screening (if needed); V-DISC screening software; staff (salaried from grant funds) to conduct screening and review records during the project; and guidance and support to develop better coordination of services with local mental health agencies/providers. Participating counties will be asked to: provide space for assessments and access to V-DISC results and case management records (it may be possible to do this via automated records); cooperate with other state and local mental health and probation agencies to establish systematized mental health referral practices; provide space for in-service training; and ensure that all juvenile probation officers attend training. Interested counties should contact Norma Tyler at Norma.Tyler@dpca.state.ny.us . For further information, contact Gail A. Wasserman, PhD at (212) 543-5296 or wassermg@childpsych.columbia.edu.

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5. Awards, Events and News

~ Mary Winter, Commissioner of the Onondaga County Probation Department was presented the 2007 “Whatever It Takes” Award from Multisystemic Therapy (MST) Services at the MST Network Partner Luncheon in Charleston, SC this past October. “We’re honored to present Mary Winter with this award because she exemplifies what the award is all about,” said Anne Dailey, MS, LCSW-R, Manager of Network Partnerships at MST. “Mary has been a committed MST champion for seven years. She was instrumental in bringing multisystemic therapy to Onondaga County via a New York State research project in 2000. Since then, she’s expanded MST availability to earlier intervention points in the juvenile justice system, to include diversion, and alternatives to non-secure and secure detention, and other forms of placement.” Congratulations Commissioner Winter!

~ DPCA is pleased to announce the continuation of training on “The Nature and Dynamics of Domestic Violence.” This project is funded through a grant from the US Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women, so there is no cost to localities for the training. Mike Thomas has been retained by DPCA to continue this important work. He is ready to discuss training topics with Directors and Staff Development Officers and will develop an outline that addresses county-specific domestic violence training goals. If your department is interested, please contact Kathi Pallotta at Kathi.Pallotta@dpca.state.ny.us.

~ The DJCS Office of Sex Offender Management has announced a multi-agency training initiative for thirty professionals to become certified to conduct training on the Static-99, and newly validated Stable-2007 and Acute-2007. This initial two-day training will be offered in Albany, NY from March 31 through April 1. The program goal is to develop the capacity within the state to offer future training on these important sex offender management tools at minimal costs to the counties. For additional information, please contact Jami Krueger at Jami.Krueger@dcjs.ny.gov .

~ State Director Shares Probation Strategies to Reduce Youth Violence – State Director Robert Maccarone participated as a panelist on the Preventing Recidivism Panel at the “Reducing Youth Violence in New York State” conference sponsored by the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services on February 6, 2008 in Albany. Some of the strategies highlighted include the delivery of training in evidence-based practices and the use of risk and need actuarial assessment instruments, such as the Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument (YASI) by local probation professionals. Click on the following link to view “Probation Strategies to Prevent Recidivism”: http://www.dpca.state.ny.us/pdfs/reducingyouthviolenceconffeb2008.pdf

~ The NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services announced the availability of Human Trafficking Training for criminal justice practitioners and non-governmental service providers across New York State. This training will provide an introductory overview of New York’s human trafficking law including an analysis of the new crimes of sex trafficking and labor trafficking, as well as effective implementation procedures for human trafficking victim identification and rehabilitative service referrals. This program will be offered in Albany on March 19th, Suffolk on March 25th, White Plains on April 21st, Goshen on April 23rd and Rochester on April 25th. Inquiries and registration requests should be directed to Patricia M. Hogan, Senior Training Technician at Patricia.Hogan@dcjs.ny.gov or (518) 457-6116.

~ The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform will soon be offering a Certificate Program at Georgetown University to help key leaders and multi-disciplinary teams to better understand and devise action plans to overcome barriers to juvenile justice reform. In order to better inform the Certificate Program's curriculum, the Center has created a short (approximately 10 – 15 minute) survey to be filled out by juvenile correctional and probation officials. The results of this survey will provide the Center with direction on which issues should be featured most prominently in the week long Certificate Program curriculum. Please take a moment and fill out the survey at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=bHzEZhUo6HBB_2fx1CGiDehw_3d_3d

~ Suffolk County recently announced a dramatic reduction in Juvenile Delinquent placements from 229 in 2006 to 182 in 2007 resulting in a gross savings of over $2.6 million. The placement reductions can be directly attributed to new evidence-based practices initiated throughout the county during 2007, including several special projects, such as the Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Project, where a majority of JD cases were screened for mental health and/or substance abuse issues; Thinking Errors, Anger Management, Social Skills and Talking Empathy (TASTE) and After-Taste to provide psycho-educational programming for JDs and their parents; Home Base to provide early-enhanced case management services for JD youth who have been placed on probation; the Long Island Advocacy Center for youth who require educational advocacy; Restorative Alternative to Placement (RAP) that provides home-based workers in JD cases with a pending probation violation; and, the Nextus Program that provides pro-social Adventure Therapy and Cognitive behavioral techniques for JD cases at risk of reoffending during the summer.

~ The DCJS Office of Sex Offender Management recently provided training for professionals who supervise sex offenders titled "Managing High Risk Sex Offenders in the Community" presented by Georgia Cumming, Program Director of the Vermont Department of Corrections' Integrated Statewide Network of Sex Offender Treatment Programs. Ms. Cumming is the co-author of Current Practices and Trends in Sexual Abuser Management, and Supervision of the Sex Offender, a practical guide to working with sexual offenders for probation and parole officers. She is a member of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers as well as being on the Board of Directors for the Safer Society Press. This state-of-the-art training program was attended by approximately 300 probation, parole and mental health professionals. Topics included What Works for effective programming, a detailed discussion of community supervision practices, working collaboratively with treatment providers, and supervision and treatment tools. The event was held in Albany on February 28th and 29th.

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6. Quick Facts: Thirty-one polygraph examiners have contacted DPCA in response to a recent announcement on the American Polygraph Association’s website and newsletter seeking to connect qualified Post Conviction Sex Offender Testing (PCSOT) polygraph examiners with probation departments that could utilize their services in the management and supervision of sex offender probationers.

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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 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.