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 67, July 3, 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. New York State/City of New York Mental Health-Criminal Justice Panel Delivers Report
2. State Director Testifies Before the Joint Assembly Standing Committees on Codes, Judiciary, Correction, Health, Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, and Social Services
3. DPCA Releases Domestic Violence Intake and Custody Packages
4. Statewide TASC Standards Promulgated
5. DPCA Distributes Specialized Risk and Need Instrument Summary and Matrix for DWI Offenders
6. Probation premiers in OCA live statewide teleconference – "Probation and the Justice Court"
7. NYS Civil Service – Probation Job Analysis Project Update
8. DPCA Seeks to “Brand” Probation in New York State
9. NYS Graduates First Class of Offender Workforce Development Specialists
10. Awards, Events and News
11. Quick Facts

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1. NYS/City of New York Mental Health-Criminal Justice Panel Delivers Report

DPCA participated on a Mental Health-Criminal Justice Panel dedicated to improving the quality and consistency of care of individuals with serious mental illnesses. A pilot program for sharing information between the criminal justice and mental health treatment systems will identify people with serious mental illnesses who have become involved with the justice system. A NYC alternative-to-detention pilot program will provide assessment, case management, supervision and community-based treatment to defendants with mental illnesses who might otherwise be detained while their cases are moving through the courts and who do not pose a high risk of recidivism or flight. A dedicated mental health unit at the NYC Department of Probation will foster relationships between probation officers and probationers’ mental health providers and assist probationers in receiving appropriate services. To view the original press release, please visit: http://www.ny.gov/governor/press/press_0612081.html.

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2. State Director Testifies Before the Joint Assembly Standing Committees on Codes, Judiciary, Correction, Health, Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, and Social Services – State Director Robert Maccarone testified on May 8, 2008 before the Joint Assembly Standing Committees on Codes, Judiciary, Correction, Health, Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and Social Services regarding the Impact of the Rockefeller Drug Laws on drug addiction, drug-related health problems and drug-related crime, and to explore the suitability and effectiveness of treatment as a possible alternative to mandatory incarceration. Director Maccarone highlighted probation’s and ATI Program’s record of success working with Drug Courts and the Drug Treatment Alternative Program. Please visit www.dpca.state.ny.us to see the complete testimony.

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3. DPCA Releases Domestic Violence Intake and Custody Packages – DPCA is pleased to provide the New York State Model Policy for Domestic Violence "Intake Guidelines: Completing Petitions for Orders of Protection Involving Family Offenses" and Child Custody Investigations: Guidelines for Practice”. The Guidelines are an important component of the NYS Model Procedural Package for Use in a Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence. They were developed in collaboration with the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) and the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NYSCADV) with the assistance and input from members of the NYS Probation Domestic Violence Intervention Workgroup. The Guidelines were distributed to all Probation Directors and Commissioners and are currently posted on the Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY.

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4. Statewide TASC Standards Promulgated – DPCA has issued the Standards for Treatment Alternatives for a Safer Community (TASC) Programs in New York State. These Standards are the first of their kind and will serve to provide guidance to TASC programs throughout New York State. During 2007 and 2008, DPCA staff met with TASC professionals to research and develop these Standards. DPCA gratefully acknowledges the members of the TASC Committee and program staff for their dedication and commitment to advancing program excellence. The Standards are available on the DPCA website at http://www.dpca.state.ny.us/pdfs/2008-5tascstandardsmay2008.pdf.

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5. DPCA Distributes Specialized Risk and Need Instrument Summary and Matrix for DWI Offenders – Probation Departments in New York State supervised nearly 26,000 DWI Offenders. Specialized risk and need instruments for the DWI offender can assist probation departments where there is limited access to alcohol evaluation prior to the preparation of the pre-plea/sentence investigation and report. Probation departments reported that these tools can also assist in prioritizing the highest risk cases when the availability of treatment is limited in their jurisdictions, as well as during the period of supervision that often continues long after the offender has completed the treatment regimen. The summary of risk and assessment tools contains research information on the effectiveness and accuracy of some of the most widely used alcohol/DWI instruments in the country. The matrix summarizes various features of the instruments as ranked by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Please contact Ron.Bergstrom@dpca.state.ny or (518) 485-9941 for further information.

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6. Probation premiers in OCA statewide live teleconference – “Probation and the Justice Court” – Probation Directors were invited to join their Town and Village Magistrates to participate in a live interactive teleconference entitled "Probation and the Justice Court". This live teleconference was held on Thursday, June 26, 2008 in court facilities throughout New York State. Nearly 600 judges and probation officials participated in the program. Sponsored by the New York State Judicial Institute and the Office of Court Administration, with support of the Town and Village Justice Court Resource Center and the Magistrates Court Clerk's Association, this live teleconference examined the important role of probation in New York State.

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7. NYS Civil Service – Probation Job Analysis Project Update – NYS Civil Service with the support of DPCA and the Statewide Probation Professional Qualifications, Recruitment and Retention Workgroup, has begun a comprehensive review of all probation titles described in Appendix H-10 of DPCA’s Rules and Regulations. Statewide regional meetings were held with probation professionals to refine the survey tool that State Civil Service will utilize in updating the probation professional qualifications to reflect the complex job requirements of today’s probation personnel. NYS Civil Service recently met with groups of probation personnel at regional meetings held in Albany, Rochester, Syracuse and NYC. Two day meetings included Probation Assistants, Senior Probation Officers as well as Probation Supervisors. DPCA extends our thanks to all those who participated and to Probation Directors for their support of this important project.

NYS Civil Service is planning future meetings to review the duties/tasks and required knowledge, skills and abilities of Probation Supervisors. Additional information regarding those meetings will be provided by DPCA. Please contact Gary.Govel@dpca.state.ny.us or at (518) 457-4336 with questions about this project.

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8. DPCA Seeks to “Brand” Probation in New York – DPCA and the Statewide Probation Qualifications, Recruitment and Retention Workgroup, seek to develop a probation “brand” in New York State that conveys the image and identity of our profession. To promote the development of this branding concept, the input of the field is requested. Input should be original ideas, and may include mottos, catch phrases, logos and other concepts for New York State’s Probation branding. DPCA will have a box at the upcoming NYSPOA conference where suggestions and ideas may be submitted. Prior to or following the NYSPOA Conference, probation branding ideas may be submitted in writing to NYS DPCA, Attn: Gary Govel, 80 Wolf Rd. Suite 501, Albany, NY 12205 or via e-mail to Gary.Govel@dpca.state.ny.us

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9. First Class of Offender Workforce Development Specialists Certified – On Thursday, June 19, 2008 DPCA, in partnership with the NYS Department of Labor, Albany, Schenectady, NYC and Suffolk Probation Departments, graduated 24 probation officers and community correction professionals of the Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS) Program. The OWDS training program was made possible through a $25,000 grant awarded to DPCA by the National Institute of Corrections. The 180-hour curriculum was provided over the last three months. The OWDS Program is an intensive training consisting of three intensive weeks of classes and many hours of outside assignments. The participants will join the current group of 17 OWDS who have been certified by NIC with DPCA as the sponsoring agency. These specialists train probation officers and work with offenders to improve offender employment. For additional information, please contact Cynthia Blair at Cynthia.Blair@dpca.state.ny.us or call (518) 485-5162.

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10. Awards, Events and News

~ DPCA recently upgraded the Reference Materials section of the Probation Service Suite on eJusticeNY. Changes were made that make the information more accessible for users and the new format will provide for more efficient document management and site maintenance. Please take a moment and visit the Probation Services Suite. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please contact Bill Schaefer at Bill.Schaefer@dpca.state.ny.us or call (518) 487-7905.

~ DPCA has announced the dates for the next Fundamentals of Probation Practice Course to be held in Albany, NY. OSST and Peace Officer Supplement will be conducted September 8-12, 2008; Week One of FPP will be September 15-19, 2008; and Week Two of FPP will be September 22-26, 2008. For additional information, please contact Kathi Pallotta at Kathi.Pallotta@dpca.state.ny.us or call (518) 465-5157.

~ Sex Offender Management Training Opportunity – The New York State Office of Sex Offender Management (OSOM) is offering advanced training on using specialized risk assessments and applying the results in a correctional setting. During the one-day session on August 1 at the NYSP Training Academy, Drs. R. Karl Hanson and David Thornton will be presenting information on special topics related to risk assessment with sex offenders. They will present current issues in assessment regarding the Static-99 and 2002, as well as issues such as offender aging out, female and developmentally delayed sexual offenders, and offenders with traditional mental illness. The afternoon session will break into two groups, both will focus on applying assessment findings to either incarcerated or civilly committed offenders, or those in the community under probation or parole supervision and/or in specialized sexual offender treatment. Please contact OSOM at osom.training@dcjs.ny.gov for more information. Registration deadline is July 23rd. Onsite Registration will not be available.

~ The Council on Children and Families is pleased to present the NYS Family Resources.org website www.nysfamilyresources.org. This website contains a unique collection of resources focusing on contemporary family issues and is designed for parents, professionals, and community leaders, particularly those who serve children and youth. The resources presented on this site are not all inclusive and do not imply endorsement of any particular methodology or parenting approach. The goal is to provide a user friendly site to locate high quality resources available on-line, in local libraries or by purchase in stores. We have attempted to provide a balanced, broad-spectrum of topics with resources that will be useful to all.

~ The Second Annual Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Conference will be held on November 21, 2008 at The York College Performing Arts Center in Queens NY. Learn what you can do to prevent FASD and reduce secondary disabilities. For more information please visit www.fassn.org.

~ The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission has completed its draft standards and is preparing for a 45 day public comment period beginning June 16, 2008 and ending on August 1, 2008. Draft standards for the Adult Prisons, Jails, and Supplemental Standards for Facilities Holding Immigration Detainees (released on May 5, 2008) are currently available for comment until July 7, 2008 and can be downloaded from the Commission’s website at www.nprec.us. The standards for Lockups, Juvenile, and Community Corrections Facilities will also be available on the website. The Commission will review and take into consideration feedback from the comment period prior to issuing its final recommendations to the Attorney General in 2009. The Attorney General will then have up to a year to promulgate regulations based on the Commission’s recommended standards.

~ The American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) recently announced publication of Guidelines for Community Supervision of DWI Offenders to assist in supervising these very common but often difficult cases. Please refer to item # 5 above for additional information regarding specialized risk and need assessments for DWI offenders. To view the new APPA guidelines, please visit:


~ Statewide License Plate Reader Technology Conference - The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee sponsored the “Traffic Safety Initiatives & License Plate Reader Technology” conference June 19-20, 2008 at the Great Escape Lodge in Lake George, New York. The conference was attended by nearly 300 Law Enforcement officers from all over New York State (and one from the United Kingdom). The conference offered a wide range of presentations addressing the use of License Plate Reader technology throughout the State of New York. Topics included, “LPR- Success Stories,” “LPR Technology Utilization & Software Updates,” “LPR Traffic Safety Initiatives – Best Practices,” (which included a segment on Probation LPR usage by Todd Wersinger, Monroe County Probation), “LPR’s and Amber Alerts,” “Investigative Use of LPR’s,” and LPR use by NYPD in New York City and local LPR initiatives around the United Kingdom. LPR use is an effective tool in Law Enforcement activities throughout New York State. For more information on License Plate Reader technology, please contact Ron Bergstrom at Ron.Bergstrom@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 485-9941.

~ The ICCA 16th Annual Research Conference on What Works "Risk, Resiliency and Reentry" is scheduled for October 19-22, 2008 at the Millennium Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. This year’s program features Dr. Tim Condon, Deputy Director of NIDA, who will keynote the conference; research presenters including Frank Porporino, Doris MacKenzie and Kenneth Wanberg; and 30 workshops demonstrating best practices at work. For additional information, please visit: http://iccaweb.org/index.php?section=6

~ On Friday, June 6, 2008, Genesee Justice held its annual Community Correction Recognition Luncheon at DeWitt Park in Batavia, New York hosted by Ed Minardo, Director. The Genesee Justice staff was joined by the Genesee County District Attorney, Batavia City Court Judge, Genesee County Legislator, Genesee County Probation Director, Genesee County Chief Deputy, approximately 14 Genesee County Magistrates and numerous other community corrections collaborative partners. Awards were given out by Genesee Justice Director Ed Minardo to individuals for their important work in the field of community corrections with a focus on collaboration. Genesee Justice is part of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office. The Program provides Pretrial Release Services and a Community Service Project for the County of Genesee and plays a vital role in public safety and reducing recidivism in that community.

~ The 2008 New York State Probation Officers Association Conference will be held August 13-15, 2008 at the Albany Crowne Plaza Hotel in Albany, NY. Conference details and registration information are available at: http://www.nyspoa.com.

~ The Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Taskforce (URGENT) is made up of representatives from several law enforcement agencies, including the Ulster County Probation Department. After an extensive investigation and numerous probation debriefings, URGENT recently interceded with the motorcycle gang Few Good Men, that was travelling to AM JAM in Cobleskill. The URGENT team was able to stop one gang member’s truck and arrest two gang members for CPCS 4th, CPCS 7th, CPW 4th, and CPM 5th. The driver of vehicle had a loaded .357 magnum. One passenger was identified as a probationer under supervision in Putnam County. We congratulate the Ulster County Probation Department and other URGENT team members.

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11. Quick Facts: Did you know that nearly 40% of probationers are 24 years old and younger.

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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.