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 68, July 29, 2008
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. GTSC Establishes Probation Team on Impaired Driving
2. CONNECT Project Phase III Applications Requested
3. DPCA Participates in Statewide Social Services Cross-Training
4. COMPAS Migration “Live Meeting” Trainings Scheduled
5. DMV Data Available to All Probation Departments
6. Statewide Probation Study Advances
7. Awards, Events and News
8. Quick Facts

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1. GTSC Establishes Probation Team on Impaired Driving – The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) has established a Task Force on Impaired Driving to examine the causes of impaired driving and develop recommendations for reducing traffic crashes and fatalities. The GTSC Task Force is establishing teams to address nine specific components of the impaired driving system. Nine separate teams composed of members of approximately 15 different state agencies or departments will examine the strategies and methods that can lead to system improvement. Please contact DPCA Community Correction Representative Ron Bergstrom at Ron.Bergstrom@dpca.state.ny.us if you would like to be considered to participate on the Team 6: Probation. Team 6 will require up to nine probation professionals who will be meeting on a quarterly basis.

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2. CONNECT Project Phase III Applications Requested – DPCA is very pleased to announce that the New York State Office of Mental Health is inviting interested counties to submit applications to participate in Phase III of the CONNECT Project. Up to five additional probation departments and their counties will join the 16 counties that have participated in this system-wide planning initiative. CONNECT is a collaborative effort between county mental health and probation to provide training and technical assistance in addressing the needs of persons with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse disorders on probation or in alternative to incarceration (ATI) programs. The brief application is available on the following website: http://www.omh.ny.gov/omhweb/rfp/2008/connect/application.html The deadline for submission is August 22, 2008. For additional information, please contact Bernard Wilson at (518) 485-5137 or Bernard.Wilson@dpca.state.ny.us.

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3. DPCA Participates in Statewide Social Services Cross Training – DPCA joined other state agencies including Parole, Health and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance in hosting six statewide Criminal Justice/Social Services Meetings. These regional sessions were held in Buffalo, Syracuse, Elmira, White Plains, Albany and Lake Placid. State agencies focused on the needs of “cross-system” youths and families, often the most difficult to serve. Staff from local agencies commented on the challenges of meeting the needs of shared populations. Over 300 people were trained on topics including employment and success, eligibility for benefits and services, probation and parole conditions and child support.

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4. COMPAS Migration “Live Meeting” Trainings Scheduled – DCJS and DPCA are conducting a series of “live meeting” trainings as New York COMPAS is migrated to the statewide platform known as the New York Offender Assessment and Data Sharing (NOADS) Project. Live meeting trainings will be posted to e-Justice,NY to ensure they are available to all probation officers. The remaining programs are scheduled for Tuesday, July 29 at 1:00 pm for COMPAS Users and Wednesday, July 30 at 10:00 am for COMPAS Users. For additional information, please contact Barbara Gordon, PMP Chief, NY Offender Assessment and Data Sharing (NOADS) Project at (518) 457-5928.

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5. DMV Data Available to All Probation Departments – Eighteen probation departments in the state now have ready access to driving record information through the NYS DMV. Departments have access to probationer driving records (abstracts), vehicle registrations or titles, convictions, suspensions/revocations, summons, security checks, etc. A statewide survey of user departments indicated satisfaction with this service. Orange County Probation Director Vicki Casey reported that probation officers in her department rely on the data, “Our probation officers love it”. Oswego County Probation Director Barbara Schuler indicated her officers’ satisfaction, “Its easy to enroll…very user friendly. We determined that sex offenders were driving with suspended plates…driving to counseling sessions or giving rides to friends or relatives.” Please contact Ron Bergstrom at (518) 485-9941 or at Ron.Bergstrom@dpca.state.ny.us for additional information.

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6. Statewide Probation Study Advances – The NYS Department of Civil Service with the guidance of DPCA and its Statewide Workgroup on Probation Qualifications, Recruitment and Retention, is continuing to develop the Job Analysis Survey which will be distributed to all probation professionals later this year. Regional meetings with Probation Supervisors and Principal Probation Officers are being scheduled to determine the tasks and duties performed by probation professionals along with the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities. These meetings include Albany on August 11-12, Rochester on August 18-19, and NYC on August 27-28. A Central New York meeting will also be scheduled. Additional information, including departments requested to participate, is being forwarded to all probation directors/commissioners. Please contact Gary Govel with any questions or comments regarding this project at (518) 457-4336, or via e-mail at Gary.Govel@dpca.state.ny.us. Thank you for your continued support of this very important undertaking.

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7. Awards, Events and News

~ DPCA and its Statewide Workgroup on Probation Qualifications, Recruitment and Retention are working to develop a probation “brand” in New York State. Strengthening probation’s identity and image are important to effective communication with the public. Please submit your suggestions at the next month’s NYSPOA Conference. Also, please feel free to submit your ideas to Gary Govel, 80 Wolf Rd. Suite 501, Albany, NY 12205 or via e-mail to Gary.Govel@dpca.state.ny.us

~ The Women in Prison Project/Reentry Committee of the Correctional Association of New York is pleased to announce that My Sister’s Keeper, A Book for Women Returning Home from Prison or Jail is now available. Based on the experience of 80 New York-based women in various stages of transitioning home from incarceration, My Sister’s Keeper offers women returning home from incarceration advice, strength and hope to stay the course as they reclaim their lives. The project was supported by a grant from Thirteen/WNET. An electronic version of the book is available from the Correctional Association website at http://www.correctionalassociation.org/WIPP/WIPP_main.html. For additional information, contact Serena Alfieri, Women in Prison Project Associate at 212-254-5700 x 311.

~ The Mental Health Association of New York State (MHANYS) Fall Conference is being held on October 24, 2008 in Albany. Dr. Harold Koplewicz, the Director of the NYU Child Study Center, Director Division of Children and Adolescent Psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital Center, the Director of Nathan Kline Institute, as well as a frequent guest on Good Morning America, will be the keynote speaker. Conference registration information and other details will be posted shortly on the MHANYS website: http://www.mhanys.org/events.htm

~ The Genesee County Probation Department issued its first departmental newsletter earlier this month. The department will publish editions twice per year. To view a copy or request a subscription, please send an e-mail to Julie Smith, Probation Director at jasmith@co.genesee.ny.us.

~ 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.

~ State Director Robert Maccarone joined Parole Chairman George Alexander, Deputy Secretary Michael Balboni and other criminal justice professionals on July 14, 2008 in Albany, in commemorating “Probation, Parole and Community Corrections Week”. State Director Maccarone read a proclamation issued by Governor David Paterson, recognizing the commitment of probation, parole and community correction professionals in working to enhance community safety in New York State. In July, probation departments across New York State celebrated “Probation, Parole and Community Corrections Week” July 13-19, 2008. Broome County Probation hosted a “Lunch and Learn” with local judges. St. Lawrence Probation celebrated with a week of activities, and Dutchess County Probation, along with the Ulster County Probation Department, participated in a recognition luncheon, hosted by the New York State Division of Parole. To view Governor David Paterson’s Official Proclamation, please visit this link.

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8. Quick Facts: “Did you know that probationer recidivism in New York State, defined as felony re-arrest, was 12.7% in 2006 after twelve months following sentence?”

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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.

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