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 70, September 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

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In this Issue:

1.         DPCA Sponsors Regional NIC Training “Thinking for a Change”
2.         Supervisors’ Orientation to Fundamentals of Probation Practice Announced
3.         Governor Paterson announces establishment of Task Force on Transforming New York’s Juvenile Justice System
4.         CASOM Statewide Focus Group Meetings Scheduled
5.         Awards, Events and News
6.         Quick Facts

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1.         DPCA Sponsors Regional NIC Training “Thinking for a Change” – DPCA is very pleased to announce the application for facilitator training in the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) “Thinking for a Change” cognitive-behavioral program. This is one of several nationally recognized cognitive-behavioral change programs available to community correction professionals.  Professionals are taught the skills to assist offenders change their criminal attitudes and thinking, thereby reducing recidivism.  This facilitators’ training provides participants with an opportunity to take a major step forward in implementing evidence-based practices.  The authors of the “Thinking for a Change” Curriculum, Drs. Barry Glick, Juliana Taymans and John Bush will be providing the training.  This 32-hour, advanced level training program will prepare participants to facilitate offender groups utilizing the Thinking for a Change (T4C) program model.  It includes cognitive-restructuring and the development of social and problem-solving skills over 22 basic lessons with the capacity for continuing lessons to meet the particular needs of each group of participants.  This facilitator training is designed for Probation, Parole, Corrections and others responsible for leading offender groups in cognitive behavioral change and skill building.  Because seats are limited, participation will be restricted to two (2) persons from each agency and preference will be given to those who are prepared to proceed with program implementation and assist with capacity building by training other facilitators.  The training will occur in Albany, November 17-20, 2008.  Applications must be delivered to Gail.Roy@dpca.state.ny.us by October 10, 2008. For further information, you may contact Cindy M. Trimble at (845) 452-5119 or email Cindy.Trimble@dpca.state.ny.us

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2.         Supervisor Orientation to Fundamentals of Probation Practice Announced – DPCA, along with representatives from the Council of Probation Administrators (COPA), the NYS Probation Officer’s Association (POA) and Orbis Partners have worked together to change the paradigm of probation through training, specifically the evidence-based Fundamentals of Probation Practice (FPP) training.  Past response by Probation Supervisors to the two-day orientation workshops has been very positive and well-attended.  The next Supervisor Orientation workshop is scheduled for November 6-7, 2008 in Albany.  This year’s workshop is open to probation supervisors, staff development officers, senior probation officers and probation officers who serve in a mentoring role.  This workshop has been designed to provide staff with the information and tools necessary to support and reinforce key concepts and skills learned by probation officers graduating from the FPP. Seating for each session is limited to 30 attendees with no more than 3 participants from any one county.  The deadline for applications has been extended to October 10, 2008.   Please contact Bill Schaefer, DPCA Community Corrections Representative at (518) 457-7905 or Bill.Schaefer@dpca.state.ny.us or Gail.Roy@dpca.state.ny.us.

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3.         Governor Paterson announces establishment of Task Force on Transforming New York’s Juvenile Justice System – State Director Robert Maccarone will join Schenectady County Deputy Probation Director Joe Mancini on a Panel of Experts that will be convened to work with the Task Force on Transforming New York’s Juvenile Justice Task Force.  The group is charged with “developing a strategic blueprint to address alternatives to incarceration, community re-entry and disproportionate minority representation.”  Task Force members include Commissioners Martin Horn of the New York City Probation Department and Mary Winter of the Onondaga County Probation Department.  The Task Force will be chaired by CUNY’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice President, Jeremy Travis.  Commissioner Gladys Carrión of the NYS Office of Children and Family Services will oversee the Task Force and The Vera Institute of Justice will be responsible for daily operations.  To view the full press release, please visit: http://www.ny.gov/governor/press/press_0910081.html

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4.         CASOM Statewide Focus Group Meetings Scheduled – DPCA is implementing its Comprehensive Approaches to Sex Offender Management (CASOM) Grant and has announced a series of regional meetings to improve sex offender management policies and practices by critically examining existing approaches to managing this challenging population. These meetings will build upon the information gathered at focus group sessions held last year. Probation professionals across New York State will assist in developing a comprehensive policy for sex offender management. The regional meetings will be held in ten locations. The sessions will be focused in the following areas: Pre-Plea/Pre-Sentence, Post Sentence Supervision, and Special Topics. Written materials and agendas will be distributed for review before each session. The first four sessions are planned as follows: Ontario County – Pre-Plea/Pre-Sentence (October 17, 2008), Warren County – Pre-Plea/Pre-Sentence (November 6, 2008), Ulster County – Post Sentence Supervision (December 1, 2008), and Jefferson County - Post Sentence Supervision (December 11, 2008). Additional meetings will be held during January 2009 through March 2009. More detailed information will be distributed to Probation Directors during the next several weeks.  For additional information please contact Laura Zeliger at (518) 457-5275 or Laura.Zeliger@dpca.state.ny.us.   

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5.         Awards, Events and News

~          DPCA Announces Caseload Explorer Version 3.11 Financial Module Training - With the new version of Caseload Explorer being deployed, DPCA is sponsoring a series OF eight Financial Module Trainings across the State over the next three months. These one-day trainings will be conducted by New York Probation professionals who have been heavily involved in the development of a Financial Module that reflects the needs of New York probation departments.  The target audience is 2 to 3 people from each department, who have as their primary responsibilities the development and maintenance of all financial records and functions in their department.  Due to the small number of available trainers, several departments will need to be trained at each site.  Thus far, training sites have been or are in the process of being identified in the following areas:    

             October:  Tioga and Jefferson Counties (October 27th)
             November:  Dutchess County
             December: Montgomery County
             January:  Ontario and Essex Counties

              Details will be forwarded to Probation Directors as sites are confirmed.  Should you have  any questions, please contact Walter Cogswell at (518) 485-5168 or at  Walter.Cogswell@dpca.state.ny.us

~          Sex Offender Management Training Videos – DPCA recently sent out DVD recordings of two Sex Offender Management training events (each 2 discs) that were held earlier this year.  These sessions were sponsored and recorded by the Office of Sex Offender Management (OSOM).  “Managing High Risk Offenders in the Community” was presented by Georgia Cumming in February and “Deception and Manipulation by Sex Offenders” was presented in March by Anna Salter, PhD.  Many Probation Officers had the opportunity to attend these excellent training events, and through these DVD recordings, this valuable information can be shared with an even larger audience of probation professionals.  These videos are now available in the Probation Services Suite of e-Justice, New York.  Pease contact Gary Govel at (518) 457-4336 or Gary.Govel@dpca.state.ny.us with any questions.

~          Probation Domestic Violence Intervention Project Sets Regional Meetings – DPCA has announced a series of regional meetings to re-establish and strengthen the statewide network of Probation Domestic Violence Liaisons (PDVL’s) and assist probation departments in improving access and their response to Domestic Incident  Reports (DIR).  Ready-access to DIR information will assist probation officers in holding offenders accountable and reducing domestic violence. These important meetings will focus on policy development, access and response to DIRs, recent changes in the Family Court Act and Criminal Procedural Law, and the identification of local training needs.  The first three of five statewide meetings were held as follows: Putnam County (September 22nd), Washington County (September 24th), and Livingston County (October 6th).  Future regional meetings will be held in Tioga County (October 15th), Jefferson County (October 17th) and Nassau County (October 23rd).  For additional information regarding this meeting series, please contact Mike Thomas at memike106@aol.com.  To register for these meetings, please complete a registration form found on the Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY and send completed forms to Gail Roy at Gail.Roy@dpca.state.ny.us or fax to (518) 485-7198.

~          Restitution and Reparation Legal Information Updated – DPCA Counsel has provided updated information to Probation Directors on the subject of restitution and reparation and related topical areas. Specifically, it highlights 21 questions which are frequently asked by practitioners and provides answers to these questions.  Please feel free to contact DPCA Counsel Linda Valenti at (518) 485-2394. 

~          New PINS Rule Takes Effect October 1, 2008 – Part 357 and 354 of Title 9 NYCRR PINS Rule were recently revised.  DPCA would like to acknowledge the fine work of the PINS Intake Rule Revision Workgroup, comprised of local probation department professionals from across the state and DPCA staff. The staff and probation professionals contributed their knowledge, expertise and many hours to ensure that these regulations conform to all current laws and are consistent with evidence-based practices. This document incorporates several suggestions DPCA received during the public comment period, clarifying certain provisions and regulatory language and other suggestions to improve its content. The full text is currently posted on the DPCA website at: http://www.dpca.state.ny.us/regs_pdf_contents.htm

~          DPCA Working to “Brand” Probation – 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 to Gary Govel, 80 Wolf Rd., Suite 501, Albany, NY 12205 or via e-mail to Gary.Govel@dpca.state.ny.us.

~          Center for Community Alternatives (CCA) and program Deputy Director Josefina Bastidas were recently featured by Daily News for work in the community.  Director Bastidas captured the essence of Alternative to Incarceration programs when she was quoted as saying, “There is no better success than to see people you helped now helping others.  You know you have made a difference.”  To view the full article, please visit www.nydailynews.com

~          Governor Paterson signs S4956-A/A07847-A into law, which provides release from certain liability for employers who hire individuals with past criminal convictions (sponsored by Senator Dale Volker and Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry).  Click here to read the legislative language and justification memo.

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6.         Quick Facts: Every County in New York State has reduced their maximum expiration data (MED) case closings to below the statewide threshold of 5% on the Statewide Integated-Probation Registrant System.

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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.