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 76, May 8, 2009
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. Statewide Migration to Web-Based YASI Version 5.6 Underway
2. Caseload Explorer/I-PRS Interface Pilot Completed
3. DPCA Hosting Focus Groups for Cognitive-Behavioral Training Facilitators
4. Operation RETURN Succeeds
5. Probation Officers Complete Cyber Crime Investigations Training
6. Centralized PSI Repository Implemented in NOADS & IJ Portal
7. Interstate Compact Offender Tracking System (ICOTS) Training Scheduled
8. “The College Initiative” Graduate Class of 2009
9. DPCA Announces New Training Calendar
10. Awards, Events and News
11. Quick Facts

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1. Statewide Migration to Web-Based YASI Version 5.6 Underway – Orbis Partners has commenced the statewide migration of Youth Assessment Screening Instrument (YASI) users and county Access data to the new web-based version 5.6. Along with the implementation of the new software application will come the Access database of 150,000 case assessments. The new web-based application will facilitate ready access to probation staff and the ability to generate county-based reports. Nearly 40 counties have been migrated to YASI 5.6 in recent weeks with the remainder of jurisdictions scheduled for migration by May 31, 2009. Once the first phase of application and data migration is complete, Caseload Explorer counties that have implemented Version 3.11 of the probation case management software will receive the fully integrated CE/YASI software. The integrated software pulls data from the probation case management system and automatically populates the legal history grid of the YASI assessment instrument.

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2. Caseload Explorer I-PRS Interface Pilot Completed – The Caseload Explorer (CE) probation case management system has been successfully interfaced with the Statewide Integrated Probation Registrant System (IPRS). The CE/IPRS interface was successfully piloted in the St. Lawrence County Probation Department and the Suffolk County Probation Department is currently implementing the CE/IPRS Interface. Thereafter, the interface will be deployed to all counties implementing the CE Software. Probation Officers will automatically open, modify and close cases in the IPRS through their actions in the Caseload Explorer probation case management system. This will virtually keep eliminating duplicate data entry and ensure the quality and completeness of data entered into IPRS. The New York City Department of Probation has also integrated its Reusable Case Management System with IPRS in recent weeks.

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3. DPCA to Host Focus Groups for Cognitive-Behavioral Training Facilitators – DPCA is hosting a one-day focus group for facilitators that attended the NIC “Thinking for a Change” cognitive-behavioral training in November of 2008. This forum will provide an opportunity for facilitators to share their experiences in implementing cognitive groups. Schenectady and Ulster Counties have both completed the first probationer groups utilizing the “T4C” Curriculum. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 28, 2009, 10:00am – 2:30pm, 80 Wolf Road, Fourth Floor Training Room. Chip Coffey, one of the three instructors, will be available to answer questions. To register for the program, please send the name, title and email address of the person attending to Gail Roy by May 12, 2009. Email Gail.Roy@dpca.state.ny.us or fax (518) 485-7198.

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4. Operation RETURN Succeeds – The probation sex offender absconder apprehension collaborative initiative between DPCA, the US Marshals Office, the NY/NJ High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Regional Intelligence Center and local probation departments has resulted in the arrest and extradition of more than 20 Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) Level 2 and 3 Sex Offender Probationer Absconders nationwide. An additional 10 probation absconders have been located and detainer warrants have been lodged with local and state correctional facilities where they are currently incarcerated. Operation RETURN continues and local probation departments are reminded to review all SORA Level 2 and 3 probation absconders and relay this information to Community Correction Representative Gary Govel at Gary.Govel@dpca.state.ny.us.

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5. Probation Officers Complete Cyber Crime Investigations Training – A total of 40 probation officers from across New York State attended Cyber Crime Investigations Training at the NY State Police Training Academy during the week of April 27-May 1, 2009. The NYSP presented two 16-hour training sessions in Cyber Crime Investigations. Although largely focused on the investigation and supervision of sex offenders, the methods, techniques and tools discussed are applicable to other areas of probation work. The training addressed the legal processes used to obtain information from internet service providers and other internet entities, internet investigations and sources of online information, collection and preservation of digital information and online evidence, Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce (ICAC) Investigations, and an overview of computer preview and investigative tools that probation departments may wish to consider. DPCA is working with the State Police to repeat this training in other areas of the state. DPCA and the probation community extend our appreciation to the NYSP, particularly Lt. Fabio Auffant, for providing this important training. Please contact Gary Govel, DPCA Community Correction Representative II at (518) 457-4336 or via e-mail at Gary.Govel@dpca.state.ny.us with any comments or questions.

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6. Centralized PSI Repository Implemented in NOADS & IJ Portal – Phase 1 of the Centralized Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) Repository Project which currently pulls information from the NYC Department of Probation (NYCDOP) Reusable Case Management System (RCMS) has been completed and went fully operational on April 7th of this year. The NYCDOP now automatically sends each presentence investigation report (PDF format) directly to the Centralized PSI Repository located within the NYS Integrated Justice Portal. The New York Offender Assessment and Data Sharing (NOADS) Initiative has been expanded from serving as the statewide data-sharing platform for COMPAS risk and need actuarial information to supporting a central repository for presentence investigation reports which provides a user-friendly interface for New York State users to search and retrieve PSI information. The NYC Department of Probation led this initiative by contributing nearly 50,000 PSIs to commence data sharing. The PSI information exchange will serve NYS Department of Correctional Services (DOCS), Parole and Probation users. Phase 2 of the project will provide for the transmission and receipt of PSI XML data that will be used to auto-populate DOCS applications. Phase 2 of the PSI project will include a survey to all probation departments to gather information regarding how PSIs are processed in each department. DPCA recognizes the outstanding efforts of the NYC Department of Probation’s Office of Information Technology Staff, the DCJS NOADS Team and local probation departments.

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7. Interstate Compact Offender Tracking System Training Scheduled – On October 6, 2008, the National Office of the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS) launched a new automated system, Interstate Compact Offender Tracking System (ICOTS) to track the interstate transfer of adult probation and parole offenders. ICAOS has offered training and information for users of ICOTS available through its website www.interstatecompact.org. To supplement this training, DPCA will be offering a series of three LiveMeeting Sessions to train probation users in specific areas of ICOTS. Session One (June 10th) will provide an overview of ICOTS, a review of ICOTS Tools and Icons, navigation of ICOTS screens and Searching on ICOTS. Session Two (July 16th) will address Reporting Instructions, Transfer Requests and Notices of Departure and Arrival. Session Three (July 30th) will address Compact Action Requests, Progress Reports, and Violations. These sessions are all scheduled from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and will be available on your computer. Internet access is required. Additionally, these sessions will be recorded and made available for future viewing in the Probation Services Suite of eJustice. More specific information regarding each training session will be provided to Probation Directors and Transfer Designees in the near future. Please calendar these dates.

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8. “The College Initiative” Graduate Class of 2009 – The College Initiative is a reentry program of the Fund for the City of New York and is supported, in part, through DPCA. The College Initiative addresses the critical need for access to higher education for men and women who have been incarcerated or involved in the criminal justice system. Since 2002, 61 students have graduated. Over 150 students have attended the College Prep Program to bridge the gap between GED’s earned in prison and college level academics. On Friday, June 26th, the College Initiative will celebrate the graduation of 25 students who have completed academic degrees at 18 colleges and universities during the 2008-2009 academic year. Eight students will receive Associate Degrees, ten will receive Bachelor’s degrees and seven will receive Master’s Degrees. DPCA and the probation and community corrections community extend our congratulations to the Graduate Class of 2009. For additional information, please contact Ms. Benay Rubenstein, Founder and Director of the College Initiative at (212) 724-3607.

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9. DPCA Announces New Training Calendar – DPCA has recently released a new Training Calendar to assist probation departments and Alternative to Incarceration (ATI) programs in meeting their training needs. The DPCA Training Calendar was developed to help identify trainings that may be of interest to probation and/or ATI staff throughout New York State. As DPCA becomes aware of relevant training, staff of the Training Unit will be adding this information to the calendar and forwarding updated copies each month to probation departments and ATI programs. This information will also be located in the Training tab of the Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY. Included on the training calendar is specific registration and contact information for each event. Please send training events to Gail.Roy@dpca.state.ny.us

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10. Awards, Events and News

~ The Monroe County Probation Officer’s Association (MCPOA) and Office of Probation-Community Corrections have announced their 2009 Annual Training Conference. This year’s conference will be held on Thursday, June 11, 2009 at the Rochester Institute of Technology, 1 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY. Training topics will include defensive tactics, clandestine drug labs, trauma and victim’s issues, dealing with difficult people and gangs. The cost per attendee is $45.00. Registration information is available on the MCPOA website www.monroepoa.org.

~ Steve Aos Presentation on Evidence-based Policymaking is Now Available – The presentation Steve Aos recently gave at the Vera Institute, Using Evidence-based Public Policy to Reduce Incarceration, Crime, and Criminal Justice Costs, is now available on the Vera Institute Center on Youth Justice website. Aos, associate director of the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, shared findings from his groundbreaking cost-benefit study and discussed the study’s impact on policy in Washington State and its relevance for other jurisdictions. To view the presentation, visit the Center on Youth Justice’s multimedia page.

~ Second Chance Mentoring Grants Available – The Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, posted its solicitation of grant proposals under Section 211 of the Second Chance Act, "Mentoring Grants to Nonprofit Organizations." Unlike the earlier solicitation for grants to state and local governments (Section 101 of the Second Chance Act), the mentoring grants do not require matching funds. Non-profit community organizations, including faith-based organizations, may apply directly for grants of up to $300,000 for a period of up to 24 months. Program components of a project proposal must include mentoring adult offenders during incarceration, through transition back to the community, and post-release; transitional services to assist in the reintegration of offenders into the community; and training regarding offender and victims issues. The deadline for submission of grant proposals is 8:00 p.m., May 21, 2009. For assistance with the requirements of this solicitation, contact: Dr. Gary L. Dennis, Senior Policy Advisor, at 202–305–9059 or gary.dennis@usdoj.gov

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11. Quick Facts: Probation Departments supervise more than 4,500 domestic violence 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) 485-5158 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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