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.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

eFocus, Issue Number 78, June 26, 2009
NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
Robert M. Maccarone, State Director
Thomas H. Slater, Executive Deputy Director
William M. Schaefer, Jr., Editor

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In this Issue:

1. NYS Probationer Recidivism Continues to Decline
2. DNA Collected by Probation Linked to 750 Major Crimes
3. DPCA Establishes Four Regional Training Sites for Caseload Explorer
4. Use of Ignition Interlock Devices Increases in New York State
5. DPCA Convenes Focus Group of Thinking for a Change Facilitators
6. DPCA Initiates Live Training for Interstate Tracking System
7. Awards, Events and News
8. Quick Facts

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

1. NYS Probationer Recidivism Continues to Decline – The most recent 10-year (1998-2007) Annual Arrest Cohort Study for Probationers in New York State indicates probationer recidivism, defined as felony re-arrests, continues to decline for 12 (12.4%), 24 (20.1%) and 36 (25.7%) months. This is evidenced in all categories, including re-arrests for Violent Felony Offenses, Drug Offenses and Other Felony Offenses. Recidivism data is provided for individual counties as well as statewide, New York City and Non-New York City Areas. The full report is available on the DPCA website: http://www.dpca.state.ny.us/pdfs/final98to07annualarrestcohorts29may09.pdf

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2. DNA Collected by Probation Linked to 750 Major Crimes – Since the inception of New York State’s DNA Laws in 1998, Probation Departments have collected nearly 95,000 samples of DNA from probationers. This has resulted in more than 750 “Probation DNA Hits” or cases where DNA samples of probationers have been linked to evidence taken at crime scenes, as well as from victims of crimes. In all, Probation DNA samples have been linked to 71 homicides, 350 sexual assaults, 54 robberies, 191 burglaries, 28 assaults, as well as a number of other serious crimes. Significantly, 67 of the samples that have been linked to crimes were taken pursuant to the Subject Index, including 10 of the 71 homicides. As probation professionals, this data reinforces our knowledge that DNA sample collection and testing is unparalleled in its capacity to solve crime and prevent victimization. In addition to their Investigation and Supervision functions, probation officers are major crime fighters. DPCA has published detailed hit results which are available on the Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

3. DPCA Establishes Four Regional Training Sites for Caseload Explorer – DPCA is providing funding to the Albany, Jefferson, Tompkins and Warren County Probation Departments to serve as regional training sites to the more than 40 probation departments in New York State that are implementing the probation automated case management system—Caseload Explorer. Federal funds are being used to support the installation of the “Ad Hoc” Reports Software Program and training of probation staff in these probation departments. All four regional training sites will be operational by September 15, 2009.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

4. Use of Ignition Interlock Devices Increases in New York State – There are now 116 installer locations in 47 counties across New York State and over 2,000 probationers being monitored with the assistance of ignition interlock systems. An alcohol ignition interlock is a breath test device linked to a vehicle’s ignition system. When a driver wishes to start the vehicle, he or she must first blow into the device. The vehicle will not start unless the driver’s alcohol concentration is below a pre-set blood alcohol concentration (BAC). A data recorder logs the driver’s BAC for each attempt to start the vehicle. Interlocks may be calibrated to have “rolling retests,” which requires a driver to provide breath tests at regular intervals, preventing drivers from asking a sober friend to start the car, drink while driving, or leaving the car idling in a bar parking lot. The rapidly evolving technology on newer interlock models includes such features as Global Positioning System, real-time reporting and the transmission of digital photographs of drivers submitting each sample. The NYS Ignition Interlock Vendors and Installers list was recently updated on the DPCA Website and the Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY. For additional information, please contact Ron Bergstrom at (518) 485-9941 or Ron.Bergstrom@dpca.state.ny.us.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

5. DPCA Convenes Focus Group Meeting of Thinking for a Change Facilitators – In November of 2008, DPCA, in collaboration with the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), trained as facilitators more than 30 probation officers and community correction professionals, including parole officers and jail administrators in the nationally recognized cognitive-behavioral skills curriculum Thinking for a Change. On May 28th of this year, DPCA brought together probation practitioners and community correction professionals from 11 jurisdictions that have since convened probationer and client groups and implemented the cognitive behavioral program. Participants were able to share current program status, experiences of local success and strategies to address various barriers. Participants were also provided with an opportunity to have questions addressed directly by Chip Coffey, one of the trainers of this innovative program. In mid-June of this year, 7 of the facilitators joined staff of the NYS Department of Correctional Services in a five-day program and were awarded their Master Training Certificates in the Thinking for a Change Advanced Practicum Curriculum. Having professionals trained in this important cognitive-behavioral curriculum will increase our capacity to train probation and community corrections staff statewide. For additional information regarding this meeting or the Thinking for a Change program, please contact Kathi Pallotta at (518) 485-5157 or Kathi.Pallotta@dpca.state.ny.us.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

6. DPCA Initiates “Live Meeting” for Interstate Tracking System – Session One of the three-part Interstate Compact Offender Tracking System (ICOTS) “Live Meeting” was held on Wednesday, June 10th. This session provided over 150 attendees with an ICOTS Overview and specific training on ICOTS Tools and Icons, navigation of ICOTS Screens and searching on ICOTS. Participants were able to pose questions that were answered in real time during this web-based training program. The training slides from the June 10th session are available on the Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY under the New Information and Training tabs. The Interstate staff hopes that the training was helpful and asks that you please join us for the remaining two sessions being held on July 16th and July 30th (10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.). Session Two will cover Reporting Instructions, Transfer Requests and Notices of Departure and Arrival. Session Three will cover Compact Action Requests, Progress Reports and Violations. If you have any questions regarding these trainings, please contact Sandy Layton at Sandra.Layton@dpca.state.ny.us or Shaina Kern at Shaina.Kern@dpca.state.ny.us.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

7. Awards, Events and News

~ The New York State Office of Sex Offender Management (OSOM) recently filmed a training video for Police Officers who deal with sex offenders. The video includes sections on the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA); the Sex Offender Registry and Sex Offender Management Tools on e-Justice NY; and Law Enforcement Tips and Tools. Although intended for Police Officers, this video also has great value as a training tool to provide Probation Officers with an overview of SORA and the New York Sex Offender Registry. A DVD of this program was recently sent to all Probation Directors and Commissioners. It is available for viewing under the Law Enforcement tab of the Sex Offender Management Suite on eJusticeNY.

~ On May 11, 2009 at the Canandaigua Police Departments’ Law Day Ceremony, Probation Officer Sue Cirencione and Senior Probation Officer Kevin Case were awarded the Canandaigua Police Department Chief’s Citation, for their handling of an attempted suicide by a Probationer. Due to their prompt action, requiring them to leave their homes late in the evening to intervene in the situation, the Probationer was hospitalized and is now stabilized and grateful to the officers involved. There is little doubt that their actions likely saved the life of this individual. The Chief’s Citation Award states that the actions of the Probation Officers brought acclaim to the Department and the law enforcement profession.

~ Probation Officer Melissa Laks, a recent DPCA Fundamentals of Probation Practice graduate from the Orange County Probation Department, was featured in the June 15, 2009 edition of the Times Herald Record newspaper as the department’s first Aggression Replacement Training (ART) class graduated. The ART program is a collaborative effort between probation, the Dispute Resolution Center, and Middletown High School. The six graduating students completed the rigorous ART program by attending 3 sessions per week for 10 weeks, where they learned how to replace aggressive or angry behaviors with more constructive responses during stressful situations. For the full article, please visit http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090615/NEWS/906150314.

~ The American Probation and Parole Association recently released the final version of the Community Corrections Response to Domestic Violence: Guidelines for Practice, published by APPA in partnership with the National Center for State Courts and the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence through support from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. This document provides a series of guidelines for community corrections professionals that support a proactive community supervision approach for domestic violence cases. To access the guidelines, please visit the following link: http://www.appa-net.org/eweb/docs/APPA/pubs/CCRDV.pdf.

~ The NYS Office of Sex Offender Management, Sex Offender Treatment Provider Directory is now available on eJusticeNY in the Sex Offender Management Suite. To access the Directory on eJusticeNY, select Sex Offender Management, click on Overview, and then Treatment Provider List. Please be aware that this document is NOT intended for public dissemination, therefore we ask that you use and share this information responsibly. Treatment providers agreed to be listed with the understanding that the information would be shared only with professionals who supervise and manage sex offenders and that it would not be made public in any way. If you are aware of sex offender treatment providers in your area who are not listed, please contact Jacqui Williams directly at jacqui.williams@dcjs.ny.gov or call (518) 485-7718 and provide program contact information to her for outreach, or share the following link with the treatment provider: Treatment Provider Survey.

~ The Office of Children and Family Services provides FREE online mandated reporter training: http://www.nysmandatedreporter.org/default2.html This course meets the New York State Education Department mandatory requirements for Training in Child Abuse Identification and Reporting. Click here to register.

~ The New York State Probation Officers Association (NYSPOA) Annual Training Conference will be held in Albany at The Crowne Plaza on August 12-14, 2009. Additional details of this year’s conference can be found at www.nyspoa.com.

~ 34th Annual APPA Training Institute, August 23-26 in Anaheim, California will convene at the Hilton Anaheim located at 777 Convention Way, Anaheim, California. The hotel is offering a rate of $128 a night single and $148 a night double occupancy for conference attendees. You can make your reservations by calling (800)445-8667 please request the group rate for the American Probation & Parole Association.
Register online, via fax at (859) 244-8001 or by mail. Early Bird Deadline is July 22, 2009. This is your chance to experience the wonderful educational and professional opportunities that APPA has to offer.

~ The Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of NYS Child Welfare conference, “Improving Quality of Life for Families and Children: Child Welfare and Chemical Dependence Systems Working Together” will be held September 30-October 2, 2009 at the Doubletree Hotel in Syracuse NY. For more information, access www.asapnys.org.

~ U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton, Chair of the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, is pleased to announce the release of the Commission’s final report and proposed standards to prevent and respond to sexual abuse within community correction settings. The Commission's introduction states, "Sexual abuse of defendants/offenders, whether adult or juvenile, in community corrections violates the law. It also violates their basic human rights, impedes the likelihood of their successful reentry into the community, and violates the Government’s legal obligation to provide safe and humane community corrections supervision."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

8. Quick Facts: In the 2009/10 Annual Plans for State Aid Local Assistance, Probation Departments ranked the need for training in the following priority areas: 1) Officer Safety, 2) Supervision of Persons with Mental Illness, 3) Motivational Interviewing Skills, and 4) Sex Offender Management.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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.