Wishing you and your family a safe and happy holiday season!

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 83, December 23, 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. Driver License Scanner Pilot Project to Curb Underage Drinking and DWI
2. Sex Offender Management Training for Rural Communities
3. DPCA Hosts Regional Domestic Violence Collaboration Meetings Across New York State
4. Probation and Polygraph Examiner Training Highlights Best Practice
5. Probation/ATI Professionals Complete Training in Motivational Interviewing
6. Additional Training, Awards, Events and News
7. Quick Facts

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1. Driver License Scanner Pilot Project to Curb Underage Drinking and DWI – DPCA is utilizing federal highway safety funds administered through the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) to fund a pilot program involving the use of Driver License Scanners by selected county probation departments working with local establishments who serve or sell alcohol (bars, convenience stores, liquor stores). License Scanners are portable countertop or handheld swipe units that read the information in the bar codes found on the back of the Driver’s License or state-issued identification cards. The intent of the pilot program is to help identify probationers who are attempting to purchase alcohol and are underage or probationers who are violating their conditions of probation prohibiting alcohol consumption. DPCA has extended the deadline for county probation departments to submit letters of interest to Friday, January 8, 2010. For more information, please contact Ron Bergstrom at (518) 485-9941 or Ron.Bergstrom@dpca.state.ny.us

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2. Sex Offender Management Training for Rural Communities – DPCA is pleased to announce training sessions on “Supervision of Sex Offenders in the Community” – a Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM) Training Program. This important training will be focused in five (5) rural communities and address the prevalence of sexual offending and its impact on victims, types of sex offenders and what is known about the etiology of sex offending behavior, as well as provide guidance for probation, policy makers, treatment providers, polygraph examiners and others who work with supervision agencies to ensure the safe and effective supervision of sex offenders in the community. This program will be offered in the following counties: Herkimer, Wednesday, January 13th; Cayuga, Wednesday, February 10th; Essex, Wednesday, February 24th; Livingston, Wednesday, March 3rd; and Chautauqua, Thursday, March 4th. Neighboring counties are welcome to participate with available seating. Registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact Laura Zeliger at (518) 457-5275 or Laura.Zeliger@dpca.state.ny.us

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3. DPCA Hosts Regional Domestic Violence Collaboration Meetings Across New York State – DPCA is hosting a series of Regional Domestic Violence Collaboration Meetings for probation staff, law enforcement personnel, victim advocates and others. Meetings have been held in seven jurisdictions and over 125 participants have attended. The meetings are designed to enhance the collaboration efforts between jurisdictional teams, inform communities about changes in law, particularly Chapter 476 of the Laws of 2009, regarding Domestic Incident Reports and expanded access to Family Court, develop and share solutions regarding the community response to domestic violence, discuss anti-stalking initiatives, and examine offender accountability strategies for records and reports. The final series of meeting will be held in Suffolk County on January 5, 2010; Westchester County on January 6, 2010; Albany County on January 7, 2010; and, Broome County on January 8, 2010. To obtain a registration form, please contact Gail Roy at Gail.Roy@dpca.state.ny.us or call (518) 485-5155.

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4. Probation and Polygraph Examiner Training Highlights Best Practice Nearly 140 probation, treatment and polygraph professionals representing 39 jurisdictions participated in four regional training sessions on polygraph usage and probation sex offender management to support the use of Post Conviction Sex Offender Polygraph Testing (PCSOT). The training focused on the importance of collaborative networks aimed at reinforcing and strengthening the comprehensive approach to sex offender management. Attendees learned about the prevalence of cross-over sexual offending and the need to obtain a detailed sexual history of the offender. When participants were asked how this training will change their current practice, the primary response was, “I will ask more detailed questions of the sex offenders on my caseload.” Nearly 50 probation departments are using PCSOT as a component of the comprehensive approach to sex offender management.

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5. Probation/ATI Professionals Complete Training in Motivational Interviewing – Nearly 40 Probation and ATI Professionals in Buffalo braved the winter’s first storm and completed training in Motivational Interviewing. Representatives from nine western tier counties participated in DPCA’s second training held this year on implementing Motivational Interviewing. Probation and ATI Professionals have identified motivational interviewing as an important skill in working with individuals to effect behavior change. Please contact Kathi Pallotta at (518) 485-5157 or Kathi.Pallotta@dpca.state.ny.us for additional information.

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6. Additional Training, Awards, Events and News

~ The DPCA Training Unit has announced the dates for the next Fundamentals of Probation Practice (FPP) Course to be held in Albany, NY. The Officer Safety and Survival Training and Peace Officer Supplements will be conducted March 1-5, 2010; FPP will be held March 15-19 and March 22-26, 2010. For additional information, please contact Kathi Pallotta at Kathi.Pallotta@dpca.state.ny.us or call (518) 485-5157.

~ Fundamentals of Community Corrections (FCC) is a new 28-hour evidence-based training designed specifically for community corrections professionals. The FCC training will be offered in New York City during the week of January 26-29, 2010 for community correction practitioners. Please contact Dorothy.Ray@dpca.state.ny.us to register.

~ DPCA recently conducted a series of trainings on the new electronic Interstate Compact Offender Tracking System (ICOTS). The next “LiveMeeting” Training will provide a review of ICOTS and is scheduled for January 21, 2010, 10:00am to 12:00pm. Assigned designees are encouraged to submit topic suggestions for this program to Sandy Layton at Sandra.Layton@dpca.state.ny.us no later than Friday, January 8th.

~ Our partners at the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services will be offering a series of regional trainings on the use of Psychological Examinations by Public Safety agencies. Instructors are licensed psychologists who have evaluated numerous candidates for employment as police and peace officers. Pre-employment psychological screenings and Fitness for Duty Evaluations for Public Safety Personnel will be addressed. Please note, these sessions are intended for administrative level personnel, which may include Probation Directors and Commissioners, Deputy or Assistant Directors/Commissioners, Principal Probation Officers, or other persons with similar assignments and functions- the sessions are NOT intended for line staff. These half-day sessions are scheduled for the mornings of January 6th in Albany, January 12th in Utica, February 4th in Pomona, February 24th in North Tonawanda, February 25th in Rochester, and March 9th in Brentwood. Please contact Senior Training Technician Matthew Slater at Matthew.Slater@dcjs.ny.gov or (518) 485-5115. Questions regarding DPCA’s Probation Professional Recruitment and Pre-Employment Screening Practices: Practitioner Guidance for Probation Departments can be directed to Community Correction Representative II, Gary Govel at (518) 457-4336 or Gary.Govel@dpca.state.ny.us.

~ The New York Association of Pretrial Service Agencies’ Conference entitled, “Build on the Past to Forge Our Future” will be held April 25-26, 2010 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Troy, New York. The program will include two days of workshops, guest speakers, reception and awards lunch. Please visit www.NYAPSA.org in January for more details.

~ The NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) Child Support Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative was recently recognized by the National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA). OTDA was selected as the recipient of the 2009 Excellence Award for Program Awareness, which recognizes the effectiveness of media relations and public outreach in disseminating child support program information to the public. The initiative was designed to help non-custodial parents under criminal justice supervision honor their child support obligations as they transition back into the community.

~ The Dutchess County Office of Probation and Community Corrections has expanded its Juvenile Pre-trial Services to include Curfew Monitoring, as an effective alternative to juvenile detention. Curfew Monitoring is one of the juvenile services offered by Dutchess County that has decreased the use of out-of-home placement and generated savings of $200,000. Dutchess County’s alternatives to detention services for youth also include electronic monitoring, as well as the Mental Health Juvenile Justice and J-RISC programs.

~ An Onondaga County probationer was arrested after indictment last month for the September 1991 murder of his estranged wife. The suspect was questioned as a person of interest at the time, but no charges were filed. Onondaga Probation collected a DNA sample on the defendant for the Subject Index in April of 2007. Recent comparison of DNA from the fetus of the victim with that of the defendant indicated he was not the father of the child, thereby providing a motive for the homicide. This information, coupled with additional new witness information, led to the recent indictment.

~ Erie County Probation Officers Deneen Anderson, Nancy Chu, Scott Harmon, Lisa Geier, Bill Diamond, Jonathan Wright, Nate Buffum, Jeff Durski, Kim Cedeño-Scott, and Debra Smith worked with local law enforcement officers over a two-day period last month in exercising warrantless search provisions of supervision and were able to seize 25 long guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, over 20 knives, a crossbow and two machetes. Officers also located 79 hypodermic needles, various prescription pills, several scales, suspected cocaine, several ounces of marijuana, and two large 750ml bottles of alcohol. Four arrests resulted from the searches.

~ The Monroe County Probation Departments Global Positioning System (GPS)/Sex Offender Team was recently conducting routine field work when members heard radio calls of “officer down” and “I've been hit.” Two Rochester Police Officers responding to a “Suspicious Person/Home Invasion” had both been shot. One officer was shot through the hand and into his radio microphone and shoulder. He also sustained a shot to the chest, with a bullet lodged in his vest. The second officer was shot in the leg. Probation Supervisor Bill Krecker and Probation Officer Tracey Austin responded immediately to offer assistance at the scene and share intelligence with Rochester Police leading to the identification of suspects.

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7. Quick Facts: Since 2000, Probation Officers have completed more than 175,000 YASI Assessments, informing us that 18% of Juvenile Delinquents and 13% of Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS) are identified as needing drug and/or alcohol evaluation and/or treatment, while 45% of Juvenile Delinquents and PINS are identified as needing a mental health evaluation and/or treatment.

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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 at 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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