Welcome to eFocus, an electronic newsletter produced by the NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (OPCA). OPCA 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 89, August 26, 2010
NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services
Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
Robert M. Maccarone, Director
William M. Schaefer, Jr., Editor
http://dpca.state.ny.us

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In this Issue:

  1. NYS Implements Leandra’s Law & Use of Ignition Interlock Devices
  2. State Director Presents Probation Officer of the Year Awards
  3. Fundamentals of Community Corrections (FCC) is Accredited by APPA
  4. Proposal for “Complete Transfer” Passes Eastern Region of ICAOS
  5. New Laws of 2010 Strengthen Probation Practice
  6. Offender Workforce Development Advances Across New York State
  7. OPCA Awarded SMART Grant
  8. Motivational Interviewing & Cognitive Behavioral Programs – Effective Probation Tools
  9. Cyber Crime Investigations Training for Probation and Parole
  10. OPCA Coordinates Thinking for a Change (T4C) Facilitator Training
  11. Additional Training, Awards, Events and News
  12. Quick Facts

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1. NYS Implements Leandra’s Law & Use of Ignition Interlock Devices – With Governor David A. Paterson signing the Child Passenger Protection Act of 2009 or Leandra’s Law on November 18, 2009, New York joined 9 other states mandating the use of ignition interlock devices for first time DWI offenders. The law requires that all offenders convicted of a misdemeanor or felony DWI offense committed on or after November 18, 2009, and sentenced on or after August 15, 2010, in addition to any penalty, fine or imprisonment imposed, be sentenced to a term of supervision (conditional discharge or probation) and that they install an ignition interlock on any vehicle they own or operate. OPCA issued emergency state regulations on April 23, 2010 and has entered into three-year agreements, deeming six manufacturers “qualified” to do business in New York State. OPCA has created a new page on our public website that contains the latest information on available regulations and laws, county ignition interlock device plans, ignition interlock devices and features, service center locations, directories of monitoring agencies by county and the Financial Disclosure Form (DPCA-500IID-FDR) at http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/ignition.htm. For additional information, please contact Walter Cogswell at (518) 485-5168 or Walter.Cogswell@dcjs.ny.gov.

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2. State Director Presents Probation Officer of the Year Awards – State Probation Director Robert Maccarone recognized three professionals at the NYS Probation Officer’s Association 16th Annual Conference held August 11-13, 2010 at the Crowne Plaza in Albany, NY. Over 200 probation officers attended this year’s Probation Officer Awards Luncheon, held on Thursday, August 12th at the Crowne Plaza. Wyoming County Probation Officer Gene Traxler was cited for “Outstanding Service by a Probation Officer.” Mr. Traxler was honored for his exceptional 16 years of service, dedication and professionalism. Also, Dutchess County Deputy Probation Director Catherine Lane and Dutchess County Deputy Commissioner of Social Services Debra Bonnerwith received this year’s award for “Outstanding Collaboration between Probation and Social Services.” To view the original press release, please visit:
http://www.dpca.state.ny.us/pr_8-12-2010.htm

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3. Fundamentals of Community Corrections (FCC) is Accredited by APPA – The American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) Training Accreditation Committee has accredited the newly developed NYS Fundamentals of Community Corrections (FCC) training curriculum. This 28-hour training is the first of its kind and was developed by the members of a statewide workgroup comprised of OPCA staff and ATI program professionals. The curriculum incorporates evidence-based practices and imparts the skills required of community corrections practitioners to assist offenders in changing their behavior. The training is intended for ATI community correction professionals and probation officers working in ATI Programs. The FCC has been offered in Wyoming County, NYC, and Albany and has been very well received by ATI professionals. Please contact Yvonne J. Behan at (518) 485-5153 or Yvonne.Behan@dcjs.ny.gov.

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4. Proposal for “Complete Transfer” Passes Eastern Region States – On August 5th, the 10 States comprising the Eastern Region of the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS) approved OPCA’s proposal to implement a system of “Complete Transfer” for resident probationers. The Eastern Region States voted by majority to advance the proposal for “Complete Transfer” to the ICAOS National Rules Committee for further consideration. A copy of the proposal and draft rule are also being distributed nationally to all members states’ State Commissioners, Compact Administrators, and Deputy Compact Administrators. State Director Robert Maccarone also presented the proposal for the “Complete Transfer” of interstate resident probationers to the Board of Directors of the APPA on August 15, 2010 at the Summer Institute in Washington, DC. The proposal was also forwarded to the APPA Issues and Resolutions Committee for its consideration. For additional information, please contact Sandy Layton at (518) 485-2402 or Sandra.Layton@dcjs.ny.gov.

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5. New Laws of 2010 Strengthen Probation Practice – Four (4) provisions were recently signed into law that strengthen probation practice. The first requires probationers granted permission to move or travel outside the court’s jurisdiction, to sign a consent waiving their right to extradition proceedings, where a probation warrant is issued by the court. If the probation sentence is revoked, the new law allows for recoupment of costs associated with the return of any probationer. The second change in law expands the threshold to sentences of imprisonment in excess of one hundred eighty (180) days for instances when a pre-sentence investigation is required. The third change in law enables probation departments to submit electronically all Title VIII License Notification pre-sentence reports to applicable state licensing agencies. Lastly, the handling of restitution for intra-state transfers was modified so that upon notification by probation of such cases, the district attorney shall file a certified copy of the judgment with the county clerk in the receiving jurisdiction for purposes of establishing a first lien and permit institution of civil proceedings. A complete summary of these changes and their various effective dates is available on the Probation Services Suite of e-Justice, New York. For additional information, please contact Linda J. Valenti, Counsel at (518) 485-2394 or Linda.Valenti@dcjs.ny.gov.

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6. Offender Workforce Development Advances Across New York State – On July 15, 2010, OPCA, in collaboration with the NYS Department of Labor graduated the third class of OWD Specialists through its partnership with the National Institute of Corrections (NIC). This year’s class included probation officers, service providers from 200% of Poverty Programs and Alternative to Incarceration Programs, as well as federal probation. Nineteen participants successfully completed the intensive 180-hour training program. There are now 81 OWDS trained professionals in New York State. To view the most recent edition of In Touch with OWDS newsletter, please visit: http://www.dpca.state.ny.us/pdfs/owdsaug10.pdf For more information please contact Cynthia Blair at (518) 485-5162 or Cynthia.Blair@dcjs.ny.gov

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7. OPCA Awarded SMART Grant – OPCA is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART). The award is part of the 2010 Comprehensive Approaches to Sex Offender Management (CASOM) Grant Program. The funding will be used to provide effective training to probation officers who investigate, supervise, manage and monitor juveniles who sexually offend. OPCA expects to soon issue Juvenile Sex Offender Policy Guidance for Probation Professionals in New York State. For additional information, please contact Laura Zeliger at (518) 457-5275 or Laura.Zeliger@djcs.state,ny.us.

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8. Motivational Interviewing & Cognitive Behavioral Programs – Effective Probation Tools – OPCA is pleased to report the completion of our regional training series entitled Motivational Interviewing & Cognitive Behavioral Programs – Effective Probation Tools. More than 155 probation professionals from 30 counties attended this full-day training program which provided an introductory overview and enhanced the understanding by probation officers, about their role in facilitating change in offender behavior and reducing recidivism by utilizing MI skills and implementing cognitive behavioral programs. Statewide regional trainings were held from July through August and a workshop was presented at the NYSPOA Conference in Albany. For additional information, please contact Kathi J. Pallotta at (518) 485-5157 or Kathi.Pallotta@dcjs.ny.gov.

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9. Cyber Crime Investigations Training for Probation and Parole – The first two sessions of the regional Cyber Crime Investigations Training for Probation and Parole Officers were recently completed in Suffolk and Albany counties. This training is intended to provide probation and parole officers with the knowledge, techniques and tools necessary to perform preview searches of the computers of sex offenders under their supervision. The New York State Police Computer Crime Unit serves as the primary source of instruction for this training, with additional contributions from the Office of the Attorney General, NYS Division of Parole, and the Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (OPCA). This 32-hour training program includes the National White Collar Crime Center’s (NW3C) Identifying and Seizing Electronic Evidence (ISEE) and Secure Techniques for Onsite Preview (STOP) Courses. A total of 33 officers have completed the training thus far, including representatives from six probation departments, as well as representatives from the NYS Division of Parole. OPCA’s goal is to have at least one probation officer certified in the Cyber Crime Course in each probation department. Two training slots remain available for the Monroe County session, which will be held from September 13-17, 2010. Please contact OPCA Community Corrections Representative Gary Govel at (518) 457-4336 or Gary.Govel@dcjs.ny.gov to register or learn more.

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10. OPCA Coordinates Thinking for a Change (T4C) Facilitator Training – – OPCA coordinated facilitator training in the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) “Thinking for a Change” cognitive-behavioral program. Professionals were 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. This 32-hour, advanced level training program has prepared 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, held on August 16th – 20th, 2010, was attended by 28 representatives from Probation, ATI programs and others responsible for leading offender groups in cognitive behavioral change and skill building. There have been 85 T4C Facilitators trained since 2008; 14 probation departments and 8 ATI programs are running T4C programs. For further information, please contact Kathi J. Pallotta at (518) 485-5157 or Kathi.Pallotta@dcjs.ny.gov.

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11. Additional Training, Awards, Events and News

The New York Crime Victim’s Task Force Interview Techniques & Deception Detection This comprehensive, all day course, is designed to enhance the investigator’s interviewing skills by employing techniques and strategies such as interview preparation, rapport building, statement analysis, and body language to determine truthful & deceptive subjects during interview. This workshop is scheduled for October 5, 2010 at the New York State Police Academy in Albany, NY. Course registration is $40 per person and includes hot breakfast and lunch. For registration or additional information, please contact Karen.Szubinski.ctr@navy.mil or call (518) 886-0200 ext. 150.

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12. Quick Facts: Forty-seven (47) of 58 probation departments received Certificates of Achievement for attaining DNA collection rates of 90% or higher for 2009. Additionally, 53 probation departments received Certificates of Compliance for having met 100% of the training requirements, in compliance with the State Staff Development Rule. Congratulations to all!

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eFocus is the property of the Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives. Articles may be reprinted with attribution to the Office. 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 OPCA's eFocus, please contact Bill Schaefer at (518) 485-5158 or Bill.Schaefer@dcjs.ny.gov.

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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.