Welcome to eFocus, an electronic newsletter produced by the NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives.  As part of DPCA's goal to promote public safety through probation services and other community corrections programs, it publishes this newsletter.  We welcome your suggestions.  

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eFocus, Issue Number 9, April 14, 2003
NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
Sara Tullar Fasoldt, State Director
Robert Maccarone, Executive Deputy Director
http://dpca.state.ny.us

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1.  JOANNE PAGE, ESQ., AWARDED DPCA'S 1ST ANNUAL COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY AWARD.  State Director Sara Fasoldt  presented JoAnne Page, Esq., Executive Director of the Fortune Society, with DPCA's 1st Annual Community Partnership and Cultural Diversity Award on March 24th. The award was presented to Ms. Page in a ceremony held at the Fortune Academy before her staff of nearly 100, many of whom are former offenders who benefitted personally from her work.  The Community Partnership and Cultural Diversity Award was created by DPCA to recognize the efforts of those who live and work within the many diverse communities of New York State and who, oftentimes in partnership with local and state government, strive to improve the quality of life for their neighbors in need.  The Fortune Society is a non-profit organization that runs one of this country's most successful and intensive array of programs assisting community corrections individuals.  Many of The Fortune Society's programs help to address New York State's major area of interest with regard to offenders recidivism. Last year, the Fortune Society worked with over 2000 men and women in obtaining employment, finding appropriate housing and addressing their criminogenic needs.  In accepting the award, Ms. Page delivered remarks as passionate as her work. Ms. Page offered a reminder to us all that so many of those involved in our programs, who are now productive members of society,  should not be remembered for the worst thing they ever did, but rather for the best they can become.

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2.  MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING FOR PROBATION AND ATI SUPERVISORS

The second phase of a needs assessment for the development of mental health training for probation and ATI supervisors was completed in March 2003.  Four focus groups made up of 47 probation and ATI supervisors were conducted in Kingston, Piffard, Utica and New York City.   Participants provided information and perspectives which will be used to refine and shape the content and implementation approach for the training. The next steps are to develop the curriculum and plan two pilot tests in the summer or fall of this year.  For more information contact Valerie Chakedis at the NYS Office of Mental Health at (518) 402-6376 or  vchakedis@omh.ny.gov

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3. PROBATION DEPARTMENTS' WORKLOAD FOR 2001

In 2001 New York State local probation departments conducted 54,623 felony investigations; 60,977 misdemeanor investigations were completed with over 33,000 pre-plea reports ordered.   There were 144,854 pre-sentence investigations completed in 2001 for which 47% were felons.

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4.  JUVENILE NEWS

In February 2003, Suffolk County began to pilot the Voice Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (V-DISC), a self-administered diagnostic tool for juvenile delinquency cases.  Other NY jurisdictions have been invited to participate.  Columbia University's Center For the Promotion of Mental Health is providing the tool and the training at no cost to localities  For more information contact Norma Tyler, DPCA Community Corrections Representative III at 518-485-5160 or tyler@dpca.state.ny.us

OR Dr. Gail Wasserman at 212-543-5296 or wassermg@childpsych.columbia.edu, OR Probation Director Vincent Iaria at 631-852-5100 or vincent.iaria@co.suffolk.ny.us

YASI (Youth Assessment Screen Instrument):  Trainings and Implementation: Twenty-six of the twenty eight current YASI sites have installed Version 3 software.  Initial training has been conducted and/or scheduled for Phase 3 counties that have not yet come on board and follow-up training scheduled for this Spring is required for all individuals who attended initial training during the fall and winter.  This includes all currently up and running Phase 3 counties, as well as newly assigned juvenile officers from Phase 1 and 2 sites who previously attended initial training October 2002-January 2003.  The dates are as follows:

April 14-15  Rochester
April 16-17  Syracuse
May 12-15  Hauppauge (tentative)
May 27-28  Albany
May 29-30  Poughkeepsie

More information about other upcoming YASI trainings will appear in subsequent issues.

If you have any questions, please contact Norma Tyler, DPCA Community Corrections Representative III at (518) 485-5160 or tyler@dpca.state.ny.us

Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Initiative:  This initiative involves the co-location of clinicians in the probation supervision of juvenile delinquency cases in 11 counties.  The goal of this project is to reduce state placements for this population.  This initiative is funded through the NYS Office of Children and Family Services. For more information contact Linda Dorangricchia at 518-474-3427, or at kk7702@dfa.state.ny.us

Juvenile Sex Offender Project: Funded through the State Office of Mental Health.  Please contact Michael Bigley at 518-474-4039 or at cocfmfb@omh.ny.gov

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5.  NATIONAL SURVEY:  PROBATION AND MENTAL HEALTH

Probation and mental health professionals have collaborated in launching a national descriptive survey of specialty caseloads or agencies to inform policy and practice.  The American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) publicizes the development of specialty probation caseloads for offenders with mental illnesses.  In order for APPA recommendations to be relevant and useful, it must receive representative input from agencies across the nation.   Please contact  Paula Emke (University of Nevada) with information that may identify caseloads for probationers with mental illnesses at Telephone: (702) 895-4983 or E-mail: pemke@hotmail.com

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6.   KIDS NEED THEIR DADS

A 9 minute video is coming your way!  It is critical that parents who are under criminal justice supervision remain in compliance with the conditions of their supervision and adhere to their responsibilities to their children. Child support payments, in addition to being a court ordered obligation, can also represent the first step in responsible parenting. The NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, in collaboration with DPCA, has  produced a video depicting fathers who were prior offenders discuss how parenting assisted them in recovery.  The video was produced to be shown in probation department waiting rooms and as an introduction for fatherhood groups.  It was aired as part of the March 18 statewide teleconference by DPCA and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance entitled "Partners for Children." This teleconference is the beginning of work with the Division of Child Support Enforcement that will include the production of a training CD on child support.  For more information, please contact Bernard Wilson, TANF Project Coordinator at (518) 485-5137 or bwilson@dpca.state.ny.us

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7.  COMMUNITY RESPONSES TO TRUANCY: ENGAGING STUDENTS IN SCHOOL

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is pleased to announce a satellite videoconference "Community Responses to Truancy: Engaging Students in School", to air April 30, 2003, from 1:30 to 3:00 P.M. EDT. Videoconference participants will learn the causes of truancy, effective interventions, and how to stop the progression of youth from truancy to more serious and violent behaviors. The importance of raising awareness about the consequences of truancy through educational outreach programs will also be discussed.  Please contact your Department of Social Services, which has the downlink equipment.

For further information about this videoconference, visit http://www.trc.eku.edu/jj, where you may register online to facilitate a downlink site or to view the videoconference online.  Registration is free.

You may also contact Jenny McWilliams, 859-622-6671 (telephone), ekujjtap@aol.com

8.  DPCA REVIEWING RULES -  COMMENTS REQUESTED BY MAY 1, 2003

Section 207 of the State Administrative Procedure Act requires state agencies to conduct a 5-year review of agency rules that have been amended or otherwise adopted since January 1, 1997.  This year, DPCA is reviewing the following Rules:

Part 345- Probation State Aid
Part 350- Investigations and Reports
Part 351- Supervision of Probationers
Part 352- Violations of Probation
Part 360- Waivers
Part 368- Public Access to Records
Part 369- Access to Personal Information

Your comment on the continuation or modification of these Rules is invited.  Please submit comments in writing to DPCA Counsel Linda Valenti, 80 Wolf Road, Albany, New York  12205 or contact her at (518) 485-2394 no later than Thursday, May 1, 2003. 

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9.  Welcome to the "Community Corrections Club

DPCA will publish the names of new hires, and promotions in your department or organization since January 1, 2003. Please send the names and titles directly to Yvonne Behan at ybehan@dpca.state.ny.us

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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 Yvonne Behan at (518) 457-5275 or at ybehan@dpca.state.ny.us.

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Yvonne J. Behan
Community Corrections Representative
NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
80 Wolf Road
Albany, New York  12205
(518) 457-5275
ybehan@dpca.state.ny.us