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

Welcome to eFocus, an electronic newsletter produced by the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services, 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 92, December 22, 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 Probation Juvenile Sex Offender Management Practitioner Guidance
2.         OPCA Releases Ready, Set, Work!  – for Persons in Mental Health Recovery
3.         “Leandra’s Law”— Interstate and Intrastate Transfer of Ignition Interlock Cases
4.         Follow-Up Motivational Interviewing Training Program Scheduled
5.         Fourth Annual OWDS Training Scheduled for 2011
6.         Additional Training, Awards, Events and News
7.         Quick Facts

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1.         NYS Probation Juvenile Sex Offender Management Practitioner Guidance – New York State continues to lead in its development of guidance for practitioners charged with the investigation, supervision and management of sexual offenders. This informed comprehensive resource document includes the latest research on juveniles and young adults who sexually offend, as well as a summary of effective probation practices.  The document was developed with the assistance of probation professionals convened in  regional focus groups throughout New York State.  It serves as a tool for local departments and probation officers, who investigate, supervise and manage youth who sexually offend and it reflects the diversity of communities and varying resources available to probation professionals in New York State.  During the early part of 2011, OPCA will be conducting a series of 10 regional focus groups to provide an opportunity for probation practitioners to discuss juvenile sex offender management and further refine this guidance. For additional information, please contact Laura Zeliger at Laura.Zeliger@dcjs.ny.gov or (518) 457-5275.

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2.         OPCA Releases Ready, Set, Work! – for Persons in Mental Health Recovery – OPCA recently unveiled its latest addition to the Ready, Set, Work! Curriculum, Ready, Set, Work! – for Persons in Mental Health Recovery. This supplement for running job readiness groups is designed to be used with probationers and offenders in community correction settings with mental illness and it can be an important aid in supporting recovery from mental illness Encouraging employment is consistent with the approach promoted by mental health peer advocacy organizations in identifying employment as an important part of recovery leading to the strengthening of pro-social community ties. For additional information, please contact Cynthia.Blair@dcjs.ny.gov or 518-485-5162.

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3.         “Leandra’s Law”— Interstate and Intrastate Transfer of Ignition Interlock Cases – Monitors of both probation and conditional discharge cases have requested that OPCA  provide further guidance in the area of ignition interlock case transfer between counties and between states. In response to these requests, OPCA developed Guidance Provided for the Interstate and Intrastate Transfer of Ignition Interlock Cases and Nationwide Availability of Qualified IID Manufacturers and has released guidelines.  Both of these documents are currently posted on our public website at www.dpca.state.ny.us.

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4.         Follow-Up Motivational Interviewing Training Program Scheduled – OPCA is pleased to announce follow-up training in Motivational Interviewing, A Practical Application for Probation Officers. Motivational Interviewing is an evidenced based practice that can be utilized by probation professionals to reduce recidivism through positive offender change. It is a style of communication and a skill that is applicable to all aspects of probation work. This follow-up training will provide participants who have already attended the 2 or 3 day basic MI training with an opportunity to address utilization obstacles as well as continue their skill development.  This 1 ½ day program will be offered on February 16, 2011 (starting at 1:00pm) and February 17, 2011 (concluding at 4:00pm).  Applications are due by January 14, 2011.  For additional information, please contact Kathi Pallotta at Kathi.Pallotta@dcjs.ny.gov or (518) 485-5157.

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5.         Fourth Annual OWDS Training Scheduled for 2011 – OPCA is very pleased to announce the 2011 Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS) Training.  This is the fourth consecutive annual OWDS training.  This National Institute of Corrections (NIC) certified training is being offered by OPCA, in conjunction with the NYS Department of Labor (DOL) and county probation departments.  This 180-hour training program is presented over 2 ½ weeks in Albany and will provide probation departments and community correction agencies an excellent opportunity to develop trained specialists in offender employment practices -- preparing for, obtaining and retaining employment.  The training is scheduled for the weeks of February 28-March 4, April 11-15, and May 23-26, 2011.  Application for this OWDS training must be submitted by the probation department or ATI/Reentry program and are due no later than January 21, 2011.  For additional information, please contact Cynthia Blair at Cynthia.Blair@dcjs.ny.gov or (518) 485-5162.

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6.         Additional Training, Awards, Events and News

~          The New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence in collaboration with the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, OPCA and the NYS Division of Parole recently hosted an interactive virtual meeting for advocates, probation officers, law enforcement and others to share information on the implementation of Expanded Access to Family Court.  Expanded Access refers to a 2008 law that revised the definition of family/household members to include intimate partners as individuals who are allowed to request an order of protection in Family Court.  Over 100 participants, including 30 probation staff from 16 departments joined the discussion by responding to questions, answering polling questions and sharing local experiences with the Expanded Access law.  This program was made possible through a grant from the US Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women.  For technical assistance on Expanded Access or additional information about this program, please contact Bill Schaefer at Bill.Schaefer@dcjs.ny.gov or (518) 485-5158. 

~          Several NYCOMPAS Violence Scale scoring questions were recently answered via Director’s Memorandum #2010-16.  Explanations for apparent scoring anomalies were addressed by Northpointe researchers and are currently posted on the Probation Services Suite on eJusticeNY. OPCA began receiving inquiries from the field about NYCOMPAS following deployment of a strengthened Violence Scale in June of 2010.  After careful review, researchers have assured practitioners that scoring results for the violence scale remain reliable and valid.  For additional information, please contact Walter Cogswell at Walter.Cogswell@dcjs.ny.gov or (518) 485-5168.

~          Consistent reporting of offender compliance information from various Ignition Interlock Device manufacturers to the IID monitors across the state is critical to the effectiveness of this initiative and highway safety. Further, a consistent means for DCJS/OPCA to collect aggregate data from the IID manufacturers is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of this law. In consultation with partners and stakeholders, OPCA developed two documents, including the “Uniform Ignition Interlock Monitoring Report” by which all NYS qualified IID manufacturers will report client specific status and compliance information to local monitors. This will ensure that probation and monitors, district attorneys, and judges are able to view the monitoring reports presented in one consistent format.  For additional details, please see Director’s Memorandum #2010-18 posted on the Probation Services Suite on eJusticeNY.

~          The National Interstate Commission recently voted on several significant changes to the rules governing the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS). As many of you are aware, ICAOS and its governing rules have the force and effect of federal law. The regulations in this area are continually examined by the federal Interstate Commission in an effort to better promote public and victim safety, secure greater offender accountability and achieve compliance as to their terms and provisions. A summary of these changes is currently posted on the Probation Services Suite on eJusticeNY as Director’s Memorandum #2010-19.

~           The OPCA 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 7-11, 2011; FPP will be held March 21-25 and March 28 - April 1, 2011. For additional information, please contact Kathi Pallotta at Kathi.Pallotta@dcjs.ny.gov or call (518) 485-5157.

~          The Advocacy Services for Abused Deaf Victims has announced their first annual conference will be held on Saturday, January 9, 2011 from 9:00am to 3:00pm at RIT/NTID’s Student Development Center Room 1300/1310 located at 52 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623.  The program is entitled, “Prevention and the 3 Big Cs of Today: Community, Collaboration and Cybersafety.” Registration fee is $20.00 before January 17th and includes lunch and a certificate of participation.  For additional information and to register, please visit: www.asadv.org/events

~          The Nassau County Probation Department recently announced a formal partnership with the Nassau County Police Department entitled Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Teams (DVERT).  DVERT consists of probation and police officers teams that identify individuals on probation for underlying domestic offenses or who are subjects of Domestic Incident Reports. DVERT visits the homes of probationers off-hours, and  conducts probation condition compliance checks, and a full Night Watch search, where indicated.  If the victim is present during the visit and has an active stay away order of protection, the probationer will be arrested for criminal contempt. The goal of DVERT is to send a clear message that Probation and the police are working together to hold domestic violence offenders accountable, divert them from further domestic violence, and make victims safer.  For additional information, please contact Acting Director John Fowle at (516) 571-4676.

~          Wyoming County Probation Officer John Lonsberry assisted members of the New York State Police in the investigation and arrest of a probationer on charges of Criminal Contempt 1st and Stalking 2nd, both Class E Felonies. The new charges stem from a victim coming forward to troopers to report multiple violations of a previously issued order of protection which had been put in place to protect the female victim. These alleged incidents occurred from July through November of 2010.  Congratulations PO Lonsberry and the NYSP for their effective collaboration. 

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7.         Quick Facts: Thirty-eight probation departments have now interfaced their automated case management systems with the Integrated-Probation Registrant System.  Monroe County joined more than 40 other probation departments in implementing the Caseload Explorer Automated Case Management System last week.  We congratulate the leadership and staff of the Monroe County Probation Department. 

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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.

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