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 10, May 20, 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.  Probation Officer of the Year Award -  Nominations accepted through June 10th

DPCA must receive your nominations for the DPCA Probation Officer of the Year Award by June 10, 2003.  This award recognizes an officer who has performed exceptional work within their department, the community and at the state level.  As in the past, State Director Fasoldt will present this award at the Probation Officers Association's Summer Conference, which is being held July 30 through August 1st at the Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York.  Please forward your nominations to DPCA State Director Sara Fasoldt, at 80 Wolf Road, Albany, New York  12205.

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2.  Governor Extends Criminal Justice Laws: Chapter 16, Laws of 2003 - Effective: Immediately

On March 31, 2003 Governor Pataki signed legislation into law extending for an additional two years (until September 1, 2005) various criminal justice laws that were set to expire this year:

· Classifications/Alternatives to Incarceration Law (Executive Law Article 13-A)

· Local Conditional Release Law (Article 12 of the Correction Law & Penal Law 70.40(2))

· Probation (DWI) Administrative Fee and Family Court Custody Investigation Fee (Executive Law           Section 257-c & Family Court Act Section 252-a)

· Ignition Interlock Device Program Law (Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1198)

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3.  The following DPCA departmental legislation has been approved by the Governor's Office and if enacted by the Senate and Assembly, will authorize:

        New Fees: Effective September 1, 2003, localities, which have adopted a local law, would be   authorized to:          

· enact a certificate of relief from disabilities investigation fee of not less than $50 or more than $300 (with limited exception);

· enact a pre-sentence investigation fee of not less than $50 or more than $300;

· impose an investigation report fee whenever a custody investigation is ordered. A minimum fee of $50 and maximum of $500 will be established;

· impose a probation administrative fee up to $30 per month upon all adult probationers and conditional releasees (including incoming interstate cases).

Probation would also be authorized to impose an electronic monitoring fee and/or drug testing fee upon any probationer having either or both conditions including interim probation supervision cases, with certain caps.

Bail Monies Fees: Effective 90 days after enactment into law, bail monies fees earmarked for alternative to incarceration service plans would increase to 2%.

Child Support and Spousal Support:  Beginning November 1st after enactment into law, the obligation to provide child and spousal support, where applicable, would be made a mandatory condition of probation.

Non-waiver of Presentence Investigations and reports in certain instances: Effective 30 days after enactment into law, prohibits the waiver of a PSI if a sentence of probation is to be imposed for certain sex offenders and domestic violence offenders.

For additional information, please contact DPCA Counsel Linda Valenti at (518) 485-2394 or lvalenti@dpca.state.ny.us

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4.  Protecting the Privacy of Patients' Health Information with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

Comprehensive federal privacy standards to protect patients' medical records and other health information provided to health plans, doctors, hospitals and other health care providers took effect on April 14, 2003.  The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) prohibits disclosure, without patient permission, of information and records related and unrelated to health care.  Providers who fail to comply can be fined up to $25,000 a year.  Malicious use of patient information or use for personal gain can result in large fines and up to 10 years in prison.   Developed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), these new standards provide patients with access to their medical records and more control over how their personal health information is used and disclosed. Explanations and descriptions about key elements of the rule are available from the US Department of Health and Human Services Department at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa. For information about training possibilities contact Anita Marton at the Legal Action Center at 212-243-1313.

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5.   The NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services' (DCJS) Web site now includes NYS Incident-Based Reporting (NYSIBR) Information

The NYS Incident-Based Reporting (NYSIBR) Program information now located on the DCJS web site provides program information, training opportunities, frequently asked questions, a list of participating agencies and related links and contact information.   The NYSIBR represents law enforcements' call for a more detailed, more accurate, and extensive collection, tabulation, and analysis of crime data to meet its needs in the twenty-first century. Automated incident-based reporting provides criminal justice professionals the ability to identify when and where crime takes place, the characteristics of both victims and offenders, property involved, its costs, as well as the crime incident itself.  For more information please contact the NYSIBR Team toll free at 1-800-342-9862 or  INFONYSIBR@dcjs.ny.gov.

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6. Upcoming Youth Assessment Screening Instrument (YASI) Training Dates

Over the last few weeks DPCA and Orbis Partners have held several initial and follow-up trainings across the state.  YASI Version 3.2 software is available to all of the 36 YASI sites now on board. If you are still using Version 3.1 you must upgrade to Version 3.2.  Version 3.2 contains all the most recent upgrades and can be retrieved by downloading from the Orbis Partners website at www.orbispartners.com  The following training dates are scheduled for the next several months.  If you have not yet registered your department for these trainings, please do so as soon as possible by contacting Barbara Robinson of Orbis Partners at 613-236-0773 or brobinson@orbispartners.com.

Follow-up Training:

May 27-28 Albany

May 29-30 Poughkeepsie

July 24 & 25 Suffolk

September 23-24 Orange

September 25-26 Elmira

Director Case Management Workshops:

Early Fall 2003 (Dates and locations to be announced)

Directors Planning Forum:

September 9-10     Rochester

September 11-12   Albany

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Yvonne Behan at (518) 457-5275 or ybehan@dpca.state.ny.us.

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7.  DNA Databank Samples from Probation Directors contribute to success of Databank

To date, there have been over 890 "hits" in the Databank, linking criminal offenders with previously unsolved crimes.  Probation departments collected the samples in 72 of these cases.  It is important that probation departments review their collection procedures to ensure designated offenders are being readily identified and further, that DNA samples are collected at the first report with the respective probation officer.  If your department has not done so already, a requirement for providing a DNA sample in accordance with Executive Law Section 995-c(3) should be included as a special condition of probation. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the DNA Databank, please call Frank E. Galerie, Criminal Justice Program Representative with the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services at (518) 485-7175 or e-mail fgalerie@dcjs.ny.gov.

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8.  Cattaraugus County Group Checks On Sex Offenders

Cattaraugus County law enforcement agencies have collaborated to form the Sex Offender Accountability Program (SOAP) to monitor registered sex offenders living in their county.  This group includes representatives from the county's Probation Department, community action network, NYS Police and all local Police Agencies, and the Seneca Nation of Indians marshals.  This group visited nearly 25 level-three offenders and 33 others in the county's 1,600 square miles during March 2003.   They found that: most registrants were located at registered addresses and in compliance with conditions of registration and probation, two individuals were found in possession of pornography; one registrant was found in the company of a child; and another was found using Internet pornography.

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9.  Probation Staff Serve their Country As Well

Last month, we asked departments to submit the names of their employees currently serving in the military and on active duty.  Please join us in recognizing the following probation department professionals:

Onondaga County Probation Officer Dana Jackson is serving with the US Naval Reserves. Dana is a juvenile PO, he and his wife Melissa have a 3 year old son, Dana.   Ulster County Probation Officer Wayne Kiersted was called to active duty on  January 24, 2003.  Officer Kiersted is a Sgt. First Class in 455th Military Police Detachment  assigned to the 10th Mountain Division. This is his second call up, as he served at Fort Drum from 11/01 to 8/02 attached to the 10th Mountain Division while it's members were in Afghanistan.  Oneida County Probation Supervisor Anthony Showa is serving in the US Army Reserves, as Executive Officer 865th Combat Support Hospital and has been in Kuwait since November 29, 2002. Westchester County Probation Officer Pedro Feliciano is serving in the N.Y. Air National Guard and has been on active duty since October, 2001.  Officer Feliciano has been back and forth frequently to the Middle East all this time and returned from Kuwait as recently as last week.

On October 1, 2001 Chenango County Probation Supervisor, Marc B. Yerton, was called to active duty for one year with the New York Air National Guard.  His rank is Technical Sergeant with the 174 Security Forces Squadron in Syracuse, NY.  Richard Cain, Probation Officer from Schoharie County, is a Lieutenant with the NY Army National Guard.  Officer Cain was activated from March 9-March 31 and is now back to work at the Schoharie County Probation Department.  From Suffolk County, Probation Officer Trainee, Apryl Hargrove, is on active duty. She was hired in the probation department in December 2002 and called to active duty one month later by the Department of the Army.  Her home base is 310th Military Police Battalion in Uniondale, NY.  

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10. Welcome to the "Community Corrections Club"

Newly hired:  Mary Jo Scaccia, Wyoming County Probation Officer

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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