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 13, July 29, 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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Editor's Note: The eFocus is now distributed to well over 3000 community corrections professionals across New York State. You may receive more than one copy if your name and email address appears on different criminal justice and community corrections email lists. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. With time, duplicate names and address will be corrected. Thank you for your patience.
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1. New standards, laws, legislation and reporting requirements to be discussed at DPCA Forums
Pretrial services programs and community service sentencing programs will meet with DPCA on Tuesday, August 5th. DPCA will promulgate Pretrial Services Standards soon and this meeting provides an opportunity to probation departments and programs to comment. New DWI laws will be discussed including the requirement that certain repeat DWI offenders receive community service. Of course, quarterly reporting, meeting objectives and strategies to increase utilization will also be discussed.

Defender-Based Advocacy, TASC and Specialized ATI programs will meet with DPCA on Monday, August 11th. The Specialized and Drug and Alcohol treatment alternatives representatives should be especially interested in the proposed legislative changes to the Rockefeller Drug Laws and a Governor's Initiative entitled the 'Road to Recovery.'

Both meetings will be held at DPCA, 80 Wolf Road, in the 4th Floor Training Room 401 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Please contact Jackie Borne at (518) 485-2393 or jborne@dpca.state.ny.us to confirm your attendance.

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2. Suffolk County pilots "Voice DISC"
The Voice Disc (V-DISC) is a comprehensive, structured interview that uses DSM-IV criteria to screen for more than twenty mental health disorders found in children and adolescents. In this self-administered test, youth at Probation hear questions through headphones while reading them on the screen, independently, regardless of their reading skill level. They respond through the computer keyboard. Researchers say the high degree of accuracy in diagnosis is aided by the comfort level encouraged through direct computer input of responses without human interaction. The DISC has been certified by the National Institute of Mental Health. Suffolk County Probation Department is administering the V-DISC to JD cases that require a full YASI (Youth Assessment Screening Instrument) who score high in the mental health category. DPCA plans to link V-DISC with YASI counties that are interested in the instrument. The Columbia University Center for the Promotion of Mental Health is providing the V-DISC tool and the training to counties at no cost. YASI counties are welcome to contact Norma Tyler, DPCA Community Corrections Representative III at (518) 485-5160 or tyler@dpca.state.ny.us or Suffolk County Probation Director Vincent Iaria at (631) 852-5100 or Vincent.iaria@co.suffolk.ny.us for more information.
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3. Pathways to Employment: DPCA and Labor Department stress employment for probationers
DPCA and the NYS Dept. of Labor (DOL) are working together to assist unemployed probationers to acquire gainful employment. The criminal justice literature demonstrates that gainful employment is part of the pro-social bonding needed to stabilize criminal offenders. The DOL has dedicated Ms. Elaine Kost, Supervising Labor Services Representative, to this full-time initiative. Ms. Kost will be working directly with probation departments in conducting job readiness training at locations throughout the state. To date, this curriculum has been field tested in Newburgh and Schenectady and probation officers from nine counties have been trained. The training includes information on how employers can access no-cost fidelity bonds in $5,000 and $10,000 amounts through the Federal Bonding Program, employment wage tax credits and benefit through Empire Zones. Please contact DPCA Community Corrections Representative II Cynthia Blair at cblair@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 457-0501 for additional information.
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4. Seventeen more counties train for COMPAS
Fifty probation professionals (representing 17 departments) attended training in the use of COMPAS at DPCA on July 28 and 29. A Master Trainers' session will be held on July 30th. The new COMPAS users include Broome, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Dutchess, Franklin, Lewis, Niagara, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Orleans, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, and Wyoming. For more information contact Jami Krueger, DPCA Community Corrections Representative II at (518) 485-5158 or jkrueger@dpca.state.ny.us
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5. "Re-Thinking Community Corrections" - 2nd Statewide forum to be held
The second forum will be held on July 31st, during the Annual Probation Officer's Association (POA) Conference in Troy, New York. Governor Pataki's Criminal Justice Director, Chauncey Parker, asked State Probation Director Sara Tullar Fasoldt to convene a Probation Task Force to re-examine the State's community corrections system. This request came from a May 2003 meeting with State Director Parker, Director Fasoldt, and representatives from DPCA, COPA and NYSPOA. Director Fasoldt has asked members of the State's Probation Commission to host a series of professional forums to explore these important issues.
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6. DPCA and DMV hold Traffic Safety Forum
Representatives from DPCA, DMV, DCJS and the State's Institute for Traffic Safety Management Research (ITSMR) met on July 9th to discuss probationer roles in New York State's highway safety problem. Representatives from COPA and POA joined the strategy session designed to address the impact of the new DWI law, which lowered the legal BAC level (to .08), as well as issues concerning the mandated use of the ignition interlock device and increased use of community service for repeat DWI offenders. For more information contact Steve Powers, DPCA Community Corrections Rep. III at (518) 485-2402 or powers@dpca.state.ny.us
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7. Victim restitution payments
Did you know that probation departments collected over $9 million during 2002?
More than $8 million for Criminal Court and more than $225,000 for Family Court.
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8. Probation Officers to gather in Troy for 2003 Annual Conference
The Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York will once again serve as the site of the NYS Probation Officers Association (POA) annual conference. This year's conference will be held from July 30 through August 1st. Workshops on mental illness, substance abuse disorders, violence, drug trafficking, the recidivist DWI offender, incident defense issues, domestic violence and advanced defensive tactics are among the many workshop topics that will be offered. For more information contact the NYS POA web site or call POA President Sheryl Zuna at 845-838-4848.
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9. Stalking In the Community: Working Together
The New York Anti-Stalking Task Force will host a 2-day conference on September 10-11, 2003 in Glens Falls, New York. The Task Force recommends that victim advocates and representatives from law enforcement, the judiciary, probation, prosecutors and parole attend. For registration information contact the New York Anti-Stalking Task Force at (518) 270-5448 Ext. 460.
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10. Welcomes, Rewards and Remembrances
Governor George E. Pataki issued a proclamation declaring July 20-26, 2003 Probation and Parole Officers' Week, recognizing that parole and probation officers "through their dedicated professionalism and their tireless devotion to duty and honor, provide a critical and vital service to the citizens of our nation" . DPCA issued a press release to commemorate this event. State Director of Probation and Correctional Alternatives, Sara Tullar Fasoldt enthusiastically endorsed this proclamation and remarked that "The professionals who swell the ranks of probation and community corrections across New York State uphold the highest standards for public safety and offender accountability with concern and regard for victims, compassion and expectation for offenders, and dignity and admiration for their many partners in the criminal justice and juvenile justice fields." A copy of the press release and/or proclamation is available by contacting Yvonne Behan, Criminal Justice Program Representative at ybehan@dpca.state.ny.us

11. Please attend a "Celebration of Possibility" to mark the retirement of Pam Derrick, DPCA Community Corrections Representative III. A party in Pam's honor will be held at Krause's Restaurant and Grove in Clifton Park, NY on Sunday August 10, 2003 from Noon to ??? Pam has served NYS as a community corrections liaison and technical advisor to all DPCA funded ATI programs, not to mention the countless projects and initiatives she has carried out to completion and success during her 27 years with DPCA. Pam is retiring after a total of 32 years dedicated to public service and promises to send us postcards from each and every coastal region she visits. Pam's knowledge and compassion for community corrections will be greatly missed. Please contact Barbara Flanigan at (518) 485-7692 or flanigan@dpca.state.ny.us for more information.
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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
Criminal Justice Program Representative
NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
80 Wolf Road

(518) 457-5275
ybehan@dpca.state.ny.us