Welcome to eFocus, an electronic newsletter produced by the NYS Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (DPCA). 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.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

eFocus, Issue Number 19, December 11, 2003

NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives

Sara Tullar Fasoldt, State Director

Robert Maccarone, Executive Deputy Director

http://dpca.state.ny.us

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

1. Probation Departments continue to improve the accuracy of the Client Data System

(CDS) Probation departments have made substantial progress in recent weeks in reconciling the CDS. A new procedural change has helped. This change authorizes the department initiating a supervision transfer to another county to enter the ORI of the receiving department if the receiving county has not acknowledged acceptance of the case within 60 days. Thus, the sending department can effectively transfer the active case to the receiving county. Departments have shown great progress in updating cases, and adding violation and declaration of delinquency (DOD) information, thereby reducing the number of cases which are still listed as “active” cases, although they are beyond the maximum expiration date (MED). Increasing the accuracy of the CDS benefits each county by improving the speed and accuracy of new arrest “hit notices”, and providing accurate sex offender lists for address confirmation purposes. Our goal is to have the CDS reconciled by the end of this calendar year. We have set a target of no more than 5% of the active CDS caseload to be “closable” (beyond MED but having no DOD indicated) by the end of this year, understanding that the status changes daily. Thank you, and please continue your outstanding efforts.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2. International Association gives New York’s Probation Officer Safety and Survival Training top honors

The New York State Probation Officer Safety and Survival Training (OSST) project received the “Systems Approach Award” from the International Association of Correctional Training Personnel at their annual training conference held from November 2-5, 2003 in Philadelphia, PA. The award winning training was collaboratively created and developed by the NYS Division of Parole, the NYS Probation Officer’s Association (NYSPOA), the NYS Council of Probation Administrators (COPA), and DPCA. The NYSPOA and NYS Parole provided an overview of the safety training at this conference, as they had also done at the annual American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) conference held in Ohio last August.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

3. DPCA Funding Applications Timelines now available on the e-Justice NY Probation Services Suite

Probation practitioners across New York State now have password-protected access through e-Justice NY to the Probation Services Suite. In addition to DPCA publications, such as the eFocus newsletter series and documents related to Prober-Plus, the Probation Services Suite now includes the following PDF-formatted DPCA Funding Applications Timelines:

  • Annual Probation Plan and State Aid Application
  • Adult ISP - Adult Intensive Supervision Program (ISP) Projects
  • Adult PED-Probation Eligible Diversion (PED) Projects
  • Classification 13A - Classification 13A / Alternatives to Incarceration Projects
  • Demonstration County - Demonstration Projects, Contracts with Municipality
  • Demonstration Direct - Demonstration Projects, Contracts with DPCA
  • Juvenile ISP - Juvenile Intensive Supervision Program (JISP) Projects
  • M Contracts - Legislative Initiatives
  • Mental Health Shared Population - Mental Health Services for a Shared Population Projects
  • PINS Planning - Persons In Need of Supervision (PINS) Planning
  • SASTO - Substance Abuse Supervision and Treatment of Offender (SASTO) Programs
  • TANF - Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Programs

Additional documents and publications will be added to the Probation Services Suite in the months ahead. We welcome your requests and suggestions. Please use the Feedback option under the Message Services section in the Suite to send in your comments and ideas, or contact Walter Cogswell at DPCA at walter.cogswell@dpca.state.ny.us.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

4. Probation departments report positive use of the COMPAS Reclassification Module

The Reclassification Module within COMPAS, (Correctional Offender Management Profile for Alternative Sanctions) measures dynamic factors such as re-arrests, technical violations, drug/alcohol testing results and the resolution of problems found in primary areas such as substance abuse, employment/educational needs, housing, and socialization. Representatives from four additional county probation departments recently attended COMPAS Implementation Training in Albany: Herkimer, St. Lawrence, Putnam and Westchester. Several other counties attended a software training session. In 2004, as part of DPCA’s new training strategy, COMPAS master trainers will conduct training either on-site or regionally. Current Users Training will be scheduled for early 2004 in the western region. For information on COMPAS training or COMPAS, contact Jami Krueger of DPCA at 518-485-5158 or jami.krueger@dpca.state.ny.us.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

5. “Pathways to Employment” trains entire staff of the St. Lawrence Probation Department

On Tuesday, October 28, 2003 DPCA and the NYS Department of Labor conducted the “Pathways to Employment” training in Canton (St. Lawrence County) NY. Our thanks to Probation Director Francine Perretta for making the curriculum available to her entire staff. Four probation officers from Franklin County also attended. The “Pathways to Employment” training has been very well received by probation officers and supervisors. Although enrollment is open to all probation officers our goal for 2004 is to train all ISP probation officers in the curriculum. The training provides probation officers with key information to assist individuals gain the knowledge and skills to secure and retain employment. Please feel free to contact Cynthia Blair of DPCA at Cythnia.Blair@dpca.state.ny.us for more information.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

6. DPCA, in collaboration with Columbia University and the Suffolk, Dutchess, Ulster, Allegany and Genesee county probation departments, embarks on mental health screening program for youths

According to a recent report in the Child Trends Data Bank on Teen Homicide Suicide and Firearm Death, “homicide and suicide are the second and third leading causes of death among teens ages 15-19, after accidental death”. Thirty-five counties currently use the Youth Assessment Screening Instrument (YASI) in determining the risk, needs and strengths of PINS and JD’s. Although this instrument has revolutionized the ways in which we serve youth and families, there has not been a specific validated suicide screen. Now, however, five of these counties are piloting Columbia University’s V-DISC (Voice-Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children). This self-administered, voice recognition diagnostic tool identifies up to 20 DSM IV disorders as well as suicidal ideation. The V-DISC is administered to youth who score moderate to high-risk on the YASI assessment. The V-DISC has been fully evaluated and approved by the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH). To learn how your county can utilize the V-DISC, contact Norma Tyler at DPCA at norma.tyler@state.ny.us or (518) 485-5160.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

7. Justice Department to award $20 million in grants to help 12 communities create Family Justice Centers for victims of Domestic Violence – Letter of Intent due December 12, 2003 – Application due 2/15/04

As part of the Family Justice Initiative, the Justice Department will provide the resources to help 12 communities create Family Justice Centers through a competitive process. Family Justice Centers will provide comprehensive services (including medical care, counseling, law enforcement, social services, employment counseling and housing assistance) to victims and their dependents in one location. The President’s Family Justice Center Initiative grant application and information can be found on the Justice Programs Website, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/fundopps.htm.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

8. National PBS reporter seeks information regarding New York’s programs for probationers

A reporter working on a national PBS documentary series has requested information from DPCA concerning the many programs, (educational, rehabilitation etc.) and treatments (therapy, etc.) that are available to probationers in New York State. The reporter, Mr. Sam Hornblower with WGBH in Boston, wants to compile a general list of the different kinds of therapeutic and/or educational treatments that are available in New York for particular offenders such as sex offenders, DWI offenders and more. He is also interested in programs we may have for victims. Please feel free to contact Mr. Hornblower at (617) 306-5952 or hornblower@post.harvard.edu with information about your programs. We welcome this opportunity to share information about the depth of probation and other ATI programs and their enormous value to the criminal justice system in New York State.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

9. “Corrections Agency Collaborations with Public Health": latest report in the Special Issues in Corrections series

This latest report prepared by the NIC Information Center and Prisons Division focuses primarily on populations served and agency views on the effectiveness of public health collaborations.

The report is available online at http://www.nicic.org/pubs/2003/019101.pdf. Past reports in this survey series are available in full text on the NIC web site. See "Featured NIC Publications" on the NIC web site at http://www.nicic.org, and click on "Prisons Publications" in the Options box.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

10. Northeast Counterdrug Training Center Courses are available

The Northeast Counterdrug Training Center offers no-cost counterdrug training and education courses to law enforcement and drug demand reduction specialists. The courses are conducted in Fort Indiantown Gap, PA, and Volk Field, WI, and include training in coalition building, drug identification, grant writing, and program achievement. Funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and managed by the Pennsylvania National Guard Counterdrug Program, the Northeast Counterdrug Training Center helps law enforcement get drugs off the streets and provides communities with state-of-the-art drug prevention techniques. To view course listings and dates, visit the Center's Web site at http://www.counterdrug.org/frames.html

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

11. Welcomes, Awards and Remembrances: Suffolk County Probation Director

Vincent Iaria has accepted the position of Probation Chief in San Diego, California. A moving tribute by staff and friends occurred at a well-attended farewell party last week, recognizing Vincent “Vinnie” Iaria’s 31 years of hard work and superb accomplishments. DPCA, on behalf of probation professionals throughout New York, extends congratulations and wishes for a smooth transition to Vinnie and his family. For those of you who know Vinnie, you will appreciate that his white suits will be just as appropriate in his new community. On a more serious note, William T. Smith, a former State Director, passed away on November 13th. Mr. Smith served as State Director of the then NYS Division of Probation during the late sixties and early seventies and retired in 1972. Also, Tom McHugh, Assistant Director of TASC (Treatment Alternatives to Street Crimes) in the Capital District, Inc., died of massive heart attack in November. Our condolences go out to their families. If you have transitions to announce, forward information to be included in eFocus to Yvonne Behan at Yvonne.behan@dpca.state.ny.us

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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 yvonne.behan@dpca.state.ny.us.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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 appear on different criminal justice and community corrections mailing lists. If so, please e-mail Yvonne Behan the name you would like removed from distribution.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
####