Welcome to the 2nd issue of DPCA's eFocus, an electronic newsletter from the NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives.  As part of DPCA's goal to promote and facilitate probation services and other community corrections programs,  DPCA will e-publish this brief publication summarizing and highlighting appropriate information to the community corrections community at-large. 

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eFocus, Issue 2,  November 8, 2002

NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives

Sara Tullar Fasoldt, State Director

Robert Maccarone, Executive Deputy Director

http://www.dpca.state.ny.us

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1.    All local probation departments have been invited to attend a November 13, 2002 presentation by Gail A. Wasserman, PhD, Director, Center for the Promotion of Mental Health in Juvenile Justice, Columbia University, New York. Dr. Wasserman will speak from 1:30 to 2:30pm in the DPCA Training Room at 80 Wolf Road in Albany, New York.  Dr. Wasserman will be speaking about the Voice Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (V-DISC).  This engagement is part of a full day meeting that is required for all DPCA funded JISP programs.

     The V-DISC is a computerized, comprehensive, structured interview that covers 36 mental health disorders for children and adolescents using DSM-IV criteria, including anxiety, behavior, mood, substance abuse, and a number of other diagnoses. Please call Gerald Morton, DPCA Community Corrections Representative II at (518) 485-5133 to reserve your seat.

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2.   DPCA conducted a DBA (Defender Based Advocacy) Focus Group on October 22, 2002 in Albany.  The DBA Focus Group will reconvene on Monday, November 25th from Noon to 5pm. All DPCA funded DBA programs are required to send a representative to this meeting.  One major purpose of these mandatory Focus Group meetings is to obtain input and feedback with regard to DPCA's new quarterly reporting forms and mechanisms. Other topics include: defining the project; Goals, Objectives and Performance Measures; Applications; and Budget and Fiscal Assistance.

     Focus groups of all five ATI program models (DBA, Community Service, Pretrial, Specialized, and Alcohol and other Drug programs) and TANF for Community Corrections programs are planned for the following dates: Community Service Sentencing is December 3rd;  the Pretrial meeting is December 4th and the Specialized and Alcohol and other Drugs programs is December 5th.  TANF programs will meet on December 6th.  The Focus Group meetings will be held in Albany (one TANF group will be held in NYC) and will cover a variety of topics important to the DPCA funded community correction programs.    For additional information contact Pamela Derrick, Community Corrections Representative III at (518) 485-5153.

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3.  DPCA sponsored an exciting seminar for supervisors on November 6 & 7, 2002  in Albany.  Management Skills for Supervisors was facilitated by the following six probation supervisors/trainers who received training to present these areas:  Wayne D'Arcy from Rensselaer County, Anne Krutell from Monroe County, Stephanie Arno from NYC, Bill Biship from Westchester County, Edith Shields from Westchester County and Michelle Seaman from Herkimer.  The sessions were facilitated by Pat Butler, DPCA Community Corrections Representative II, who also conducted some of the training.

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 4.  The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) and DPCA will co-sponsor a free, four day workshop in Albany for those working in community corrections who are or will be designated as the organization's training coordinator/director. The free training will take place on December 9th through 12th in DPCA's Training Room located in Room 404 at 80 Wolf Road in Albany.  Contact Steve Powers, DPCA Community Corrections Representative III at (518) 485-5149 for immediate registration information.

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5.  We invested a great deal of energy this past year in building partnerships with state sister human services agencies and  commissions.  I share with pleasure Commissioner James Stone's recent letter (which follows). I'm also delighted to let you know that Chairperson Gary O'Brien, of the Commission on Quality of Care for the Mentally Disabled, has given us a grant to hire a dedicated mental health staff person here at DPCA, to be the coordinator of our funded mental health initiatives, and to be available to you for technical assistance.  Commissioner Stone's letter follows:

     "Thank you for your commitment and support for meeting the needs of persons with mental illness who become involved with the local criminal justice system.  The multi-agency Shared Services Workgroup you've brought together is demonstrating the value of collaboration and creative thinking.

     Your suggestion of including Probation representation on the mental health subcommittee of the county community serice board is a good one.  Some counties have currently appointed forensic staff on their boards.  The County Director of Community Services determines membership on the subcommittee. In order to advance this proposal, DPCA should have a discussion with local Mental Hygiene Directors (CLMHD), as vacancies occur.  This approach is necessary, since the Mental Hygiene Law 41.10 states that the Community Service Board Mental Health Sub-Committee has a definite limit of nine members.

     We will certainly encourage local inter-systems collaboration (local Departments of Mental Health and Probation) to ensure that Probation referrals are appropriately made and addressed using the local Single Point of Access (SPOAs).  This would mean that Probation departments may use the SPOA process to access, if available, and determined to be clinically necessary, case management services for appropriate probationers.

     Educating our various mental health, criminal justice, social services, law enforcement and judicial systems is essential for creating the climate and opportunities for the sharing of responsibility and resources for addressing the needs of people with mental illness in the criminal justice system.  We look forward to continuing our productive working relationship with you and the Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives."

James L. Stone, Commissioner

NYS Office of Mental Health

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6.  New address/contact information received from programs:

~Ronald Stanish is the new Probation Director in Niagara County, replacing Jim DiCamillo who recently retired.  The probation department is in the process of moving so please start using the new address and phone # for him as follows until further notice:

Golden Triangle Building
111 Main Street
Lockport, New York  14094
Phone (716) 438-4061            
Fax (716) 438-4066
email:  Ronald.stanish@niagaracounty.com

~Franklin County Probation Director William Sullivan recently retired and Judy Hayle has been named new Director. 

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