Happy Holidays!

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.

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eFocus, Issue Number 20, December 22, 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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I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on all that we have accomplished together this year. You have been tremendous assets to your own communities for public safety and holding offenders accountable, and also in restitution to and protection of victims. You are the unsung heroes of crime fighting, community building and peace keeping. You make a huge contribution to the unified efforts of the family of law enforcement and community protection providers. I wish you joy in the celebration of spirit and goodness, happiness in time spent during this holiday season with those whom you love and who love you, and fulfillment in your services to those less fortunate. Thank you on behalf of your colleagues at DPCA for all your contributions and renewed commitment to our work in the coming year.

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1. DPCA identifies high risk driving behaviors among probationers

With the New Year just ahead, it is timely to share pertinent and critical driving statistics. A DPCA study of 217 fatal car crashes occurring in NYS during the first quarter of 2003 found that 29 (13%) of them involved probationers. Studies show that probationers often drive without using seat belts, without proper seating for their children, without proper rest and engage in the behaviors associated with aggressive driving. They often disregard speed and other safety laws and fail in insuring and registering vehicles. In addition, probation supervises many of the most serious repeat DWI offenders statewide. Early implications of these findings for DPCA and DMV are the need for significant educational programs for the offender population and for the professional probation staff who work with all probationers. The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) currently funds a project with DPCA to develop training for officers and offenders, which will be CD based. This project is nearly completed and information will be provided early in 2004.

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2. Over 16,000 youth have been assessed by probation using the YASI since 2001; Numbers substantiate the importance of protective factors in youth

Recently, probation directors and supervisors gathered in regional Youth Assessment Screening Instrument (YASI) Data Workshops in Albany, Batavia and Goshen to evaluate their YASI results. Data was submitted by (35) local departments and analyzed by our consultant, Orbis Partners—it totaled 19,000 assessments (representing 16,000 youth) completed since 2001. Not surprising to many was the fact that 50.5% were PINS and the remaining 49.5% were JD’s. Males made up the majority at 62%. Overall, the largest number of youth represented the 13-14 age group for both JD’s and PINS. In looking at just one of the many demographic components provided with the YASI, protective factors for example, we find that the research is certainly accurate and applicable in New York State. Protective factors, which are also referred to as strengths, helped some kids adjust positively even when they were at high risk of poor outcomes. PINS assessed as high risk (37.5%), but with high protective factors had negative outcomes at a much lower rate compared to high risk PINS with low protective factors. JD’s assessed as high risk having more protective factors also had fewer negative outcomes than high risk JD’s with fewer protective factors. Where probation officers build upon the strengths of youths while addressing the risks, the benefits are substantial with positive outcomes. Similarly, the lack of protective factors for youths assessed as low risk, was often associated with negative outcomes. This evidence-based practice enables probation officers to identify and direct valuable resources to the most appropriate youth.

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3. TANF funds available to local DSS for prevention of non-secure detention placement and PINS aged to 18 services: Probation participation required in planning process for accessing these funds

With the expansion of PINS to include 16 and 17 year olds, Probation intake statewide has increased by nearly 8,000 new cases. Placement rates have also increased substantially. The state Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) has obtained $7,000,000 in TANF block-grant funds this year through Chapter 53 of the Laws of 2003. DPCA and OCFS have worked to ensure that probation departments are included in the planning process required of counties to access these funds. Probation directors were included in a mailing to Youth Bureau Directors and Social Services Commissioners. In addition, probation directors were recently provided placement data for their respective counties to assist them in planning programs for these TANF funds.

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4. Briefs for Families on Effective-Based Practices

The Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice hosts a website that includes “Briefs for Families on Evidence-Based Practices.” The mission of the Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice is to support and promote a reoriented national preparedness to foster the development and the adjustment of children with or at risk of developing serious emotional disturbance. Topics available on the site include these and more:

  • BEHAVIORAL PLANNING MEETINGS
  • PROMOTING RESILIENCE IN CHILDREN: What Parents Can Do
  • CLASSWIDE PEER TUTORING
  • FUNCTIONAL COMMUNICATION TRAINING TO PROMOTE POSITIVE BEHAVIOR

For more information visit their website located at

http://cecp.air.org/familybriefs/default.htm.

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5. Grants.Gov Launches Today!

A new Web site of federal grant information was made available today at www.grant.gov. This site allows you to electronically find and apply for competitive Federal grants and provides a feature which allows users to receive notification of funding opportunities from selected agencies and categories of funding. For more information, click on the following link to an article about the site from Federal Computer Week: http://www.fcw.com/geb/articles/2003/1208/web-grants-12-09-03.asp

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6. APPA 2004 Winter Training Institute, February 8-11, Reno, Nevada

The American Probation and Parole Association’s Winter Training Institute will be held in Reno, Nevada. Over 40 education sessions for all levels of experience will provide fresh, new ideas from nationally recognized experts in the field of community corrections. These sessions plus many more educational workshops will address your community corrections issues in one location. Register before January 8 and save $45. Register online at www.appa-net.org or call 859-244-8204. Early bird registration for APPA’s 2004 Winter Training Institute ends January 8! For additional information contact Kris Chappell at kchappel@csg.org

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7. Adult and Juvenile Probation and Parole National Firearm Survey

The American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) published an extensive survey in 2001-2002 titled the Adult and Juvenile Probation and Parole National Firearm Survey. The survey includes easy to use maps, provides a narrative of each sector, addresses the structure in place for delivering probation and parole supervision services and a number of issues surrounding arming for example: Is it mandatory or is it voluntary? Is arming limited to special duty type officers (i.e., intensive supervision officers, domestic violence officers, gang or drug officers) Are they considered peace officers? Do they have the power to arrest? The survey is available at

http://www.appa-net.org/information%20clearing%20house/firearmssurvey01/firearmssurvey.asp

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8. Welcomes, Awards and Remembrances:

If you have transitions to announce, forward information to be included in eFocus to Yvonne Behan at Yvonne.behan@dpca.state.ny.us.

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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 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.

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