Welcome to eFocus, an electronic newsletter produced by the NYS Division of Probation andCorrectional 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. Have a safe Memorial Day!

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eFocus, Issue Number 25, May 27, 2004

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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In this Issue

1. June 4th DWI Symposium: "Probation Management of the Repeat DWI Offender"

2. Drug/Alcohol Survey to assist in determining treatment needs

3. Schenectady Probation pilots Job Readiness Program for Probationers

4. DPCA/DOL Pathways to Employment extended to additional counties

5. Albany Probation Department donates books to literacy drive

6. Probation departments continue progress in CDS reconciliation

7. Ulster County Probation uses proven therapies and diagnostic tools to assist families

8. Awards and Events

  • Project Greenhope (ATI program in NYC) on NOW with Bill Moyers – May 21, 2004
  • Court Employment Project – CASES recognizes creative youth
  • LegalActionCenter's 30th Anniversary Award – May 2004

9. Call for nominations by June 18, 2004: Governor's JUSTICE, FREEDOM AND COURAGE AWARDS TO END DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

10. Probation Officer Association Conference: hotel and registration deadlines coming up

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1. June 4th DWI Symposium: "Probation Management of the Repeat DWI Offender"

County Probation professionals and STOP-DWI Coordinators are invited to attend this one-day, no cost, DWI symposium on June 4th from 9:00AM to 3:30PM at the Roaring Brook Resort in Lake George, NY. Topics addressed at the symposium will include: Probation and Traffic Safety; DWI Legislation; DMV Re-licensing Policies and Regulations; and the DWI offender's experience with Drug Courts. In addition, DPCA will distribute two new CD's to probation officers on re-licensure. This symposium is sponsored by the NYS STOP-DWI Coordinators Association, funded by the NYS STOP-DWI Foundation, Inc. and co-hosted by the Warren County Probation Department and the Warren County Stop DWI program. For registration information contact DPCA Director of Training, Stephen Powers at stephen.powers@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 485-2402.

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2. Drug/Alcohol Survey results to assist in determining treatment needs of probationers

Information gathered from a recently distributed survey to probation directors, staff development officers, and DWI contacts will assist DPCA and OASAS to determine the treatment needs of the probationer population. Surveys were due back at DPCA by Friday, May 14, 2004. Results and more information will be distributed. Thank you for your responses. For more information contact DPCA Director of Training, Stephen Powers at stephen.powers@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 485-2402.

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3. Schenectady Probation pilots Job Readiness Program for Probationers

The Job Readiness Program for Probationers was piloted by the Schenectady County Probation Department in February and March of this year. Judy Sogoian, a 25-year veteran probation officer, piloted the state's first probationer group on job readiness. The program is an enhancement of the successful DPCA/DOL "Pathways to Employment" Initiative. This new approach proved to be very successful; 10 of the 18 probationers in the first group obtained employment before the course concluded. For more information contact DPCA Community Corrections Rep. II, Cynthia Blair at Cynthia.Blair@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 457-0501.

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4. Pathways to Employment extended to Monroe, Suffolk, and Albany counties

Pathways to Employment training was conducted on May 4th and 5th in Monroe County, on May 11th and 12th in Suffolk County, and on May 17th in Albany. Officers participating in the trainings have commented on the effectiveness of the instruction in helping probationers obtain employment. Additionally, this training is planned for the NYC Resource Development Unit staff on June 8th and the NYC-area TANF program staff on June 25th. For more information contact DPCA Community Corrections Rep. II, Cynthia Blair at Cynthia.Blair@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 457-0501.

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5. Albany Probation Department donates books to literacy drive

DPCA thanks Albany County Probation Department Director Pat Aikens and probation staff for their valuable partnership with DPCA during the Martin L. King, Jr. Literacy Drive. A total of 248 books were donated to the Albany City School District for children in Pre-K to 12th grades. Keep on reading…we'll keep donating! Thank you.

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6. Probation departments continue progress in CDS reconciliation

County probation departments have reduced the percentage of cases beyond their maximum expiration date (MED) from 40% to 8.1%, the lowest rate since DPCA outlined and departments began the reconciliation project in August of 2003. DPCA's goal is to eliminate all closed cases in anticipation of the transition to the Integrated Probation Registrant System (IPRS), scheduled for release October of 2004. Having accurate data will simplify the transition. We want to extend our appreciation to counties for their efforts, and urge them to continue their work so as to ensure the availability of accurate and reliable information.

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7. Ulster County uses proven therapies and diagnostic tools to assist families

The Ulster County Probation Department is using Functional Family Therapy (FFT), Multi-systemic Therapy (MST), the Youth Assessment Screening Instrument (YASI), and Voice-Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (V-DISC) to assess the needs of the increasing PINS population and better serve families in need. Probation Director Robert Sudlow said, "the idea of the FFT Program is to have social workers and therapists work with families and identify problems that contribute negatively to a child's environment." The Ulster County Probation and Mental Health Departments have collaborated in using Multi-Systemic Therapy to better serve troubled youths. MST provides families with at-risk children greater and quicker access to service providers. The Probation Department diverts low-risk cases from the system and redistributes valuable resources to moderate and high-risk youths using the Youth Assessment Screening Instrument (YASI). The department also integrates the use of V-DISC to screen for the mental health needs of youths. Ulster County's PINS caseload has increased from 225 intakes in 2000 to more than 300 intakes in 2003.

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8. Awards & Events

  • Project Greenhope was featured on NOW with Bill Moyers on Friday, May 21, 2004 on PBS. The project reports that the vast majority of women behind bars in the U.S. are non-violent offenders who committed crimes to feed their drug addiction. Experts say that without successful treatment for substance abuse and training for re-entry into society, the odds are they will return to prison. In New York City, Project Greenhope has turned around the lives of thousands of women by addressing the underlying issues of their behavior. Remarkably, 70 percent of the women complete the program.
  • On May 4th, the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES) in NYC recognized and celebrated the work of youths participating in the Court Employment Project who designed a mosaic for display.
  • The Legal Action Center celebrated its 30th Anniversary with an awards benefit reception on May 18th in New York City. The benefit honored the Center's founders and celebrated its first three decades of service. The Arthur Liman Media Award was presented to celebrated actor Peter Gallagher, who has appeared in numerous films and plays and who currently stars in the Fox hit television show "The O.C."
  • Federal and local law enforcement, including: probation; federal and local prosecutors; victim advocates; social service providers; physicians; child protective workers; emergency room physicians and nurses are urged to attend a training program entitled "INSIDE A CHILD'S MIND: Interviewing Children At Their Level". The program will be presented on June 8, 2004, at the Niagara FallsConvention Center. The cost is $20. This training is sponsored by the United States Attorney's Office see www.usdoj.gov/usao/nyw for more information.
  • A seminar entitled "Attacking Identity Crime Together" will be held at the Rochester Institute of Technology on Wednesday, June 16th from 7:30am to 4:3Opm. This is a free training co-sponsored by the US Secret Service, the US Attorney's Office , the WNY Chiefs of Police Assoc., the Monroe County Sheriff's Dept., the Monroe County District Attorney's Office, New York State Attorney General's Office, and New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. Register on-line at www.rit.edu/~crimjust/idtheft.htm.

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9. Call for nominations by June 18, 2004: Governor's JUSTICE, FREEDOM AND COURAGE AWARDS TO END DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Does someone spring to mind who embodies Justice, Freedom and Courage in working to end domestic violence? You have an opportunity to nominate that person for the Governor's 2004 award. Contact the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (518) 457-7988 or visit their website at www.opdv.ny.gov for an application and nomination criteria. Deadline for submission is June 18, 2004.

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10. Annual Probation Officer Association Conference to be held August 11th- 13, 2004 –

The deadline to make hotel reservations at the Best Western Sovereign Hotel in Albany, NY is June 30, 2004. The hotel number is: (518) 489-2981. Conference registration deadline is July 16. Call (914) 995-3738 for more information.

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Transitions to announce should be forwarded to Yvonne Behan at

Yvonne.behan@dpca.state.ny.us.

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eFocus is the property of DPCA . 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) 485-5157 or at yvonne.behan@dpca.state.ny.us.

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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.