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 30, December 2, 2004

NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives

Sara Tullar Fasoldt, State Director

Robert Maccarone, Executive Deputy Director

Visit the DPCA website at http://www.dpca.state.ny.us

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In this Issue…

1. Probation Directors and Deputies Convene in Saratoga for 2-day Symposium

2. Change to the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law - Some to Pay an Assessment

3. YASI Version 3.3 PDI Software Update Available

4. DPCA Website - Printing Rules and Regulations

5. Studies and Reports of Special Interest to the Field

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1. Probation Directors and Deputy Directors convene in Saratoga for a 2-day Symposium – The Statewide Symposium for Directors and Deputy Directors was held on November 15th-16th in Saratoga. The agenda continued both day and night, for what many said was the first time they could recall every county probation director and/or their deputy gathering at once. Probation Directors were responsible for the majority of the topics presented, all of which supported the theme “Probation’s Impact on Crime through Collaboration, Experience and Innovation.” Ninety-two attended and a preliminary review of the Symposium evaluations revealed that most found the Symposium to be informative and useful. A large number of attendees found the crime mapping, critical incident response reporting, leadership round table and academic presentations most valuable. A majority also felt that this Symposium should be an annual event and many suggested that more time be allotted for discussion. Thank you for your comments. More information generated as a result of the Symposium will be forthcoming.

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2. Change to the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law some to pay an assessment - A change to the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law requires drivers who are convicted of specific traffic violations (primarily DWI) to pay an assessment to the DMV. The purpose of the Driver Responsibility Program is to prevent the repeated behavior of problem drivers and to improve traffic safety. This program is currently in effect for violations which occur on or after November 18, 2004. For complete information, go to the Department of Motor Vehicles’ website at http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/drp.htm#assess.

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3. YASI Version 3.3. PDI Software Upgrade is now available from the Orbis Partners Website – On November 24th an email was sent to all YASI sites announcing that the YASI Version 3.3. PDI Software Upgrade is now available from the Orbis Partners website. (www.orbispartners.com). This software upgrade allows for the YASI full assessment items to be transferred into a Microsoft Word draft document consistent with statewide practice relative to the preparation of Pre-Dispositional Investigations (PDI’s). The draft PDI can then be expanded, edited, and saved electronically. As this is the first time it is being made available statewide, we anticipate that wide usage will identify areas for refinement and also generate some new ideas for enhancements. Please let Michele Seaman know of your concerns and suggestions at 518-485-5150 or Michele.Seaman@DPCA.state.ny.us.

Also, the YASI Phase 4 training protocol will be concluding with Follow-Up sessions in Nassau County on December 7-8th and in NYC on December 9-10th; and the second Supervisor Training in Albany on December 13. To register, please contact Patti Donohue at 518-485-5158 or Patricia.Donohue@DPCA.state.ny.us.

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4. DPCA Rules and Regulations – printable from website – We encourage you to visit the new DPCA website for information and for copies of the Rules and Regulations. Some have reported that when printing the pdf version, available for all rules, the margins are too wide to print. To remedy this situation: Go to File, choose Page Setup and change all four margins to point 3. This should eliminate any problems, if not please contact Yvonne Behan, DPCA Community Corrections Representative at Yvonne.behan@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 485-5157.

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5. Studies and reports of special interest to the field of community corrections:
The Center for Community Alternatives (CCA) issues Justice Strategies Working Papers
- The first in a series of working papers issued from Justice Strategies, the research, policy and training division of CCA has been published. The first paper, “UNLOCKING THE POTENTIAL OF REENTRY AND REINTEGRATION,” by Alan Rosenthal, J.D. and Elaine Wolf, Ph. D, is available at http://www.communityalternatives.org/articles/unlocking_potential.html.

Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: A Compendium of Promising Practices - According to the National Mental Health Association’s recent report “Mental Health Treatment for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: A Compendium of Promising Practices, “Youth who are involved with the juvenile justice system have substantially higher rates of mental health disorders than children comparable to those among youth being treated in the mental health system.” Contact the National Mental Health Association at (800) 969-NMHA (6642) for a copy of the report.

Highlighting Strengths, Priorities of African American and Latino/Latina Parents - What parents want most is more time with their children - Simply being able to spend more time with their children would help African-American and Hispanic parents “a lot” with their parenting, according to "Building Strong Families 2004," a national study conducted by YMCA of the USA and the Search Institute. The study is being released in observance of National Family Week, November 21st – 27th. For more information, visit http://www.abundantassets.org.

Criminal Neglect: Substance Abuse, Juvenile Justice and The Children Left Behind - Four of every five children and teen arrestees in state juvenile justice systems are under the influence of alcohol or drugs while committing their crimes, test positive for drugs, are arrested for committing an alcohol or drug offense, admit having substance abuse and addiction problems, or share some combination of these characteristics, according to a new report released by CASA at Columbia University. The 177-page report is promoted as the most comprehensive analysis ever undertaken of substance abuse and state juvenile justice systems. To download a free copy of the report, visit http://www.casacolumbia.org/.

National Assembly announced the launch of a new website as a part of its Family Strengthening Policy Center - The National Assembly announced the launch of a new website, www.nassembly.org/fspc as a part of its Family Strengthening Policy Center. The Family Strengthening Policy Center (FSPC) website is a clearinghouse of information and tools dedicated to family strengthening practices, programs and policy. The Center is sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The website draws from the knowledge and expertise of a broad array of professionals from service providers to researchers to bring you resources.

Report provides 175 prevention and intervention programs and helps communities identify those that best suit their needs - The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Model Programs Guide is a user-friendly, online portal to scientifically tested and proven programs that address a range of issues across the juvenile justice spectrum. Developed as a tool to support the Title V Community Prevention Grants Program, the Guide has been recently expanded and now profiles more than 175 prevention and intervention programs and helps communities identify those that best suit their needs. The OJJDP Model Programs Guide is available at http://www.dsgonline.com/mpg_non_flash/mpg_index.htm.

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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 at Yvonne.behan@dpca.state.ny.us the name you would like removed from distribution.