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 35, May 10, 2005
NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
Sara Tullar Fasoldt, State Director
Robert Maccarone, Executive Deputy Director
Yvonne J. Behan, Editor
Visit the DPCA website at http://www.dpca.state.ny.us

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In this Issue…

1. PINS and Detention Reform: New statutory provisions
2. DPCA announces availability of $3.7 in TANF funding
3. DPCA and DCJS release updated/redesigned Probation Services Suite
4. Statewide DWI Symposium held in Westchester County
5. Westchester County named “Best Practice” by NHTSA
6. Technology survey of county probation departments completed
7. Operation Predator successfully captures targets
8. Address verification nets sex offender in contempt
9. Revised DPCA-680 form is to be used with DMV
10. Resources, Recognition, Events and Awards, etc.

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1. PINS and Detention Reform Law: New law discourages placement of PINS in detention facilities and makes services available to PINS in their communities - Enacted as a Budget Bill, the new law became effective on April 1 of this year. The provisions of this new legislation require local governments and the courts to exhaust community-based preventive service alternatives before filing PINS petitions and making detention placements. Major provisions of this law requires all counties and NYC to offer preventive services, including crisis intervention and respite, to divert youth at risk of being petitioned into family court. Highlighted provisions of key statutory changes and requirements and information about an upcoming teleconference were forwarded to Probation Departments and are also located on the DPCA website at www.dpca.state.ny.us with links to the NYS Office of Children and Family Services’ (OCFS) website.

  • Call for Questions regarding PINS and Detention Reform Law: DPCA and OCFS are in the process of soliciting questions from probation and social services regarding implementation of this new PINS legislation. To assist us with coordination, DPCA has established a new email account to receive questions from across the state. Please e-mail your questions directly to PINS.Reform@dpca.state.ny.us. Based on the questions received, DPCA and OCFS will prepare a series of questions and answers for distribution to you. In addition to the Q and A document, your questions will assist DPCA and OCFS to prepare for the joint teleconference to be held on May 18th.
  • Updated Announcement of Joint Teleconference: An updated announcement regarding the May 18th teleconference on the new PINS legislation is located at OCFS’ website at http://ocfs.ny.gov/main/legal/legislation/pins/. This updated announcement includes downlink sites where the teleconference may be viewed. To ensure sufficient space, please contact the person on the list of downlink sites regarding your intent to attend.

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2. DPCA announces the availability of up to $3.7 million dollars of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding – Requests for Proposals due June 13th - DPCA expects to have available up to $3.7 million dollars of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding to be awarded to successful applicants of a Request for Proposals (RFP). This amount is to be used to facilitate the integration of individuals involved in the criminal justice systems and their families into the community at large. The funds will assist in the successful completion of all court-imposed conditions of release with the intent to achieve the Federal Health and Human Services purposes. An applicant may be a not-for-profit organization, including faith-based, a public agency, or a for profit organization registered with New York State. A joint application from any such entities will also be accepted by DPCA. A copy of the RFP is currently available on the DPCA website at www.dpca.state.ny.us. Questions may be addressed to Bernard Wilson at DPCA at Bernard.wilson@dpca.state.ny.us.

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3. DPCA and the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to release updated and redesigned Probation Services Suite – eJusticeNY users accessing the Probation Services Suite will soon find a more user-friendly portal designed to more effectively provide information and resources for community corrections professionals. The information to be provided on the Suite to password protected users will be categorized as “Reference Materials” and include information such as: State Director Policy Memos, Publications, Reports/Policies, Directors, Statistics, Funding Timelines, Prober-Plus, IPRS Publications, Training/Surveys, DPCA Forms and a Search mechanism. The new design should be operational in early May 2005.

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4. Statewide DWI Symposium held in Westchester County – More than 200 probation officers, other probation department professionals, police officers, judges, attorneys, treatment professionals, and STOP-DWI coordinators were invited to attend this one-day Statewide DWI symposium held on Wednesday, May 4, 2005. The Symposium addressed new DWI legislation, current NYS Department of Motor Vehicles Re-licensing Policies and Regulations, and the strategies and technology used by the Westchester County Probation Department to deal with repeat DWI offenders. Workshop topics included DWI and the Media, How to Run a Victim Impact Panel, DWI and Treatment and DPCA’s Computer Assisted Training Programs. In addition, Robert M. Maccarone, Executive Deputy Director of DPCA spoke on Probation and Traffic Safety’s New Challenges, and Chris Cernik, Counsel, NYS STOP-DWI Coordinator’s provided a legislative update. State Director Sara Fasoldt introduced guest speaker, Raymond P. Martinez, Commissioner of the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles and Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. The Symposium was co-hosted by the Westchester County Probation Department and the Westchester County STOP-DWI program. For more information contact DPCA Training Director, Steve Powers at (518) 485-2402 or at Stephen.powers@dpca.state.ny.us.

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5. The Westchester County Department of Probation DWI Enforcement Program named a Best Practice – The most recent newsletter from the Eastern Region Office of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recognizes New York’s programs designed to combat alcohol and drug-impaired driving and specifically features the activities of the Westchester County Probation Department’s DWI Unit. When referring to the Westchester Probation Department, the NHTSA article said that the department had embraced a general mission that is “…committed to the protection, safety, and quality of life in the communities we serve. The Department has a guiding principle that uses effective leadership in being progressive, proactive and innovative, and fully partnering with the community and all its related resources.” To read more go to www.nhtsa.dot.gov. For a copy of the article contact Roger Barchitta at DPCA at roger.barchitta@dpca.state.ny.us.

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6. Technology survey of county probation departments completed and available to Probation Departments - The results of the updated technology survey of county probation departments was recently provided to probation departments and is currently available on the Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY. The information provided via the survey is very valuable in informing the probation community of the status of technology in the various departments, including the progress made by counties in connecting to the State's criminal justice portal, eJusticeNY. The survey serves as a valuable source of information for counties to learn from each other. State Director Sara Fasoldt extended her appreciation in completing the survey to our partners in DCJS, particularly David Rowell for his fine work in collating and analyzing the information, and Barbara Gordon for her continued support of DPCA and county probation departments.

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7. Local probation departments actively work with Operation Predator in conducting raids to pick up sex offenders on probation who are foreign-born and eligible for deportation - Operation Predator is a national, state and local criminal justice collaborative working to arrest and deport sex offenders who are illegal immigrants. This Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) initiative began in July 2003 and approximately 5,300 sexual predators have been arrested. With the information and assistance provided by local probation departments, convicted sex offenders have recently been rounded up in Suffolk, Westchester, Nassau and Dutchess Counties. These offenders face deportation due to a sex related conviction as certain crimes committed in the United States make aliens eligible for deportation to their native countries. Most of the arrests have been arranged to occur when the probationer reports to their county probation officers. For more information on Operation Predator visit http://www.ice.gov/graphics/predator/index.htm.

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8. As part of the Sex Offender Registration Act’s address verification process, Niagara County Probation Officer makes an arrest and possibly derails the victimization of a young boy - Last month, a convicted sex offender’s probation was violated after his probation officer found a young boy in his home. As part of the Sex Offender Address Verification process, Niagara County Probation Officer William Collins was conducting a home visit and address verification and due to this officer’s diligence and dedication, the sex offender was arrested and charged with contempt for violating terms of his probation by being alone with a child under the age of 18. In addition, to having the child in his home, he had a number of children’s toys in violation of his probation. The probationer was immediately arrested and taken into custody, charged with criminal contempt 2nd for violating his probation, and a probation violation was filed in Niagara County Court.

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9. Revised DPCA-680 form is to be used when writing to the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles Driver Improvement Unit - A revised DPCA-680 form is to be used when writing to the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles Driver Improvement Unit to state that a DWI probationer is no longer prohibited from applying to Motor Vehicles for a license. This form may be found on eJusticeNY in the Probation Suite under downloadable forms as DPCA-680 NOTICE TO DMV OF CHANGE IN CONDITION OF PROBATION.

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10. Resources, Recognition, Events and Awards

  • The Schenectady County Probation Department will be hosting training on Criminal Street Gangs 1 (May 11, 2005) and another on Rave and Club Drug Investigations (June 8, 2005). Both trainings will be held from 8:30am to 4:30pm at the NYS DOT Training Center in Schenectady and are open to Schenectady County Probation staff and probation staff from surrounding counties. Please contact Judy Sogoian, Staff Development Officer, at the Schenectady County Probation Department at 388-4330 or sogoianj@nycapp.rr.com for registration information.
  • Women, their Children, and the Criminal Justice System: An Evidence-Based and Promising Practices Symposium – This Symposium, to be held on June 6th at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in NYC, will feature a variety of workshops ranging from research-based approaches to co-occurring disorders, how to address trauma issues; meeting children’s needs; to economic self-sufficiency and more. Several model programs and promising practices will be highlighted. Registration form and payment must be received by May 20, 2005. On-line registration is available at www.eacinc.org.
  • 12th Annual National TASC Conference on Drugs and Crime - Developing Safe and Healthy Communities: Recover, Reenter, Restore will be held from September 11-14, 2005 in Cleveland, Ohio at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. Register Online at www.NationalTASC.org.
  • The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is sponsoring two annual Technology Institutes — one specifically for law enforcement personnel; the other for corrections personnel. Apply now for the 2005 Technology Institutes for Law Enforcement and Corrections at http://www.justnet.org/training/techinst.html.

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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. 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.

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