Division of Criminal Justice Services

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 42, February 2, 2006
NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
Robert M. Maccarone, Acting State Director
Yvonne J. Behan, Editor
Visit the DPCA website at http://www.dpca.state.ny.us

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1. Probation works to CONNECT responses for the mentally ill under supervision
2. Governor signs law lengthening time sex offenders will remain on Sex Offender Registry
3. DPCA issues RFP for operation of a specialized project in NYC
4. YASI trainings to be held spring-summer 2006
5. Updated information available on Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY
6. Resources, Information and Upcoming Trainings

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1. Probation Departments work to provide improved responses for those individuals with mental illness under probation supervision - Ten probation departments are participating in the rollout of CONNECT, the staff development and technical assistance program offered by the NYS Office of Mental Health. CONNECT is designed to promote recovery and assist probation and ATI staff in working with individuals with serious mental illnesses and co-occurring substance abuse disorders. Broome, Dutchess, Monroe, Schenectady, Suffolk, Warren, Washington, and Westchester probation directors and/or other probation department staff attended the CONNECT forum on January 18th and 19th in Albany along with county mental health professionals, criminal justice planners and treatment providers. At the conclusion of the forum, each team presented an action plan for improving the county’s response to individuals with mental illness under probation supervision including screening/identification and referral for treatment. Among the many notable features of the plans was the important role counties assigned to peer specialists following a presentation by NYAPRS, the NY Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services. Other features included cross training and plans for writing MOU’s (Memorandum of Understanding) to facilitate a team response. Clinton and Ulster counties are also participating in the CONNECT rollout. For more information on CONNECT contact Lori Schatzel at Codflts@omh.ny.gov or Bernard Wilson at bernard.wilson@dpca.state.ny.us.

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2. Governor signs legislation that will lengthen time sex offenders remain on Sex Offender Registry - Governor George E. Pataki, joined by Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, signed legislation on January 18, 2006 that will expand and strengthen New York Megan’s Law by lengthening the amount of time sex offenders remain on the State’s Sex Offender Registry. Without this legislation being enacted, Level 1 and Level 2 sex offenders, who have been on the State’s Sex Offender Registry for ten years, would have been removed from the registry as of January 21, 2006. The new law requires that Level 3 sex offenders remain on the Sex Offender Registry for life; that Level 2 sex offenders remain for life, but can petition the court to be removed after 30 years; and that Level 1 sex offenders remain on the Registry for 20 years. Effective in 1996, and expanded in 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2004, New York State's Sex Offender Registration Act requires registration as a sex offender upon a conviction of a listed offense or a conviction for an attempt to commit a listed offense. There are currently over 40 registerable offenses in New York State. Over 21,000 convicted sex offenders are listed on the Registry. To access information on the State’s Sex Offender Registry, visit the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services’ (DCJS) website at www.criminaljustice.ny.gov.

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3. DPCA issues a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the operation of a specialized project to provide additional targeted services within New York City (NYC) for Supervision and Treatment of Specialized Offender (SATSO) Populations in NYC – Deadline for Submission is March 15, 2006. This RFP solicits a project to provide services in Bronx County for individuals with serious mental illness, including serious and persistent mental illness, who are involved with the criminal court on felony charges and are at risk of incarceration, but through their project participation, are eligible for a community corrections sanction. It is expected that the project will include individuals with co-occurring disorders: individuals who are chemically addicted and seriously mentally ill. Other project characteristics may include housing stabilization, substantial bilingual capacity, culturally competent delivery of services, as well as the involvement of peers in the design and operation of the project. The total annual amount of funds available for this RFP is $150,000. A copy of the complete RFP can be found on the DPCA website at www.dpca.state.ny.us.

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4. YASI trainings to be held during spring-summer 2006 - YASI 2006: DPCA is pleased to announce that three sets of Youth Assessment Screening Instrument (YASI) training will be held in New York during spring-summer 2006. Each of the trainings being held in Schenectady, Canandaigua, and White Plains will include 2 days of Initial Training, then approximately 12 weeks later, 2 days of Follow-Up Training. Initial trainings focus on evidence based protocols and the assessment component of YASI, and Follow-Up trainings focus on the case planning component of YASI. Trainings are provided by the YASI project consultant, Orbis Partners, Inc. A detailed email announcement was sent out on 12/21/05. Also during 2006, DPCA is pleased to announce that all 49 YASI jurisdictions will be eligible for a one-time opportunity for on-site, no-cost technical assistance around YASI implementation. All jurisdictions are eligible to receive at least one full day each of technical assistance, provided by Orbis Partners and DPCA, which will be customized to each jurisdiction’s needs. Please contact Patti Donohue, DPCA Community Corrections Representative II, with any questions at 518-485-5158 or Patricia.Donohue@DPCA.state.ny.us.

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5. Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY has updated Integrated-Probation Registrant System (I-PRS) reports - Five new I-PRS reports are now available in the Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY: All Active Cases; Beyond MED; Owes DNA; No Probation Officer Assigned; and Sex Offender Registry Probationer Listing. All reports can be printed from the screen and all reports can now be downloaded and saved as Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. The spreadsheet format will enable electronic sorting, storage, and transmission. Additionally, the "Owes DNA" report now has an indicator as to whether the probationer is an absconder (if that information is contained in the Violations section of I-PRS). DCJS staff is currently developing several report formats that will provide statistical information describing each department’s probationer population.

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6. Resources, Awards, Information and Upcoming Trainings:

~~ The DPCA Emergency Rule Amendments in the area of Case Record Management and Supervision have been readopted and continued. For details see Rules and Regulations as posted on the DPCA website at http://www.dpca.state.ny.us/348.htm.

~~ A program participant in the Women’s Prison Association (WPA), Jacqueline Smith, was a client speaker at the WPA Annual Benefit Dinner held in May 2005. Her story of success and accomplishment was then the topic of a feature article appearing in the Wall Street Journal immediately following on May 24, 2005. Ms. Smith is one of countless individuals whose lives have been improved as a result of services received from programs such as the Women’s Prison Association and others supporting reentry and receiving funding assistance from DPCA.

~~ Save the Date!! - Broome County Probation Director David Nemec has announced that a Symposium on State Local Corrections entitled “Cycle of Sex Offenses – Understanding What’s Effective in the Community” will be held on Thursday, April 20th, 2006. The Symposium will be held at Elmira College. For more information contact David S. Nemec at 607-778-2121 or at dnemec@co.broome.ny.us.

~~ The New York State Probation Officer’s Association (NYSPOA) will be accepting program presentation applications for the 2006 Summer Conference. Please send the electronic submission to cc@nyspoa.com with the Subject line reading - Your Name and Program Presentation Name Submission. The 2006 Summer Conference will be held in Albany, New York at the Crowne Plaza. Visit http://www.nyspoa.com for more information.

~~ Founded as a public/private partnership between the New York State Unified Court System and the Fund for the City of New York, the Center for Court Innovation is a non-profit think tank that helps courts and criminal justice agencies aid victims, reduce crime and improve public trust in justice. Their website has been redesigned and expanded to include: profiles of innovative projects, interviews with experts, and new ideas on how to reduce crime, the latest research, publications, links, and more. Visit their website at http://www.courtinnovation.org.

~~ The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) have announced that the 25th Annual Juvenile Probation and Justice Management Conference will be held from September 17th – 20th 2006 in Providence, Rhode Island, at The Westin Providence Hotel (www.westin.com/providence). For more information on membership with NCJFCJ and this and other conferences, please visit their website at: http://www.ncjfcj.org.

~~ BJS Online Report Examines Indicators of School Crime and Safety - The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has released "Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2005.” This annual report examines crime occurring in school, as well as on the way to and from school. It also provides current detailed statistical information on the nature of crime in schools, school environments, and responses to violence and crime at school. Information was gathered from an array of sources including the National Crime Victimization Survey (1992-2003), School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey (1995, 1999, 2001, and 2003), Youth Risk Behavior Survey (1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2003), School Survey on Crime and Safety (2000), and School and Staffing Survey (1993-94 and 1999-2000). The "Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2005" is only available online at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/iscs05.htm.

~~ Looking for the most up-to-date information on technological advances in the field of community corrections? The National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) was created in 1994 as a component of the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) Office of Science and Technology. NLECTC serves as an "honest broker" offering support, research findings, and technological expertise to help State and local law enforcement and corrections personnel perform their duties more safely and efficiently. NLECTC has created this electronic newsletter to keep community corrections practitioners informed about technology developments and how technology is being used by the field to enhance mission performance. Visit http://www.nlectc.org/NlectcRM/cc_nwsltr_jul2005.html to read recent copies of the newsletter and other information.

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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 with the name you would like removed from distribution.