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 44, April 3, 2006
NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
Robert M. Maccarone, State Director
Yvonne J. Behan, Editor
Visit the DPCA website at http://www.dpca.state.ny.us

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IN THIS ISSUE. . .

1. PROBER-Web to be used in 16 new probation departments
2. DPCA provides Scholarships for Probation Officers to attend NYSPOA
3. DPCA to present Award for Outstanding Service by a Probation Officer
4. PED Programs -- Involvement is demanding but many are successful
5. Supervisor’sTraining in evidence-based Fundamentals of Probation Practice
6. Schenectady County Probation organizes employer forum
7. Albany County Probation’s successful employment initiative
8. NYS Probation Domestic Violence Intervention Project to conduct regional meetings
9. Resources, Information and Upcoming Trainings

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1. Fully automated case management system (PROBER-Web) to be used in 16 more probation departments – The NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) has received applications from 16 probation departments to receive federal Local Law Enforcement Block Grant (LLEBG) Funds for the implementation of the PROBER-Web Probation Case Management System. Two departments have already implemented the PROBER-Web System. The PROBER-Access based system is currently used by 20 departments which are anticipated to transition to PROBER-Web. The PROBER system follows probation functionality from Family Court Intake and Criminal Court Pre-Trial through Investigation, Supervision and Restitution. Local probation departments using the software are provided a comprehensive automated information system that also enables them to meet their reporting requirements to the courts, the state, etc. The LLEBG dollars for PROBER Phase II will be used to support the one-time costs for a site license, documentation and supplemental software, installation and training of the PROBER-Web version. It also includes one year of maintenance. PROBER-Web makes use of browser and web-based technologies to create a more user-friendly environment and software support efficiencies. Phase II counties include: Cattaraugus, Columbia, Essex, Franklin, Allegany, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Orleans, Oswego, Saratoga, Schuyler, Steuben, Warren and Washington Counties. In all, 41 counties are anticipated to be operating the PROBER-Web System.

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2. DPCA supports NYS Probation Officer’s Association Annual Training Conference with scholarships for Probation Officers – New this year! - DPCA will reimburse each probation department the cost of one conference registration and also a limited number of lodging requests so that more officers can attend the Annual NYS Probation Officer Association Conference to be held in Albany, NY from August 2-4, 2006. DPCA believes that the NYSPOA Conference presents an important opportunity for training additional probation officers and encourages probation directors to continue their support of this important program. DPCA’s intention is that through these scholarship funds, departments will increase the number of attendees to this year’s conference. Applications for scholarships have been distributed to Probation Directors and should be submitted to DPCA by April 19, 2006.

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3. NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives to name 2006 Probation Officer of the Year - The State Director’s 2006 Award for Outstanding Service by a Probation Officer is presented in recognition of exceptional service, dedication and professionalism performed by a probation officer who has significantly contributed to the field of community corrections and strengthened its role within the criminal justice and/or juvenile justice system. Nomination forms have been sent to Probation Directors and are available on the eJustice Probation Services Suite or by contacting Yvonne J. Behan, DPCA Community Corrections Representative at (518) 485-5157 or Yvonne.behan@dpca.state.ny.us. In addition to receiving a scholarship to attend the American Probation and Parole Association’s Winter Training Conference, this year’s recipient will receive a scholarship to attend the NYS Probation Officer’s Association Annual Training Conference in August 2006. The deadline for nominations for the State Director’s 2006 Award for Outstanding Service by a Probation Officer is May 1, 2006.

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4. Counties measure success with Probation Eligible Diversion (PED) Program- Compliance means hard work – DPCA funds 20 probation departments to operate PED Programs that provide intensive supervision and treatment to felony offenders who are probation eligible and would otherwise be sentenced to state prison. PED diverts non-violent offenders from state prison through the use of graduated sanctions and services. The various county program models provide a combination of day-reporting/treatment services, electronic monitoring, intensive supervision and other forms of offender management to ensure law-abiding behavior and satisfaction of court-ordered conditions of supervision including participation in substance abuse treatment, community service and restitution.

Lewis County probationer “Peter”, a PED participant is actively involved in Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment, submits to daily call-ins, drug testing, and attends a GED program two evenings a week. Peter is working with the Lewis County “One-Stop” on employment skills, resume writing and job referral, and receives services from the Transition to Independent Program (TIP) through the Mental Health Clinic. Peter has recently graduated to Level II of Drug Court. The program has allowed him to remain arrest free and accomplish his goals. Peter did serve a week in jail for missing one treatment appointment—a reinforcement to correct behavior and ensure compliance.

Broome County probationer “Anne”, a 24 year-old woman with a newborn was released from Jail under PED supervision. Anne was evaluated for drug and alcohol dependency; she attended counseling and successfully completed treatment. She has since applied to Broome County Community College and her probation officer wrote a letter to facilitate her admission into the Liberal Arts program. She has completed her first year of college, complied with PED supervision, remained law-abiding and abstinent from drugs and alcohol and was recently transitioned to regular probation supervision.

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5. Supervisor’s Workshop in evidence-based Fundamentals of Probation Practice training - DPCA, along with representatives from the Council of Probation Administrators (COPA), the Probation Officer’s Association (POA), probation officer focus groups and Orbis Partners have worked together to implement the new evidence-based Fundamentals of Probation Practice (FPP) training. DPCA will soon implement a series of regional Supervisor Trainings to support the FPP. Two-day workshops will be conducted across the State in Batavia, Albany, Syracuse, Hauppauge and Goshen, NY beginning May 2006 and ending in September 2006. These workshops have been designed to provide supervisors and managers with the information and tools necessary to support and reinforce key concepts and skills learned by staff during the FPP. Participants will be provided with an overview of the major topics, a description of the learning objectives and participate in some of the activities that are taught during FPP. Seating for each session is limited to 30 attendees. To register for one of the sessions, receive a copy of the announcement or if you have any questions, please contact Yvonne Behan, DPCA Community Corrections Representative II at (518) 485-5157 or Yvonne.behan@dpca.state.ny.us.

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6. Schenectady and Albany County Probation Departments co-hosts information session for prospective probationer employers - Area business leaders have been invited to attend an Informational Breakfast Meeting about probationer employment. The meeting will be held at the Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia on April 5th. This innovative session was organized by Judy Sogoian, Schenectady County Probation Department Staff Development Officer and Offender Workforce Development Specialist, and Matt Charton, Albany County Probation Officer and Offender Workforce Development Specialist to better share information about the benefits and incentives available to employers who hire individuals currently under probation supervision. Nearly 50 business leaders are expected to attend the meeting where they will learn of employer incentives such as federal bonding and New York’s Ready, Set, Work! and Pathways to Employment training for probationers. Scheduled speakers include DPCA State Director Robert Maccarone, Schenectady County Probation Director Mary Lolik, Albany County Probation Director Pat Aikens and a local employer utilizing the program. For more information contact Judy Sogoian at the Schenectady County Probation Department at (518) 388-4779 or Judy.sogoian@schenectadycounty.com.

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7. Albany County Probation Department announces Offender Workforce Development Series – Matt Charton of the Albany County Probation Department has coordinated two Offender Workforce Development Series programs. The first program, Ready, Set, Work!, has been developed for adults who are under probation supervision. The participants are referred to Ready, Set, Work! by their supervising probation officers, who have identified them as being chronically unemployed or under-employed. Topics covered in this program include career assessment, legal issues, employment applications, interviews, barriers to employment, the job search, employer’s expectations, job retention, and budget and spending plans. Probation officers facilitate, Ready, Set, Work! which is a collaborative effort between, the Albany County Probation Department, DPCA, the New York State Department of Labor (DOL), local employers and community agencies.

Albany County’s Ready, Set, Work! program started last May and by December 31, 2005 26 probationers had been referred to the program. Nineteen have secured employment and have continued to work after 90 days of having completed the program, four have remained unemployed and three had been unsuccessfully discharged due to violation of the attendance contracts. In 2006, Albany County expects to conduct seven programs and serve 70 probationers. Albany County also plans to implement Retention Counts, which helps probationers keep their jobs by teaching conflict resolution, retention plans, social service systems and lifestyles that support a positive work environment.

Albany County is one of four NIC Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS) sites in New York State. The others include Monroe, Schenectady and Dutchess Counties.

For more information on these probationer employment programs being run in Albany County, contact Albany County Probation Officer and Offender Workforce Development Specialist Matt Charton at the Albany County Probation Department at (518) 487-5230 mcharton@albanycounty.com.

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8. New York State Probation Domestic Violence Intervention Project receives grant funding to conduct regional meetings to enhance collaborative process – Probation Domestic Violence Liaison Advocate meetings (PDVL) have been scheduled across the state. The first meeting was held in Albany in early March; other meetings have been scheduled in Batavia (April 20th) and Syracuse (April 21st). Two additional meetings will be scheduled in the NYC and northern NYS. Probation directors, supervising probation officers and of course, PDVL’s are welcome to attend the sessions. The training addresses the importance of the collaborative process, review of the guidelines, and supervision procedures for domestic violence cases. Please contact Mike Thomas at (585)-753-2915 or at mthomas@monroecounty.gov with questions concerning the training curriculum and CarolynTemple at Carolyn.Temple@dpca.state.ny.us for a copy of the announcement.

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9. Resources, Awards, Information and Upcoming Trainings:

~~ The New York Association of Pretrial Services Agencies (NYAPSA) presented a pretrial track at the Drug Court Conference on March 2-4, 2006. At this year’s drug court conference, NYAPSA presented Peter Kiers, Director of Operations for the NYC Criminal Justice Agency with the Ennis J. Olgiati award. This award recognizes individuals that have made significant contributions to the organization and the field of pretrial. Throughout his career, Peter has continued to foster the ideals of pretrial services at the state and national levels. Peter is the immediate past president of NYAPSA and a member of the National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies. Congratulations Peter!

~~ What’s New on eJustice Probation Services Suite: STATE DIRECTOR’S MEMORANDUM #2006-3 – DPCA’s communication with the NYS Office of Court Administration (OCA) on awareness and compliance regarding the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision.

~~ DPCA has sent Probation Directors a draft of the Part 350 Investigation and Report Rule for their review and comment. Comments should be returned to DPCA Counsel Linda Valenti at Linda.valenti@dpca.state.ny.us by April 14, 2006. The draft is a result of the work completed by the following committee: Julia Febo, Schenectady County Probation Department; Laurel Fuller, Monroe County Probation Department; Warren Greene, Fulton County Probation Department; Sue Hartigan, Albany County Probation Department; Georgina Hegney, Onondaga County Probation Department; Kate Houghton, Schenectady County Probation Department; Mike Kirkpatrick, Fulton County Probation Department; Joanne Nellis, Dutchess County Probation Department; and Laura Bauer, Walter Cogswell, Kathi Pallotta and Norma Tyler all from DPCA. Thank you for your time and efforts.

~~ NYS Probation Officer’s Association (NYSPOA) seeks Probation Officer Award Nominations – The NYSPOA has asked for nominations of colleagues who stand out as probation professionals. The awards will be presented at this year’s NYS POA Conference to be held in Albany, NY from August 2-4, 2006 at the Crowne Plaza. Please contact Marcia Abbey at Broome County Probation at MAbbey@co.broome.ny.us for a description of each of the award categories and the nominating procedure. Nominations must be received by June 1, 2006. Award winners will be notified by POA President and invited to attend the conference. Visit http://www.nyspoa.com for more information about the conference and registration materials.

~~ The Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Program announces availability of funds - The BVP Program is a U.S. Department of Justice Initiative now open to accept applications for FY 2006 funds. All applications must be submitted electronically at http://vests.ojp.gov. When applying for BVP funds, you will be asked to submit or update your registration and banking information, and verify that the Pre-Application Vest Profile is complete and accurate. For multi-agency jurisdictions, law enforcement agencies must update their jurisdiction Profile before applying. The deadline for submitting BVP applications is Tuesday, April 18, 2006 at 8:00 p.m. (e.s.t.). Award announcements will be made in June 2006.

~~ The Legal Action Center and National H.I.R.E. Network has moved their New York City office to: 225 Varick Street, 4th Floor, New York, New York 10014. The telephone and fax numbers remain the same: Telephone: 212-243-1313 and Fax: 212-675-0286.

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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.

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