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 49, October 6, 2006
NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
Robert M. Maccarone, State Director
Thomas H. Slater, Executive Deputy Director
Yvonne J. Behan, Editor
Visit the DPCA website at http://www.dpca.state.ny.us

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~~Save the Date! The Statewide Symposium for Probation Directors and Deputy Directors will be held at the Comfort Suites in Clifton Park beginning at 1pm on Wednesday, October 25th, and ending mid-day on Friday, October 27th, 2006. Also, the training for new probation directors, the Probation Executive Leadership Program will be conducted at the same location beginning at 1pm on Tuesday, October 24th, and ending mid-morning on Wednesday, October 25th. Notices and agendas on these events were sent out last week.

IN THIS ISSUE. . .

1. DPCA and DMV welcome participants to Symposium on Ignition Interlock
2. License Event Notification Service (LENS) assists probation
3. New York COMPAS risk/needs instrument pilot tested
4. Nassau County Probation collects DNA linking Armed Robbery Case
5. Automon Caseload Explorer to expand to 16 new counties
6. Visit the Probation Services Suite for management reports and recidivism data
7. NYC Probation Supervisor’s diligence deters further crime
8. Program provides creative lifestyle changes for children and their families
9. Resources, Information and Upcoming Trainings

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1. Over 100 attend DWI Symposium on Ignition Interlock - DPCA held the fourth statewide DWI Symposium, this program specifically on the use of Ignition Interlock Devices, at the Wyndham Syracuse Hotel in East Syracuse on Thursday, September 21, 2006. The program was attended by nearly 100 probation directors and officers, DWI coordinators and judicial law clerks. DPCA State Director Robert Maccarone welcomed the group and said “New York State has previously enacted into law tough DWI laws including the use of ignition interlock with repeat DWI Offenders. Studies have shown that installing an interlock device in a motor vehicle for a year after its operator is convicted of DWI can reduce recidivism by an estimated 70% and alcohol-related fatalities by 7% and that the ignition interlock device works best when it is part of a comprehensive program of monitoring, reporting and treatment.” NYS Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Nancy Naples also welcomed the group and stressed the significance of DMV working with Probation to ensure compliance with the law. She advised symposium participants of DMV’s intent to code the NYS Driver’s License indicating where appropriate, to include the condition for an Ignition Interlock Device. Guest speakers included Robert Voas, of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) and Brad Fralick, Advisor to the Illinois Secretary of State on DWI matters. For information on the Ignition Interlock Device, contact Ron.Bergstorm@dpca.state.ny.us. or at 518-485-5651.

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2. DPCA encourages all probation departments to enroll in the License Event Notification Service (LENS) - To better assist probation officers in their capacity to monitor probationers, especially those convicted of DWI, DPCA encourages all probation departments to enroll in the License Event Notification Service (LENS) offered free of charge to government agencies by NYS Department of Motor Vehicles. LENS will automatically notify the department or probation officer about the driving records of probationers. This includes accident information as well as convictions for infractions anywhere in New York State. LENS also provides a way for your department to monitor the New York driver license records of probationers who drive and/or have travel restrictions. Over the past four months, several probation departments pilot-tested the LENS and saw immediate results. Ulster County enrolled over 150 people into the LENS system and received 5 “hits” during one week. Schenectady County has enrolled more the 100 probationers and reports that it is an effective monitoring tool. Please contact Ron.Bergstrom@dpca.state.ny.us or at 518-485-5651 for additional information concerning LENS.

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3. Beta testing and training on the New York COMPAS Adult Risk and Needs Assessment Instrument commenced in four counties - An internet-based WebEx orientation presentation was held on September 12th for representatives of the four probation departments involved in the beta testing of the new instrument. WebEx trainings were held in Ulster County on September 25th, in Nassau County on September 26th, in Montgomery County on September 27th and in Delaware County on September 28th. Representatives from Northpointe, Inc. were present in Albany on October 3, 2006 to provide research findings and background information related to the construction of the COMPAS instrument to staff from the four beta test departments as well as representatives from DCJS, DOCS and Parole. Beta-testing of the New York DPCA COMPAS risk/needs instrument commenced this month in the four counties. The plan is to offer the use of the COMPAS instrument to all counties before the end of the year. For additional information please contact Walter Cogswell at (518) 485-5168 or walter.cogswell@dpca.state.ny.us.

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4. Probationer in Nassau County linked to Armed Robbery case as a result of DNA expansion legislation – In August, DPCA sent Letters of Agreement for DNA Sample collection from probationers, and a sample DNA Policy to all counties. Counties have dramatically increased the collection of DNA samples from probationers since the passage of the new law. Since the implementation of the new law in June of this year, the first “hit” from the expanded population of probationers providing a DNA sample was linked to an armed robbery in Nassau County. The Nassau County Probation Department collected the DNA sample.

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5. Automon Caseload Explorer expands to 16 new counties - Fourteen probation departments have been trained and implemented Caseload Explorer/ProberWeb during the summer 2006. The counties include Allegany, Cattaraugus, Columbia, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, Orleans, Oswego, Saratoga, Schuyler, Steuben and Warren. Livingston and Washington will be implementing Caseload Explorer during the next several months. Additionally, Automon President, Tom Jones, will be presenting to Probation Directors at the Annual Statewide Symposium to be held October 25-27th.

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6. Visit the Probation Services Suite for the most recent stats - New I-PRS Management Reports have been sent to all Probation Directors and are posted on the Probation Services Suite under STATISTICS. The reports include felony and misdemeanor caseloads and the new monthly “threshold” report. Closable MED cases in several departments have increased pushing the statewide total to nearly 10% that must be closed to ensure the accuracy of the statewide I-PRS. This also affects the ability of county probation departments to produce accurate management reports including the DNA samples owed and SOR reports.

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7. NYC Probation Supervisor’s diligence deters further crime - An investigation into a former NYC probationer began last August when he walked into a gun shop in Richmond, Virginia and asked to buy a .40-caliber Glock. He completed the required application and reported that he did not have any previous felony convictions. During the application's waiting period, Virginia police contacted the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which spotted this individual’s previous conviction and notified federal prosecutors. Alan Smolen, a NYC probation supervisor searched through old files to prove the former probationer was in fact a convicted felon - making him ineligible to purchase a firearm. Smolen later flew to Richmond to testify. The individual was subsequently convicted of lying on a gun application and faces up to 10 years in prison when sentenced in November. "We're trying to be more aggressive, especially when it comes to weapons violations," said Commissioner Martin Horn.

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8. Program transitions women into the workforce and provides creative lifestyle changes for children and their families - Adaptive Design Association (ADA) is a program located in NYC that provides unique hands-on work experience for women who are under probation or parole supervision. ADA provides customized adaptive equipment for infants and children who have disabilities. This program receives funding under DPCA Alternatives-to-Incarceration program. Adaptive Design has recently relocated to 313 West 36th Street in NYC. For additional information contact Alex Truesdell, Executive Director at (212) 904-1200 or alex@adaptivedesign.org.

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9. Resources, Awards, Information and Upcoming Trainings:

~~ Fundamentals of Probation Practice (FPP) – A full class of newly hired probation officers from NYS are attending the current class of Fundamentals of Probation Practice (FPP) training being conducted in Albany. The FPP training runs from September 25th through September 29th (Week 1) and October 2nd through October 6th, 2006 (Week 2). The next FPP is scheduled for January 2007. Announcement and registration information will be distributed in late October.

~~ Notice of three public hearings being conducted by the Task Force on the Future of Probation was recently sent to all Probation Directors and Directors of the Alternatives to Incarceration Programs. These hearings provide a valuable opportunity to address the issues that face probation professionals throughout the state. The Chair of the Task Force, the former State Senator John Dunne, has been invited to address Probation Directors on Friday, October 27th, at the upcoming Statewide Symposium.

~~ The Capital District Center for Sex Offender Management (CDCSOM) is providing training on the use of the Static 99, a specialized risk assessment instrument for use with the Sex Offender population. The training will be held in Albany on December 12, 2006 from 10 am to 12 Noon. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. For more information or to reserve a seat, contact Bill Connors of the Albany County Probation Department at William.Connors@albanycounty.com or (518) 487-5230.

~~ Legal Action Center posts “Housing Kit” on their website – The Legal Action Center through funding from the DPCA has developed an advocate's "Housing Kit" for those having had involvement with the criminal justice system. It is available on the Legal Action Center's website at http://www.lac.org/

~~ The John Jay College of Criminal Justice in NYC has announced a number of upcoming programs and events:

"Into the Belly of the Beast: An Embedded Criminologist Reflects on California's Prison Reform" with speaker Joan Petersilia a Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California - Wednesday, October 18 from 8:30-10:00am

"Coming Home: Prisoners' Re-Entry into Communities" - This half-day forum is part of a series, Pathways to Economic Independence, designed to broaden and deepen conversations about reducing poverty in New York City. The event is being sponsored by the Open Society Institute and builds on the work of Mayor Bloomberg's Commission for Economic Opportunity - Wednesday, October 25 from 2-6:00pm

These events will take place at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (899 Tenth Avenue, between 58th and 59th Streets). Please RSVP to Debbie Mukamal at (212) 484-1327 or dmukamal@jjay.cuny.edu). Please note that you will need to present an ID when you enter the college.

~~ The Westchester County Probation Department recently relocated to a new address. However, their phone and fax numbers remain the same:

Richard J. Daronco Courthouse

111 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 6th floor

White Plains, NY 10601

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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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