Wishing you and your families a safe and happy holiday season!

eFocus, Issue Number 51, December 18, 2006

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.

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

IN THIS ISSUE. . .

  1. Probation Training Available in Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY
  2. DPCA State Director Addresses Employment at Nat’l HIRE Network’s Policy Conference
  3. DPCA Announces Funding to Automate Six Large Probation Departments
  4. Effective Practices in Sex Offender Management is a Statewide Priority
  5. DPCA issues Annual Report for Probation Eligible Diversion (PED) Program
  6. New York COMPAS Implementation Plan
  7. DPCA hosts “Evidence-Based and Promising Practices Workshop” for TANF Programs
  8. Resources, Information and Upcoming Trainings

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Happy Holidays - With your help, 2006 has been a remarkable year of progress and accomplishment. Together, we have reduced recidivism, enhanced probation automation in support of public safety, strengthened sex offender management, increased DNA database collections, promoted employment as a risk reduction tool, proposed and implemented legislation to enhance the effectiveness of our programs, requested and received increased funding for specialized programs, updated DPCA Rules and Standards, achieved measurable results in reporting outcomes and meeting goals, and implemented evidence-based, research driven curriculum in all our training programs. Your work in the field of probation and community corrections reduces recidivism, improves public safety, reduces and prevents victimization and improves the lives of all New Yorkers. Thank you for your important work and professionalism. Have a safe and happy holiday and wonderful New Year!

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1. Probation Training is now available through the Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY – DPCA, with the support of DCJS, is very pleased to announce that it has now made the four training CD’s (prerequisite training for the Fundamentals of Probation Practice) available electronically through the Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY. Having these training CD’s available electronically affords the opportunity to every probation officer to train at their desktop immediately upon being hired. The training CD’s are also valuable training tools for experienced probation officers and supervisors. The following DPCA Training CD’s can be accessed via the Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY under the TRAINING tab heading:

  • "Domestic Violence Course and the Role of Probation"
  • "Probation Supervision of the Repeat DWI Offender"
  • "Signs of Mental Illness"
  • “Introduction to Community Corrections”
  • “Drinking, Driving and the Concern for Public Safety” – (recommended for probationers)

Instructions for downloading, copying and saving each CD, depending on your need or network capability have also been posted on the Suite. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Yvonne Behan in the DPCA Training Unit at (518) 485-5157 or yvonne.behan@dpca.state.ny.us.

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2. DPCA State Director Addresses Employment at National HIRE Network Policy Conference - State Director Robert M. Maccarone spoke as part of a panel discussion entitled Corrections and Supervision: Facilitating Employment at the National HIRE Network’s Second Annual NYS Reentry and Employment Policy Conference held in NYC on December 6th. Another panel entitled Criminal Justice Policy: A Current Snapshot and Recommendations included Chauncey Parker, Director of Criminal Justice and Commissioner of DCJS, and Anita Marton, Vice President of the Legal Action Center. State Director Maccarone spoke of DPCA’s commitment to improving practices that promote employment in the probation populations and that employment was an organizational value that was measured. DPCA has worked with the NYS Department of Labor (DOL) and four probation departments (Albany, Dutchess, Monroe and Schenectady) in establishing model resource centers for employment. Probation Officers are certified in the NIC Offender Workforce Development Specialists (OWDS) Program. The New York City and Suffolk County Probation Departments will become model resource centers in January of 2007. Since inception, DPCA in collaboration with DOL, has trained 635 probation staff in 25 counties.

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3. DPCA Announces Funding to Automate Six Large Probation Departments – On December 1st, Probation Directors and Information Technology (IT) representatives from Erie, Onondaga, Monroe, Suffolk, Nassau and Westchester Counties met at DPCA to learn of the availability of $500,000 in federal grant funding to support their efforts in implementing the Caseload Explorer Probation Case Management System. The funding is made available through grants provided by DCJS. Probation Directors and IT Staff also viewed a webex presentation by Automon, Inc. of its Caseload Explorer System. DPCA is committed to ensuring that probation officers have the tools and technology they need.

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4. Effective Practices in Sex Offender Management is a Statewide Priority - DPCA and several probation departments are represented on the Statewide Sex Offender Management Steering Committee that is engaged in developing statewide policy that cuts across the entire justice system. Probation departments are currently receiving funding for the management of Level 3 sex offenders and departments verify the residences of sex offenders on a quarterly basis. Earlier this year, DPCA conducted a detailed survey of management practices utilized by probation departments. The initial results of this important survey were presented to Probation Directors at the Annual Symposium held last October and a written report will be released early next year. DPCA is also applying to the Bureau of Justice Assistance for a training grant entitled “Comprehensive Approaches to Sex Offender Management” to develop training for up to 500 probation officers at 10 sites across the state. For more information contact Jami Krueger, CCR II at (518) 457-5275 or jami.krueger@dpca.state.ny.us. or Gary Govel, CCR II at (518) 457-4336 or gary.govel@dpca.state.

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5. DPCA issues Annual Report for Probation Eligible Diversion (PED) Program - DPCA issued the 2005 Operations Annual Report of the Probation Eligible Diversion (PED) Programs. Commencing in 1994 as Operation 360, the goal of the Probation Eligible Diversion Program (PED) was to divert 360 probation eligible non-violent felons from state prison at a time when prison populations in New York and nationwide were growing at a brisk pace. In an effort to support the work of county probation departments in the area of reducing recidivism and enhancing treatment, DPCA established program guidelines that enabled departments to engage offenders in four different venues: drug treatment courts, interim supervision cases, sentenced cases, and probation violators. Diversionary targets are based on local factors, probation population characteristics, services and other programs available locally, and the presence of a Drug or Treatment Court. Through the creativity and hard work of local Probation Directors and PED Probation Officers, the program has continued to be successful in diverting offenders from state prison and providing intervention services. In 2005, the programs surpassed the target of 360 diversions by 38 percent; 50 offenders were sentenced to the Department of Correctional Services. The complete Report is available under Reports on the Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY.

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6. New York COMPAS Implementation Plan – The Statewide COMPAS Workgroup is finalizing its work to prepare for the statewide implementation of the New York COMPAS Risk and Need Assessment Instrument. The four beta-test counties (Nassau, Ulster, Montgomery and Delaware) reported that the new COMPAS received good reviews from probation officers. The instrument was reported to be intuitive and the web-based software worked well. DPCA has now shared with Probation Directors a detailed implementation plan to train counties in the use of the COMPAS Instrument through the spring of 2007.

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7. DPCA hosts “Evidence-Based and Promising Practices Workshop” for TANF Programs – DPCA conducted a workshop on evidence-based and promising practices on December 1st, 2006 for 40 program staff from the TANF for Community Corrections programs existing across NYS. Presentations were provided by TANF Programs that are successfully implementing cognitive behavioral programs and training. Participants received detailed presentations by various panels on Cognitive-Behavioral Approaches, Parenting, and Employment. Sophia Strong of the NYC Fortune Society provided a moving description and example of the cognitive behavioral training program used at Fortune entitled Thresholds, Guide to Decision Making and Problem Solving. This six step model emphasizes the need for inmates and offenders to acquire better decision-making skills to improve their reaction to situations and positively take control of their lives. Breaking Barriers, a powerful cognitive behavioral training approach was presented by William Waters and Jose Vazquez of the Osborne Association. There was also a presentation provided by the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance on child support, and the NYS Department of Labor and Albany County Probation department presented with DPCA on employment and the Pathways to Employment program.

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8. Resources, Awards, Information and Upcoming Trainings

~~ The next meeting of the Crime Victims and Probation Workgroup will be held at DPCA on December 19th at 10:30am. For more information on the Victims Workgroup contact Gary Govel, DPCA Community Corrections Representative II at gary.govel@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 457-4336.

~~ CASES, recognized for recent success, is awarded grant to provide additional needed housing - The NYC Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES) has been awarded a grant by the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) to establish six supportive housing units. The units are part of an overall plan by the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) to award contracts to providers for the first of 400 units of supportive housing planned. Of the 400 units, 185 are designated for chronically homeless people and 215 are for people discharged from state psychiatric centers. CASES is one of 24 providers in the five boroughs to receive awards which will provide funding for rental subsidies and supportive services under OMH's scattered-site "Supported Housing" model.

~~ Ulster County Probation Department initiates “Father Involvement-Building Our Children’s Character Program” - As part of a new consolidation in Ulster County Criminal Justice programming, the Ulster County Probation Department will be initiating a new program for fathers involved in the criminal justice system entitled “Father Involvement-Building Our Children’s Character.” This program, developed and implemented in Canada, is being introduced in Ulster County as the first site in the United States. Participants, who are all fathers, and represent various age groups (including fathers who are JD/YO’s) come from the ATI residential program; others are offenders from the community and some former offenders. A “kick-off” presentation was held on December 14, 2006 at the Community Corrections Program site on Golden Hill (behind the old jail).

~~ Sex Offender Management training to be held in Albany – Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM) consultant David D’Amora will be in Albany in December to present a one-day training program entitled “An Overview of the Best Practices in Sex Offender Management.” This one day training will be repeated on two consecutive days. The sessions will be held from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on December 19th and 20th 2006 at the NYS Police Academy. There is no fee to attend this training. Space will be extremely limited for these important training sessions, and pre-registration will be required. In selecting staff to attend these sessions, please give priority to those probation officers that supervise and/or conduct pre-sentence investigations on sex offenders. Other staff who would benefit from this training may attend if space remains available. To register or obtain additional information, please contact Naomi Freeman at the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services at (518) 485-8458 or naomi.freeman@dcjs.ny.gov.

~~ Restitution and Reparation Legal Questions and Answers – DPCA Counsel’s Office recently provided Probation Departments with a Frequently Asked Questions document on the subject of restitution and reparation. The document is located on the Probation Services Suite under the Legal Advisories tab and includes answers to such questions as “What is the difference between “restitution” and “reparation,” how are they measured, and what procedures may courts use for their collection?” and “What is the difference between designated surcharge and mandatory surcharge?” and “Is the mandatory surcharge or crime victim assistance fee waivable?” to name a few. For a complete list of the questions and answers please visit the Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY.

~~ NYS Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) restitution collection - DOCS has procedures in place to encumber inmate accounts for court ordered fees and restitution. Up to two encumbrances are collected at any given time. Once an encumbrance is paid in full, collection begins on the next encumbrance. Historically, mandatory surcharge and the crime victim’s assistance fee are the first two encumbrances. Restitution is often the third encumbrance. Once the mandatory surcharge or crime victim’s assistance fee has been collected and paid, DOCS begins to collect towards restitution. During calendar year 2005, $299,374.96 in restitution was forwarded to either county probation departments or in the case of New York City, its contractor--Safe Horizon for those moneys to be disbursed to the victim(s). In the first three quarters of 2006, $152,606.73 has been collected and forwarded. For more information about the NYS Department of Correctional Services restitution policies or to receive a copy of the monthly restitution report for your county, contact Janet Koupash, Director, Office of Victim Services at 518-402-6600 or jgkoupash@docs.state.ny.us.

~~ Training for DPCA Fundamentals “Anchors” announced - Throughout the year, departments who run their own Fundamentals of Probation Practice programs (NYC, Monroe, Suffolk, Nassau and Westchester counties) have indicated the need to train additional training “Anchors” due to personnel transactions and other transitions. DPCA has invited these departments to send up to 3 new “Anchors” for the required FPP Anchor Training. Each Anchor attends a full 2-week Fundamentals of Probation Practice Program, participates in a 3-day Train-the-Trainer and delivers an observed FPP module (locally or in Albany). The Train-the-Trainer (training in the delivery of FPP modules) will be held at DPCA from April 10th through 12th, 2007.

~~ In November, DPCA provided to Probation Directors, ATI Project Directors and ATI Board Chairs the latest County Jail Population Monthly Report. This report, received from the New York State Commission of Correction (SCOC), is a snap-shot of the jail population in each county, separating detainees from sentenced individuals. The report is intended to be used as a tool to assist your county Alternative to Incarceration Board in planning. For a copy of the report, please see the Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY under Statistics.

~~ Change on "DNA on File banner" on eJusticeNY and NYSPIN rap sheets - There is a change in the “DNA on File” banner located on eJusticeNY and NYSPIN rap sheets. Previously the Banner read: “A DNA sample is on file with the NYS DNA Databank." With the change, the Banner will now read: "A DNA sample has been collected from this individual to be included in the DNA Databank. To verify that this DNA sample has been actually analyzed and added to the DNA Databank, call the DCJS Office of Forensic Services at 518-457-1901 during business hours." If you have any questions, please contact Michael Nardillo of DCJS at (518) 457-1901 or mike.nardolillo@dcjs.ny.gov.

~~ SAVE THE DATE! The Second Suffolk County Restorative Justice Conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency, Wind Watch, 1717 Motor Parkway in Hauppauge, NY on Tuesday, January 9, 2007. Guest presenters include Dennis M. Maloney, President, Community Justice Associates and Ronald Earle, District Attorney, Travis County, Texas. For more information please email Barbara Keller at bkeller@preventionli.org.

~~ Nassau County Probation Director John Carway is retiring after 43 years of service. A retirement party is planned for John on Thursday, January 11, 2007 in Carle Place, NY. Please contact Cheryl Garber, Nassau County Probation Department Staff Development Officer at (516) 571-5232 for information. Congratulations John!

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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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