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 57, June 18, 2007
NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
Robert M. Maccarone, State Director
Thomas H. Slater, Executive Deputy Director
William M. Schaefer, Jr., Editor
http://dpca.state.ny.us

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In this Issue:

  1. Juvenile-Risk Intervention Services Coordination Initiative RFP Released
  2. $2.3 Million for Enhanced Probation Supervision of Sex Offenders in New York State
  3. Focus Groups to shape development of Model Policy for Sex Offender Management
  4. New York COMPAS Usage on the Rise
  5. Funding for YASI Training Continued
  6. DPCA Forms and Reports Workgroup Enhancing Caseload Explorer
  7. Global Positioning Systems Enhance Probation Services in New York State
  8. “Employment Matters” in Ulster County
  9. NYS DMV License Event Notification System (LENS) Update
  10. Awards and Events

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1. Juvenile-Risk Intervention Services Coordination (J-RISC) Initiative RFP Released - The NYS Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (DPCA) continues to support evidence-based programs and juvenile intensive supervision programs by making new funding available through the J-RISC Initiative. The goal of J-RISC is to measurably reduce the risk of recidivism among high-risk youth. The eligible population is expanded to include PINS and JD youth and families, youth under probation supervision, as well as part of diversion services. All probation departments are encouraged to apply. All submissions must be received by DPCA no later than Tuesday, July 24, 2007. For additional information, please contact Norma Tyler at (518) 485-5153 or Norma.Tyler@dpca.state.ny.us.

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2. $2.3 Million for Enhanced Probation Supervision of Sex Offenders in New York State – DPCA received an appropriation increase of $1 million over last year’s funding for counties and New York City probation departments. This funding will provide for the enhanced supervision and case management of every probationer classified as a Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) Risk Level 2 and 3 Sex Offender. It will provide funding support for enhanced supervision, treatment, DNA collection, SORA Compliance, Specialized Units/Caseloads, the use of Specialized Risk and Need Assessment instruments and administration of the polygraph. Sex offenders will be managed in the community consistent with the Containment Approach. For additional information regarding this program, please contact Gary Govel at (518) 457-4336 or Gary.Govel@dpca.state.ny.us.

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3. Focus Groups to shape Model Policy for Sex Offender Management in New York State – DPCA is inviting groups of up to 25 probation officers who investigate and/or supervise sex offenders to help create a comprehensive model of sex offender supervision practices by discussing their own experience and practice. This information is an essential part of the DPCA’s plan to create model policy and develop sex offender management training. The following dates have been confirmed: Albany, Tuesday, June 26th; White Plains, Thursday, June 28th; and Rochester, Thursday, July 12th. Interested parties should email Jami Krueger, Community Correction Representative II at Jami.Krueger@dpca.state.ny.us or call 518-457-5275. Please include your name, title, and the length of time you have investigated and/or supervised sex offenders.

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4. New York COMPAS Use on the Rise – Every county probation department in New York State (except New York City) now has access to a web-based COMPAS production site. Nearly 500 probation officers are using the New York COMPAS and they have completed over 6,000 assessments. The development of the COMPAS produced pre-formatted presentence investigation and report is nearing completion. The use of standardized assessment tools like COMPAS are the foundation of an evidence-based approach. For additional information, please contact Walter Cogswell at (518) 485-5168 or Walter.Cogswell@dpca.state.ny.us.

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5. Funding for YASI Training Continued – The NYS Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (DPCA) is pleased to announce the continuation of DCJS funding for YASI training in 2007. Each of the four regional sessions in Albany (2), Orange, and Ontario counties includes 2 days of YASI Initial Training (learning about Motivational Interviewing and conducting the Pre Screen and Full Assessment) and a second 2 days of YASI Follow Up Training (learning about case planning, PDI, and reassessments). Trainings will run from June-December 2007 and this year will include a Training for Trainers component. Trainings are provided by the YASI project consultant, Orbis Partners, Inc. Please direct questions or registrations to Patricia.Donohue@DPCA.state.ny.us.

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6. DPCA Forms and Reports Workgroup Enhancing Caseload Explorer — The DPCA Forms and Reports Workgroup is working closely with DCJS Project Manager Warren Crow and the staff of Automon, Inc, to implement new enhancements and functionality to Caseload Explorer. Completed are the Declaration of Delinquency, Notice to Appear, the Warrant for the Justice and Superior Courts, Uniform Court Report, as well as the Periodic Supervision Report. The enhancements have been field-tested and are currently being loaded onto county servers. The workgroup is currently working on the Initial Supervision Plan and will address the Violation Forms for the Family Court and the Intrastate Transfer Forms in the near future. This important and continuing work will ensure that Caseload Explorer meets the needs of probation officers in New York State.

Training sessions for Caseload Explorer continue and are scheduled as follows: June 20th – Tasks and Events; and July 18th – Word documents and mail merge. Please contact Walter Cogswell at Walter.Cogswell@dpca.state.ny.us with questions.

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7. Global Positioning Systems Enhance Probation Services in New York State – DPCA hosted a forum on probation’s use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) on May 15th of this year. Representatives from 19 probation departments attended the meeting and participated in a discussion on the use of GPS as a supervision tool. Of the Probation Departments represented, six have operational GPS programs (Albany, Herkimer, Nassau, Rensselaer, Schenectady and Suffolk). In addition to offering overviews of their respective GPS programs, representatives from these departments fielded questions regarding their experiences from others in attendance. A summary of that meeting will be forthcoming.

Probation Departments are encouraged to download the recently released “Global Positioning System (GPS) for Community Supervision: Lessons Learned”. This report, completed by Noblis with the support of the National Institute of Justice, provides excellent background on GPS technology, collects and analyzes the experiences of some “mature” community corrections GPS programs, and considers the future of GPS and other location based technologies. The report can be downloaded at: http://www.noblis.org/ccjttechnicalreports.htm.

Additionally, in June, the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) will be launching a website dedicated to electronic supervision. The National Electronic Supervision Technology Resource Center will be a source for important information in this area including technologies, legislation, procurement, legal issues and other important topics. The site will also include a web based forum where practitioners can ask questions and exchange information with their colleagues around the country. The site, which will be limited to registered users, can be found at https://emresourcecenter.nlectc.du.edu. By the end of 2007, the National Electronic Supervision Technology Resource Center also plans to add a technical assistance component to this project.

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8. “Employment Matters” in Ulster County – Ulster County is the latest county to host an Employment Matters training. The training was held at the Ulster County One Stop on May 22, and Director Robert Sudlow was on-hand to welcome the group. The training was attended by 32 probation staff and service providers. To date, representatives from 45 counties and all 5 NYC boroughs have attended this program. If you are interested in learning more or hosting Employment Matters training in your county please contact Cynthia Blair at (518)-485-5162 or Cynthia.Blair@dpca.state.ny.us

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9. NYS DMV License Event Notification System (LENS) Update – Several probation departments enrolled in LENS have yet to enroll probationers because of perceived difficulty in entering probationers information. Probation Officers Mike Boyce from Saratoga County and Alan Rohloff from Schenectady County would like to assure every department that LENS is easier to use than ever. Simply go to the website at www.nysdmv.com/lens and click on the link in the lower right hand corner. This will take you to the login page (requiring customer’s driver license number and password).

The next screen will ask the customer to agree or disagree with the information on the page. The next screen will be the “LENS Main Menu.” Under this are many options with “Add Driver Information.” Choose this one and add probationer ID number and hit search. On next screen, hit “Add Driver.” Moments later you will see confirmation that your driver has been added to LENS. You as the customer have just added a client to your LENS Base. If you have any of your caseloads on LENS and they go off probation, PLEASE make sure you remove them from the LENS program. For any further questions, contact: Ron.Bergstrom@dpca.state.ny.us

DPCA is currently working with DCJS to amend the I-PRS screen to include probationer NYS Driver’s License Identification Numbers. When implemented, this will enable NYS DMV to automatically load probationer information in LENS for county probation departments.

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10. Awards and Events

~ Congratulations to Anne Martin on her new appointment to Director of Erie County Probation! – Anne was appointed Director of the Erie County Probation Department on May 16, 2007. Anne began her probation career as a Probation Officer in Suffolk County shortly after graduating from college. She rose through the ranks serving as Senior Probation Officer, Probation Supervisor, Residential Care Coordinator and Deputy Director. Anne joined the Erie County Probation Department as Deputy Director over two years ago. Prior to her recent appointment, Anne was serving as Acting Director. Her email address is martina@erie.gov.

~ Congratulations to Joe Mancini on his recent award! – Joe Mancini, Deputy Director of Schenectady County Center for Juvenile Justice, received the 2007 Distinguished Community Service Award from the Psychological Association of Northeastern New York on Friday, May 18, 2007.

~ Westchester County Probation Officers Assist in Arrest of Armed Robbery Suspect – Probation Officers Helen Hodapp and Oneida Garcia were recently lauded by County Executive Andrew Spano and White Plains Deputy Public Safety Commissioner, Daniel Jackson for their significant contributions that led to the arrest of a man suspected of Robbery 1st, Unlawful Imprisonment and two counts of Possession of Stolen Property. While conducting surveillance on an unrelated case, the officers observed a man put on a mask, pull out a gun and enter a local storage facility. The officers immediate called for backup and maintained constant communication with police and the probation department while tracking the suspect after he left the building. The probation officers took steps to protect the local citizens in the immediate area and positively identified the suspect for police arriving on the scene. Upon arrest, a large quantity of cash, a bank deposit bag and a semi-automatic handgun were recovered at the scene. Congratulations to Officers Hodapp and Garcia for their heroic actions. Click here to read the 6/5/07 Journal News article:

~ Supervisor’s Orientation to Evidence-Based Fundamentals of Probation Practice – This two-day workshop is scheduled from 9:00 to 4:30 on July 24 – 25, 2007 at 80 Wolf Road, Albany, NY and is open to Probation Supervisors, Staff Development Officers and Senior Probation Officers. 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 Fundamentals training. This exciting program is almost fully subscribed. For additional information, please contact Bill Schaefer at (518) 457-7905 or Bill.Schaefer@dpca.state.ny.us.

~ Prison Reentry Institute at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice – The next in a series of lectures hosted by the Prison Reentry Institute at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice will be held September 7th and will feature John Roman, Senior Research Associate at the Urban Institute. Mr. Roman will present new findings from a study evaluating the Maryland Reentry Partnership Initiative on crime in Baltimore between 2001 and 2005. Among other things, the study tested whether the program was cost-beneficial. The lecture will take place at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 899 Tenth Avenue (between 58th and 59th Streets), Room 630. RSVP to Nicole Lindahl at nlindahl@jjay.cuny.edu or (646) 557-4534. The Prison Reentry Institute has held a number of lectures as part of an overall series. These lectures generated conversation between researchers, policymakers and practitioners in an effort to improve policy and practices. All lectures are available for loan by contacting Nicole Lindahl at nlindahl@jjay.cuny.edu or (646) 557-4534

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eFocus is the property of the NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives. 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 Bill Schaefer at 518-457-7905 or at Bill.Schaefer@dpca.state.ny.us.

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The eFocus is now distributed to thousands of 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 Bill Schaefer the name you would like removed from distribution.