Welcome to the 6th issue of DPCA's eFocus, an electronic newsletter from the NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives.  As part of DPCA's goal to promote and facilitate probation services and other community corrections programs, DPCA will e-publish this brief publication summarizing and highlighting appropriate information to the community corrections community.  

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eFocus, Issue Number 6, February 7, 2003
NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
Sara Tullar Fasoldt, State Director
Robert Maccarone, Executive Deputy Director
http://dpca.state.ny.us

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1.   In New York State, an estimated 25,000 children are reported missing to law enforcement agencies each year. DPCA urges all community corrections professionals to assist law enforcement officials by visiting and becoming familiar with the State Division of Criminal Justice Services' Missing and Exploited Children Clearinghouse (MECC) website located at http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov. The website hosts missing child photographs and other biographical information.  As law enforcement professionals, we can assist the MECC in preventing abductions and reducing harm to children. Another tool used in the search for children is the AMBER Plan.  AMBER is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies and broadcasters to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child abduction cases. Law enforcement and broadcasters use the Emergency Alert System (EAS), formerly the Emergency Broadcast System, to air a description of the missing child and suspected abductor.    More information on AMBER and other child safety programs, advisories, free posters, flyers, and brochures can be found on the website. Please bookmark the MECC Website and visit it regularly.

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2.  Newly-established Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) work group to convene  on February 10th.  DPCA is convening a work group to review the Pre-sentence Investigation function and the contents of the PSI report, specifically for criminal and superior courts.  Members of the work group include representatives from Probation, DCJS, DOCS, Parole, and the NYC Criminal Justice Coordinator's Office.  This is the first of four meetings scheduled to take place before May 5, 2003.  For additional information contact DPCA Community Corrections Representative Pamela Derrick at derrick@dpca.state.ny.us

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3.  DPCA Paperwork Reduction and Automation Project.  DPCA is moving toward converting applications and quarterly reports forms from a hard copy format that could only be surface mailed to MS WORD.  The conversion means that you will receive applications via email in a format that can be completed and returned electronically.  Some of these documents may have self-calculating functionality.  Feedback is greatly appreciated. 

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4.  New York State probation and parole authorities have reached agreement with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania regarding the Interstate Transfer of "Youthful Offender" probation and parole cases, effective December 1, 2002. A State Director's memorandum has recently been sent to all local probation directors and Adult Interstate Compact designees on this subject, outlining the procedures to be followed to ensure transfer cases are updated and resubmitted through our respective states' Interstate Compact offices. This memorandum further discusses the importance of and procedures to fingerprint all incoming and outgoing Interstate Compact cases.

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5. DPCA secures funding from the State's Juvenile Justice Advisory Group (JJAG). This funding will be used to develop an automated record management information system to address the needs of  large counties, particularly as they relate to the Family Courts for the juvenile justice population.  A Request For Information (RFI) is being sent out to identify the products that may be currently available for customization to New York's standards and needs.  Barbara Gordon, our DCJS point person, will be convening a workgroup to advise in developing a Request For Proposals to move this initiative into reality.

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6.  Several Probation Rules are being reviewed by DPCA in 2003.  As required by Section 207 of the State Administrative Procedure Act, the following probation rules are being reviewed: Probation State Aid, Investigations and Reports, Supervision of Probationers, Violations of Probation, and Waivers. Public comment on the continuation or modification of these rules is invited and should be submitted no later than May 1, 2003 to DPCA Counsel Linda Valenti at lvalenti@dpca.state.ny.us

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7.  DPCA is distributing an annual report on the Division's TANF for Community Corrections Project.  The report highlights some of the accomplishments of the twenty-one programs utilizing federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant funds.  The funds have allowed selected probation departments and not-for-profit organizations to focus on employment and families.  129 foster care placements, at an annual cost of $27,000 per year, were avoided or reversed by these programs in the twelve months ending June 30, 2002. This represents a savings of $3,483,000. Please contact Yvonne Behan at ybehan@dpca.state.ny.us if you haven't received a copy of the report by February 18th and would like one. 

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8.  Several counties have appointed new or acting probation directors/commissioners: Jane Goldner in Cortland, Judy Hayle in Franklin, Ronald Stanish in Niagara, Mary Winter in Onondaga, Barbara Schuler in Oswego, James Palmer in Otsego, Jacqueline Stormes in Rockland and Donna Joy Bennett in  Tioga.  DPCA congratulates these leaders on their recent appointments.

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9. The NYS Council of Probation Administrators (COPA) recently presented Westchester County Commissioner of Probation and Commission of Corrections Rocco A. Pozzi with the John Augustus Award.  COPA recognized Commissioner Pozzi for his outstanding efforts in promoting the profession of probation in a national forum while spotlighting many significant achievements of probation in the State of New York.  Commissioner Pozzi has been with the department since July 10, 1989.  We join COPA in recognizing Commissioner Pozzi's contributions and achievements.  Congratulations!

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10. Good News!  DPCA is happy to announce that in these tough budget times, we are still able to reward loyalty, hard work and professional excellence.   Walter Cogswell is now Community Correction Representative 3 in charge of Adult Probation Services.  Patricia Eglintine has been appointed as Secretary 2 in Counsel's Office.

11.  Welcome to the "Community Corrections Club." DPCA would like to publish the names of new hires, and promotions in your department or organization since January 1, 2003. Please send the names and titles directly to Yvonne Behan at ybehan@dpca.state.ny.us

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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 Yvonne Behan at (518) 457-5275 or at ybehan@dpca.state.ny.us.

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Yvonne J. Behan
Community Corrections Representative
NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
80 Wolf Road
Albany, New York  12205
(518) 457-5275

ybehan@dpca.state.ny.us