Welcome to eFocus, an electronic newsletter produced by the NYS Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (DPCA). DPCA publishes this newsletter to further its goal of promoting public safety through probation services and other community corrections programs. We welcome your suggestions.

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eFocus, Issue Number 63, January 23, 2008
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. DPCA Launches Major Employment Initiative for Probationers
2. County Specific YASI Director Data Workshops Held
3. YASI Supervisor Trainings scheduled for February 28-29
4. New 2008 ICAOS Rules Highlighted in New York City Training
5. DPCA funds two Regional Probation Violation Residential Centers (PVRC’s)
6. Awards, Events and News
7. Quick Facts

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1. DPCA Launches Major Employment Initiative for Probationers – DPCA, in conjunction with the New York State Department of Labor (DOL), and the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) will provide certified Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS) training to probation officers and local partners through an OWDS Partnership Training Program grant provided by NIC. DPCA has committed to graduate at least 25 probation officers and employment partners to be certified as OWDS. This initiative will also be a key element in expanding DPCA’s Ready, Set, Work! Program, utilizing the 20-hour group curriculum based on the NIC OWDS training competencies. We encourage counties to take advantage of this opportunity to assist individuals with criminal histories obtain and retain employment, reduce recidivism and make our communities safer. Applications have been forwarded by e-mail to Probation Directors and Commissioners. The deadline for application submissions is January 31, 2008. For more information contact Cynthia Blair at 518-485-5162 or Cynthia.Blair@dpca.state.ny.us.

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2. County Specific YASI Director Data Workshops Held – DPCA held three one-day YASI data workshops in January 2008. Probation Directors and team members comprised of representatives from County Social Service Departments and Youth Bureaus as well as local school districts were able to review and discuss their county’s YASI data provided by Orbis Partners. Workshops were held in Newburgh, Albany and Canandaigua. County teams were provided customized profiles highlighting significant features of their juvenile probation populations. For additional information please contact Patti Donohue at Patricia.Donohue@dpca.state.ny.us.

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3. DPCA to Deliver YASI Supervisor Trainings – DPCA is pleased to offer YASI Supervisor training sessions on Thursday February 28, 2008 in Canandaigua and again on Friday, February 29, 2008 in Albany. These one-day sessions are an opportunity for supervisors from newer YASI counties to receive support and guidance from Orbis Partners and DPCA. The YASI Supervisor Training includes instruction on the following: Understanding What Works; Organizational Change; Supervision Models; Change Management; Staff Resources; and YASI Quality Assurance. Trainings will be from 9am to 4pm with a break for lunch. Space is limited to 25 participants per session. To register, please contact Patti Donohue at Patricia.Donohue@dpca.state.ny.us.

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4. New 2008 ICAOS Rules Highlighted in New York City Training – DPCA continued its regional training on the Adult Interstate Compact with a training in New York City on January 8, 2008. DPCA's Counsel Linda Valenti and Interstate Coordinator Sandy Layton delivered training on the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS) rules at the New York City Department of Probation which included NYC Counsel, Assistant Commissioners, Branch Chiefs, Executive Assistants and various SPO’s and PO’s as well as designees from Westchester County and Nassau County. Please contact Yvonne Behan at Yvonne.Behan@dpca.state.ny if you would like to host a regional training.

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5. DPCA funds two Regional Probation Violation Residential Centers (PVRCs) – DPCA has selected two programs to pilot Probation Violation Residential Centers (PVRCs) in New York State. Albany TASC of the Capital District and Project MORE, located in Dutchess County, have been selected through a Request for Proposals (RFP) to receive annual awards of up to $200,000 annually for a five-year period. Both centers are designed to assist probation departments in their respective regions work intensively with probationers at risk of violation and incarceration in state prison. The PVRCs will serve as a very structured graduated sanction and provide intensive services to stabilize probationers. Please contact Yvonne J. Behan at (518) 485-5160 or Yvonne.Behan@dpca.state.ny.us for additional information.

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6. Awards, Events and News

~ Chemung County Probation Department launched a new initiative to create a specialized response aimed at preventing the re-incarceration of probationers with psychiatric disabilities in Chemung County. Officials believe the program could save taxpayers money while more effectively dealing with a significant number of the people with mental health and/or substance abuse issues.

Project CONNECT promotes a partnership between OMH, DPCA, local mental health agencies and county probation departments with training support from the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitative Services (NYAPRS). “The program is a step in the right direction,” said provisional Probation Director Tom Bruner.

Bruner worked closely with the county Department of Mental Hygiene, the sheriff's office and Family Services of Chemung County to develop the program. Bruner created a specialized caseload to focus solely on clients who come into the system and are flagged with potential mental health and/or substance abuse issues. "I'd love to see a statewide cooperative effort to put this on the front burner, and really put the resources into the community to work with this category of individual," Bruner said. Chemung County was one of 16 counties that participated in Project CONNECT Trainings provided by OMH in collaboration with DPCA.

~ New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) Office of Sex Offender Management will host Georgia Cumming, a noted expert and author in the field of sex offender management. Ms. Cumming, a former probation and parole officer, will be presenting a training on Managing High Risk Sex Offenders in the Community on February 28, 2008, from 8am to 5pm at the Clarion Hotel in Albany. Please confirm your attendance by February 21st by contacting Barbara.Flanigan@dpca.state.ny.us.

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7. Quick Facts: During 2007, the number of counties with interlock installation centers increased from 37 to 55; interlock vendors increased from 31 to 84. The number of probation departments enrolled in the License Event Notification System (LENS) increased from 21 to 47 during 2007.

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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 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.