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

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 72, December 19, 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.   Probation Automation Advances as Caseload Explorer Rolls Out
2.   DPCA Begins Deployment of Web-Based YASI Software
3.   ATI Funding Awards Announced
4.   Phase III of Project Connect Launched 
5.   State Director Addresses Problem-Solving Court Judges
6.   DPCA Issues Policy Guidance for Uniformity in Addressing Illegal Non-Resident Probationers
7.   Awards, Events and News
8.   Quick Facts

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1.   Probation Automation Advances as Caseload Explorer Rolls Out – Nearly 40 probation departments across New York State are in various stages of implementing the Probation Automated Case Management System--Caseload Explorer.  Twenty (20) probation departments have now received the two-day systems training and 18 departments have received the one-day training on the financial module.  This DPCA training is being provided by probation officer consultants/trainers who have been involved in the overall development and testing of Caseload Explorer.  They are very knowledgeable in all aspects of the systems application and probation workflow.  The systems and financial module training are provided to departments in the process of implementing the 3.11 Version of Caseload Explorer.  As a support for the trainings, over 140 “Step-by-Step” Guides have now been developed by these probation trainers to graphically show the user how best to navigate through Caseload Explorer.  The “Step-by-Step” guides are available to ALL probation officers and are located in the Probation Services Suite of e-Justice, New York.  Caseload Explorer Version 3.11 now includes all probation forms, templates and state reports.  The integration of CE 3.11 and the Statewide Integrated-Probation Registrant System (I-PRS) is being finalized and three counties are now beta-testing 24 CE management reports that will be available to CE Users in early January. For additional information, please contact Walter Cogswell at Walter.Cogswell@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 485-5168.

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2.   DPCA Begins Deployment of Web-Based YASI Software – YASI project consultant, Orbis Partners Inc, DPCA, and AutoMon will be working toward deployment of the web-based YASI software (stand alone for non-Caseload Explorer counties OR integrated with Caseload Explorer  counties) from December 2008 through May 2009.  Warren County will be the first county to ‘go live’ with the web-based YASI /CE integrated product.  Other counties will be migrated individually in 4 planned phases, with full deployment scheduled to be completed by May 31, 2009.  Counties with the most current version of Caseload Explorer will be the first transitioned. The deployment plan includes Orbis Partners completing the final preparations for data migration and functionality and communication with individual counties in advance of their migration.  This will ensure that involved county probation officers have received YASI training, are experienced with the software, and can train co-workers. This will ensure there is functionality before release to county end-users.  As part of the upgrade, all existing data in the MS Access YASI software will be migrated to, and accessible in, the web-based YASI software.   Orbis Partners will work with each county to identify a key “point person” that will ensure a trouble free upgrade to the web-based YASI software.  DPCA will be providing additional information to counties.  Please contact Patti Donohue at either 518-485-5160 or Patricia.Donohue@DPCA.state.ny.us with any questions regarding the YASI software deployment.

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3.   ATI Funding Awards Announced – DPCA received a strong response to its statewide Request for Proposals.  Forty (40) quality applications for Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) Programs for Jail/Prison Diversion and/or Reentry in New York State were received.  DPCA notified programs of the results of its review and decision in early December.  Five (5) programs—three in New York City and two upstate have been awarded funding through this initiative.  Please join in congratulating the Fortune Society’s Transition to Independence – Jail/Prison Reentry Program, the EAC TASC Bronx ATI, the EAC Brooklyn Mental Health Diversion Program, the Center for Community Alternatives in Onondaga County and the Cattaraugus County Probation Department.  For additional information please visit the DPCA website at www.dpca.state.ny.us.

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4.   Phase III of Project Connect Launched – Phase III of Project Connect was launched at a two-day forum held on November 19th and 20th in Lake George. Four new counties – Albany, Nassau, Putnam, and Sullivan – join 16 others in using Connect to improve services for individuals with serious mental illness or with co-occurring disorders. Connect is a one-year staff development program designed to provide technical assistance that promotes collaboration among systems working with persons with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse disorders on probation or in alternative to incarceration programs.  Improved outcomes result from better cross-system collaboration promoted by the use of various strategies including “sequential intercept mapping”, cross-training to probation and mental health staff and systems change utilizing the wellness and recovery component that includes the mental health consumer in the process.  The Connect Program is provided by the NYS Office of Mental Health, Division of Forensic Services with DPCA and the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS). For more information contact Bernard Wilson at Bernard.Wilson@dpca.state.ny.us.

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5.   State Director Addresses Problem-Solving Court Judges – State Director Robert Maccarone presented on “The Role of Probation in the Problem-Solving Courts” to nearly 200 Judges in attendance at the Office of Court Administration’s Second Annual Symposium on the Problem-Solving Courts, held November 19-21, 2008 in Cooperstown, New York.   Please visit the DPCA website to view the slides for this presentation http://www.dpca.state.ny.us/pdfs/problemsolvingcourts20nov08.pdf

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6.   DPCA Issues Policy Guidance for Uniformity in Addressing Illegal Non-Resident Probationers – Through recently issued State Directors Memorandum 2008-13, DPCA has offered guidance to probation departments regarding the handling of illegal non-resident probationers, particularly those who have been deported.  This important guidance promotes the uniform handling of cases by probation departments, while assisting the Courts, and our federal, state and local partners in law enforcement.  The policy guidance addresses the investigation, supervision, violation and warrant processes, as well as the notification to DCJS of deported probationers, facilitating the posting of such information on the state’s Computerized Case History (CCH) File.  Probation departments are informed of the availability of resources made available through the federal Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC) and the issuance of detainer warrants by federal authorities. Probation officers are encouraged to refer to State Directors Memorandum 2008-13, located in the Probation Services Suite of e-Justice, New York.  

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7.   Awards, Events and News

~          DPCA in coordination with grant partners from the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, has scheduled the final series of Probation Domestic Violence Liaison (PDVL)/Advocate meetings to be scheduled under the federal Grants to Encourage Arrest Program (GTEAP). The meetings will be held from 10:00 A.M. to 2:30 P.M. with check-in starting at 9:30 A.M on January 5, 2009 in Ithaca,  January 6, 2009 in White Plains and January 7, 2009 in Brentwood.   As in the past, these meetings are not general domestic violence training. All local probation directors are welcome to attend the sessions. Additionally, if a PDVL is unable to attend a meeting, directors are encouraged to send the probation supervisor who may be working with the PDVL on domestic violence issues in the department. The agenda will focus on enhancing the collaborative process in your respective communities. We will also discuss the recent legislative changes and Domestic Incident Report initiatives across New York State. Please direct any questions you may have regarding this meeting to Bill Schaefer at Bill.Schaefer@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 485-5158.

~          We recognize the efforts of Lisa Baker (Tioga County) and Warren Crow (DCJS) in producing the 10 Financial Module “Step-by-Step” Guides (plus Appendix A) for Caseload Explorer version 3.11.  They are now available for download in the Probation Services Suite of e-JusticeNY.  They are located under the tab of "Automated Case Management Systems".  The “Step-by-Step” Guides are prepared from the user perspective and should prove invaluable as departments implement the financial component of Caseload Explorer.

~          Congratulations to Senior Probation Officer Judy Sogoian of the Schenectady County Probation Department, who was recently invited to become the first probation representative to join the New York State Intelligence Center (NYSIC).  Judy’s duties as a Field Intelligence Officer make her well suited for the position.  NYSIC’s mission is to serve as a one-stop intelligence resource for all law enforcement agencies so they can better protect and serve the people of New York State through the integrated sharing of criminal intelligence and rapid response to inquiries.  

~          Matthew Charton, Albany County Probation Officer and Workforce Development Specialist, has been tapped by National Institute of Corrections’ Consultant, John Rakis, to co-present a workshop at the APPA 2009 Winter Training Institute in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Matt, who has been instrumental in the development of the widely recognized DPCA offender employment series, “Pathways to Employment”, will present “Moving Offenders into the Workforce and Keeping Them Employed: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Parole and Probation Officers.” In addition to his other duties at the Albany County Probation Department, Matt facilitates the Ready, Set, Work! and Retention Counts! groups. He is also a core trainer for Employment Matters and the 180-hour Offender Workforce Development Specialist trainings.

~          A commitment to change is the focus of an off-Broadway show starring ex offenders from the Fortune Society.  On November 30th, the NY Daily News ran a feature story on the Fortune Society residents who tell their story in an off-Broadway hit entitled, “The Castle.”  The Fortune Society, a DPCA ATI and reentry nonprofit program, serves as the backdrop and its residents – the actors – provide a performance that describes the obstacles persons who were formerly incarcerated face when released from prison.  The play is based on real life experiences. This production is held at the New World Stages, 340 W. 50th Street NYC on Saturdays.  It is also a show that travels to State DOCS facilities, particularly the Green Haven Correctional Facility in Dutchess County.

~          Joanne Schlang, Founder and Executive Director of TASC of the Capital District received an award from the Capital District Community Loan Fund. The Social Enterprise Award was given to Joanne on November 26, 2008 during the 23rd Annual Community Development Celebration.  The Capital District Community Loan Fund is a non-profit community development financial institution, linking socially concerned individuals and faith-based institutions with local communities in need.  Joanne and the TASC of the Capital District were recognized for providing outstanding service to the community and for consistently demonstrating fiscal responsibility.  Congratulations Joanne and to the fine staff of TASC of the Capital District!!

~          The Fortune Society David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy's Glenn E. Martin, Vice President of Development and Public Affairs, participated in an exciting Hamilton Project policy discussion, "From Prison to Work: Overcoming Barriers to Re-entry," at the National Press Club to address the importance of employment opportunities for jobseekers with criminal records. Click on the link for video coverage of this exciting roundtable policy discussion:  From Prison to Work: Overcoming Barriers to Re-entry

~          Peter Kiers has been elected President of the National Association of Pretrial Service Agencies (NAPSA) for the next two years.  The results of the election were announced earlier this month.  Mr. Kiers has served on the NAPSA Board for several years and has been significantly involved in several of its major programs.  Congratulations Peter!

~          A new publication entitled, Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect: A Practical Guide for Social Workers by Kenneth Lau, LCSW; Kathryn Krase, JD, LCSW; and Richard H. Morse, LMSW was recently announced by Springer Publishing Company. Mandated Reporters may receive a 20% discount off the list price of $45.00 - use promo code AI when placing your order on the website. For a complete description of this forthcoming title - including a table of contents please visit: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=10983

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8.   Quick Facts: The Probation COMPAS risk and need assessment instrument continues to flourish and assist probation professionals in New York State.  Since its launch on the New York Offender and Assessment Data Sharing (NOADS) platform in September of this year, more than 670 Case Supervision Review assessments or reclassifications have been performed by probation officers in 26 counties.

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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) 485-5158 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.