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 73, February 3, 2009
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. Governor Paterson Signs Bill Strengthening Probation Laws
2. Statewide Law Enforcement Agencies Provide Strong Support to Probation Domestic Violence Intervention Initiative
3. Automated Probation Case Management Systems Certify Interface with the Statewide Integrated-Probation Registrant System (I-PRS)
4. DPCA Supports Implementation of Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention Program “Thinking for a Change” by Probation Departments and ATI Programs
5. Youth Assessment Screening Instrument (YASI-5) Implementation Advances
6. NYC Department of Probation Implements Reusable Case Management System
7. Awards, Events and News
8. Quick Facts

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1. Governor Paterson Signs Bill Strengthening Probation Laws – Governor Paterson signed into law DPCA Departmental #226 (A.11721/S.8128-A). This measure, specifically Chapter 652 of the Laws of 2008, will dramatically strengthen probation in New York State. “This legislation provides departments with the necessary tools to make certain that alleged violations are addressed swiftly. We will achieve greater offender accountability and better protect victims and our communities”, said the Governor in his gubernatorial press release featuring this groundbreaking legislative initiative. It will facilitate prompt judicial review of probation requests for declarations of delinquency and the issuance of warrants, ensure that all probation warrants are promptly entered into the State’s electronic criminal justice network, and provide for the timely commencement of probation violation hearings. The new law is effective November 1, 2009. Full details can be found on DPCA’s website www.dpca.state.ny.us and in the Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY.

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2. Statewide Law Enforcement Agencies Provide Strong Support to Probation Domestic Violence Intervention Initiative – On December 24, 2008, New York State Police Superintendent Harry Corbitt issued Executive Memorandum #08-51, ensuring that probation and parole authorities are uniformly provided copies of Domestic Incident Reports (DIRs) that are written on persons under community supervision. As provided in EM #08-51, the State Police will provide either electronically or by fax, copies of DIRs that are written on probationers and parolees, regardless of whether an arrest is made. The Superintendent’s Memorandum requires copy notification, in addition to telephonic contact with supervising probation and parole authorities. The State Police will utilize the Statewide Probation Domestic Violence Liaison (PDVL) Directory to contact Probation Departments. Following Superintendent Corbitt’s action, DPCA State Director Robert Maccarone met with representatives of the NYS Association of Chiefs of Police and the NYS Sheriffs’ Association and both organizations agreed to strongly support the policy and recommend that law enforcement agencies throughout the State implement similar policies. These innovative policies will enhance the ability of probation officers throughout New York State to intervene early in what is often a continuum of domestic violence, to hold offenders accountable and save lives. DPCA will continue to work with probation departments in implementing and refining effective policies to address domestic violence. More detailed information concerning the Probation Domestic Violence Intervention Initiative is available to all sworn probation professionals in State Directors Memorandum #2009-1, posted on the Probation Suite of eJusticeNY. For additional information or assistance, please contact Bill Schaefer at (518) 485-5158 or Bill.Schaefer@dpca.state.ny.us.

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3. Automated Probation Case Management Systems Interface with Statewide Integrated- Probation Registrant System (I-PRS) – In early January, “Caseload Explorer”—the Probation Case Management System that will be used by over 40 probation departments in New York State, certified its interface with the Statewide Probation Registrant System. Probation Officers utilizing the Caseload Explorer Case Management System will no longer have to manually open cases in the Statewide Probation Registrant System—this will be done automatically. It will eliminate the need for duplicate data entry and increase the accuracy of data entered into I-PRS. Soon thereafter, NYC’s Reusable Case Management System also certified its interface with I-PRS. Westchester and Orange Counties are also working toward certifying the integration of their case management systems with I-PRS.

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4. DPCA Supports Implementation of Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention Program Thinking for a Change by Probation Departments and ATI Programs – In November of 2008, DPCA provided funding to 36 probation, parole, correction and alternative to incarceration program staff to become certified in the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Thinking for a Change Curriculum. The application process required that agencies demonstrate their commitment to the successful implementation of this evidence-based program once their staff was certified. Probation Officers and ATI Program Staff will be convening offender groups during the early part of 2009 in order to qualify for a regional Train-the-Trainer Program that will be offered later this year. For additional information, please contact Kathi Pallotta at Kathi.Pallotta@dpca.state.ny.us or (518) 485-5157.

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5. Youth Assessment Screening Instrument (YASI-5) Implementation Advances – “YASI e-Learning”, was implemented in November of 2008 and is being used to train juvenile probation officers throughout New York State. “YASI e-Learning” is a web-based application that includes video, voice clips, visual tools and seven interactive modules that introduce new staff to the basics of the YASI model, the terminology, the “What Works” research, motivational interviewing techniques, scoring the assessment, and case planning concepts. Users work at their own pace in completing the program and are tested at the end of each module. Officers who successfully complete the training are notified by e-mail. “YASI e-Learning” can be accessed at http://www.vivatexte.com/eprep/orbis/yasi. The Statewide YASI 5 and Caseload Explorer Integration deployment has begun in Warren County. Orbis Partners migrated the Warren County Access-based YASI data and converted it IMS SQL data tables—a process that will be repeated for all counties during the next several months. Orbis Partners is beginning with nine additional counties that are in production with the latest version of Caseload Explorer to implement the web-based YASI software. Statewide deployment is expected to be complete by June of 2009.

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6. NYC Department of Probation Implements Reusable Case Management System – The New York City Department of Probation implemented a new version of its case management system in November 2008. The Reusable Case Management System (RCMS), now deployed in all five boroughs, is an integrated case-management system for Adult and Juvenile operations. The system is being used by approximately 1,000 probation staff and serves nearly 65,000 active adult, juvenile and family-matter clients. Some of the key functionality in RCMS include: collection of information on respondents/defendants to generate pre-sentence investigation reports, case management, KIOSK reporting, appointments, field-visit plan, misconduct, violation of probation, compliance reporting, face sheet, management reports, and more. During the deployment, information from four legacy systems was migrated over to RCMS and nearly 1,000 probation staff from five boroughs were provided RCMS training. For additional information, please contact Alphonzo Albright, CIO at (212) 232-0455 or aalbrigh@probation.nyc.gov.

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7. Awards, Events and News

~ Fundamentals of Probation Practice Offered by Localities – DPCA continues to work closely with local jurisdictions in the delivery of its nationally accredited Fundamentals of Probation Practice (FPP) Training. DPCA provides training to nearly 100 new probation officers each year and certifies “Anchor Trainers” utilized by localities in providing the FPP. Training materials are updated regularly and shared and quality assurance site visits are conducted by members of the DPCA Training Unit. FPP Training Programs are offered in Erie, Monroe, Nassau, NYC, Suffolk and Westchester Counties. Erie County FPP begins March 2nd, Suffolk County March 9th and Monroe County May 4th. For additional information, please contact DPCA Director of Training, Kathi Pallotta at (518) 485-5157 or Kathi.Pallotta@dpca.state.ny.us.

~ DPCA Counsel Issues Legal Opinion Governing Intrastate Transfer – DPCA Counsel, Linda Valenti recently issued a legal opinion in response to an inquiry as to whether the incarcerative term of a split sentence of probation is transferred where there is an intrastate transfer of probation supervision. The legal opinion is available in its entirety in the Legal Advisories Tab of the Probation Services Suite of e-Justice, New York. For additional information, please contact Linda Valenti at (518) 485-2394 or Linda.Valenti@dpca.state.ny.us.

~ The NYS License Plate Reader (LPR) Probation Department Pilot Program continues in six probation departments. During the third quarter of 2008, Monroe County Probation partnered with state and local law enforcement in 25 joint details. During 196 hours of LPR use, over 42,000 plates were read, 8 stolen vehicles and 14 plates were recovered and two individuals apprehended for outstanding warrants. In Schenectady County, probation operated the LPR for 67 hours with 20,000 reads that resulted in the recovery of 1 stolen vehicle, 2 stolen plates, 90 persons determined to have suspended/revoked registrations and the apprehension of 3 wanted individuals. For additional information, please contact Ron Bergstrom at (518) 485-9941or Ron.Bergstrom@dpca.state.ny.us.

~ A new report about how New York’s juvenile justice system has been operating for the past three years is now available from the Vera Institute’s Center on Youth Justice (CYJ). Widening the Lens 2008 tracks four key areas of the system—court referrals, detention, court processing, and disposition—to offer insight into how county and state agencies are serving youth. The goal is to help officials monitor the youth justice system, inform as to demographic shifts or policy changes, and allow stakeholders to identify promising trends and opportunities for reform. Widening the Lens 2008 is a follow-up to the state’s first-ever set of juvenile justice indicators, which CYJ and the New York State Task Force on Juvenile Justice Indicators published in 2007.

~ A bellwether study entitled Domestic Homicide in New York State, 2007 by Adriana Fernandez-Lanier, Ph.D. and James A. Gilmer of the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services shows that more than half of female homicide victims in New York State last year were murdered as the result of a domestic incident. The report shows that intimate partners were victims in 58 percent of New York City’s domestic homicides last year and nearly 48 percent of the domestic homicides that occurred in the rest of the state. To view the full report, please visit the DCJS website:
http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/pio/domestichomicidereport_120808.pdf

~ Schenectady County Probation Department has been concentrating its efforts on addressing the outstanding warrants of probation absconders. As part of Operation IMPACT, the Department was able to close 16 warrants. The New York State Intelligence Center (NYSIC) developed a Wanted Poster for the Probation Department. Ten probation absconders are pictured and the poster has been distributed to Probation Officers. It is also displayed in the department waiting area and in the staff Muster Room.

~ DCJS Commissioner Denise O’Donnell and Department of Correctional Services Deputy Commissioner Anthony Annucci were honored recently by the Committee on Attorneys in Public Service receiving the NYS Bar Association’s 2009 Awards for Excellence in Public Service.

~ Fulton County Probation Director, Warren Greene was named Photographer of the Month in January 2009 by the Cape May Bird Observatory, a prestigious organization in the birding community. The observatory website www.birdcapemay.org is currently exhibiting a gallery presenting 36 of Warren Greene’s amazing photographs.

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8. Quick Facts: Probation Officers have collected over 80,000 samples of DNA from probationers, resulting in 684 “hits” including 65 homicides and 328 sexual assaults. Included among the “hits” or cases linked to crimes were 50 samples taken by Probation Officers pursuant to the NYS Subject Index, including 8 homicides and 14 sexual assaults. Probation Officers should cite these statistics when recommending that DNA samples be ordered in Subject Index cases.

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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 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.