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 81, October 21, 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. Domestic Violence Program Bill Signed into Law
2. NYS Implements Fundamentals of Community Corrections (FCC) Curriculum
3. Changes in Law for Local Conditional Release
4. Probation and Polygraph Examiners Regional Training
5. Enhancements to Caseload Explorer are Implemented
6. New Graduated Sanctions and Violations of Probation Rule Advances
7. DPCA Initiates Statewide Training on Motivational Interviewing
8. DPCA Provides “Family Support Approach for Community Supervision” Training
9. Training Available on Special Education
10. Additional Training, Awards, Events and News
11. Quick Facts

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1. Domestic Violence Program Bill Signed into Law – Governor David A. Paterson recently signed into law a bill to enhance protections for victims of domestic violence. The new legislation, a program bill introduced by the Governor last spring and whose terms were agreed upon between the Governor and legislative leaders, holds individuals more accountable for their abusive actions and improves upon the court system’s response to affected families. A.9017 / S.55306 / S.5031-A, passed overwhelmingly in both the New York State Senate and Assembly. “Stopping domestic violence should be a national priority, and I am encouraged that New York is leading the way in giving law enforcement and the courts the tools they need to end abuse,” Governor Paterson said. “I applaud Assemblywoman Weinstein and Senator Hassell-Thompson for helping make this bill a reality and taking the lead in Albany on this issue and commend the Legislature for enacting this measure.” A key provision of the new law, effective December 15, 2009, is the requirement that law enforcement officers responding to incidents of domestic violence involving individuals on probation or parole supervision, send a copy of the Domestic Incident Report (DIR) to the supervising agency as soon as practicable, regardless of whether an arrest is made. Since supervising agencies frequently impose the condition that a probationer or parolee report any contact with law enforcement, this law will assist in enforcing that condition and help supervising authorities to hold offenders accountable. To view the full press release, please visit: http://www.ny.gov/governor/press/press_0917093.html

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2. NYS Implements Fundamentals of Community Corrections (FCC) Curriculum – The newly developed NYS Fundamentals of Community Corrections (FCC) Training for community corrections professionals will be conducted November 17-20, 2009 in Warsaw, NY and again on January 26-29, 2010 in New York City. This 28-hour curriculum is recommended for community corrections managers and staff working directly with program participants. This evidence-based training includes the latest information on screening, assessment, interviewing, case planning as well as modules on effective programs, participant rights regarding employment and voting, as well as Certificates of Relief. Please contact Yvonne J. Behan, DPCA Community Corrections Representative III at (518) 485-5153 or via email at Yvonne.Behan@dpca.state.ny.us for registration information.

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3. Changes in Law for Local Conditional Release – DPCA has provided local governments with guidance in implementing a 2009 law change affecting local conditional release. The new law allows any interested jurisdiction to establish a local conditional release commission to determine whether certain eligible inmates may be released early from local jails and be placed under the supervision of its local probation department. DPCA has new statutory oversight authority with respect to commission operations. State Director Robert Maccarone has recently disseminated a comprehensive memorandum to all County Executives and Probation Directors/Commissioners to better assist them with certain legal, procedural, and technical questions concerning local conditional release. For additional Information, please visit the DPCA website www.dpca.state.ny.us or the Probation Services Suite of eJusticeNY.

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4. Probation and Polygraph Examiners Regional Training – DPCA is pleased to announce four regional training sessions on polygraph usage and probation sex offender management to support the use of Post Conviction Sex Offender Polygraph Testing (PCSOT). This important training will focus on the collaborative relationship between probation, polygraph examiner and treatment provider. Treatment providers, community partners and sex offender management stakeholders are encouraged to attend this training. The training will demonstrate how the polygraph assists in supervision through the clarification of offending patterns and preferences and detection of non-compliant behavior, both of which contribute to effective community supervision and treatment. The following training will be offered: Albany County, Tuesday, November 10th; Oneida County, Thursday, November 12th; Ontario County, Friday, November 13th; and New York City, Wednesday, November 18th. Registration is required. For more information or to register contact Laura Zeliger at (518) 457-5275 or Laura.Zeliger@dpca.state.ny.us.

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5. Enhancements to Caseload Explorer are Implemented – Six new enhancements to Caseload Explorer have been implemented to assist probation officers: 1) The logic for the “Activities Due” for Family Court matters tree node was modified to reflect the different time periods at which particular activities occur for PINS and JD cases as a result of recent rule changes; 2) The term YO will appear on the Cases page, in the summary area at the top near the other headings such as Case#, Case Type, Court, Judge; 3) The “condition completed date” will be automatically populated with the “supervision case closed date” (upon case closing) unless there is an existing “condition completed date.” 4) The limit of 1,024 characters on conditions will be removed. 5) The Caseload Review report will give the user the option of viewing / printing with or without the listing of special conditions of probation. 6) The Periodic Supervision report will give the user the option of viewing / printing with or without the listing of special conditions of probation. In addition, the remaining of the 24 management reports available to users were finalized, as well as the JRISC automated report. Please contact Walter Cogswell at (518) 485-5168 or Walter.Cogswell@dpca.state.ny.us.

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6. New Graduated Sanctions and Violations of Probation Rule Advances – DPCA has submitted a Notice of Proposed Rule Making with respect to DPCA’s Graduated Sanctions and Violations of Probation (9 NYCRR, Repeal of Part 352 and Addition of New Part 352). The Notice was published in the State Register on September 16, 2009. There is a forty-five day official public comment period. Comments on this proposed rule should be furnished in writing no later than Monday, November 2, 2009 to DPCA Counsel Linda Valenti at 80 Wolf Road, Suite 501, Albany, New York 12205 or Linda.Valenti@dpca.state.ny.us.

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7. DPCA Initiates Statewide Training on Motivational Interviewing – Motivational Interviewing is a strong evidenced-based practice that can be utilized by probation and community correction professionals to reduce recidivism through positive offender change. It is an offender-centered approach that seeks to bring about change through the reduction of ambivalence and resistance to efforts that promote such change. Motivational Interviewing is integral to the COMPAS and YASI risk and needs assessment process for probation-involved adults and juveniles. Many elements of Motivational Interviewing have been shared with new Probation Officers through the Fundamentals of Probation Practice curriculum since 2005. In response to numerous requests from the field and upon the advice of the DPCA Training Committee, DPCA facilitated its first three-day training in Motivational Interviewing last month. Thirty-two (32) professionals were trained. DPCA has also joined a collaborative effort with OASAS, DOCS and Parole to advance the use of motivational interviewing by sponsoring three regional trainings (2-days). For additional information about this innovative effort, please contact Kathi Pallotta, Director of Training, at (518) 485-5157 or Kathi.Pallotta@dpca.state.ny.us.

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8. DPCA Provides “Family Support Approach for Community Supervision” Training – DPCA staff recently delivered a new evidence-based interactive training that identified the primary tools and techniques for implementing the Family Support Approach for Community Supervision. Eighteen professionals from the probation departments and alternative to incarceration programs learned how to leverage support from families and social networks to help bring about positive behavioral change in individuals under supervision and reduce their risk of recidivism. This evidence-based training was developed by La Bodega de la Familia. For additional information, please contact Kathi Pallotta, Director of Training, at (518) 485-5157 or Kathi.Pallotta@dpca.state.ny.us.

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9. Training Available on Special Education – DPCA is pleased to announce the availability of free one-day courses offered through the NYS Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) on the topic of Special Education. Trainings such as "Start to Finish: Steps to Successful Special Education Services" and "The Next Step Transition Services" will provide Probation Officers with information to better understand the Special Education process. "Close Encounters with THOSE People: A Different Perspective on Diversity and Disability" is also available. The trainings are conducted by trainers from the NYS Commission on Quality and Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities (CQCAPD) regionally and via videoconference. For schedule and registration information, please visit www.opwdd.ny.gov/wp/index.jsp and view in the current Catalogue of Training. If you have any additional questions, please contact Patti Donohue at either (518) 485-5160 or Patricia.Donohue@dpca.state.ny.us.

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10. Additional Training, Awards, Events and News

~ The NYS Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities (CQCAPD) is offering a FREE training, entitled “Special Education Services: Enhance Your Involvement in The IEP Process.” The training will provide tools and strategies to help become more involved in the Special Education Individualized Education Process (IEP) process and will provide insight into the NYS Education Department Part 200 Regulations. The training is scheduled for Tuesday, November 17th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00p.m. at NYS CQCAPD at 401 State St. Schenectady. Seating is limited. Please contact Kim Gardinier at (518) 388-0694 to register or for more information.

~ The National Curriculum & Training Institute, Inc. (NCTI) in partnership with the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) is offering the APPA Facilitator Certification Trainings at the Westchester County Department of Probation on December 07-11, 2009. The APPA's Facilitator Certification Training has been accredited and approved for 35 Professional/Skill Based Training Hours. To learn more about the Facilitator Certification Training, click here. All of the evidence-based curricula has been accredited by the American Probation and Parole Association and is currently in use in many agencies throughout the United States. To learn more about how the curricula aligns with evidence-based programs, click here. To register online, click here or to get a detailed registration brochure, click here. Please contact Jeff Koenig at (800) 622-1644, Ext. 5236 or by e-mail at jkoenig@ncti.org for additional information.

~ Due to recently enacted Drug Law Reform (DLR) and issues which often have been raised with respect to securing treatment information of offenders with existing treatment consent forms, it was determined by various state agencies that it would be helpful to develop an updated and universal criminal justice treatment consent form. The new form is to be utilized within the criminal justice system to exchange client-specific information while, at the same time facilitating criminal justice research and program evaluation activities. As a result, DPCA, the Division of Parole (DOP), DCJS, and OCA collaborated with OASAS to redesign the format and content of the OASAS criminal justice consent form. Additional details and a copy of the new form are posted on the DPCA website www.dpca.state.ny.us and on the Probation Service Suite of eJusticeNY.

~ Probation Officers from Schenectady County developed intelligence that a large amount of marijuana was located in residence. Glenville Police acted on the intelligence and seized approximately 3.5 pounds of marijuana and several bags that were packaged for sale, plus several thousand dollars in cash and weapons. Two women were charged with four felonies including three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell and one count of criminal possession of marijuana.

~ October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) is encouraging every community to raise awareness of domestic violence with their plan to Turn New York State Purple. OPDV’s goal is participation in every NYS county. For additional information, please visit: www.opdv.ny.gov

~ The Dutchess County Probation Department was recently featured in the August 2009 edition of the Mediation Center of Dutchess County newsletter. The article, entitled “Probation and Mediation: A Long Standing Partnership” reported the success of the 21- year relationship between mediation and probation in both PINS and JD cases at probation. The Mediation Center of Dutchess County provides Parent/Teen, Youth/Youth, and Parent/Parent mediations. In addition to mediation services, the Mediation Center of Dutchess County is now working to develop and implement a Restorative Justice Initiative at Dutchess County Probation.

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11. Quick Facts: Probation Officers in New York State have collected nearly 100,000 samples of DNA from probationers that have been linked to 858 serious crimes including 78 homicides.

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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.

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