Division of Criminal Justice Services


The NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services, Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (click for organization chart), established under Chapter 134 of the Laws of 1985, is an agency within the Executive Department of New York State government. OPCA operates under the direction of a Director appointed by the Governor. OPCA exercises general supervision over the operation of county probation agencies and the use of correctional alternative programs throughout the State.

The Director of OPCA adopts and promulgates Rules and Regulations concerning methods and procedures used in the administration of local probation services, and develops standards for the operation of alternative to incarceration programs . The Director also serves as the Chairman of the New York State Probation Commission. The Commission members, also appointed by the Governor, provide advice and consultation to the Director

OPCA's mission is to promote and facilitate probation services and other community corrections programs through funding and oversight. These programs are generally designed to provide a continuum of sanctions, methods of supervision, and approaches to treatment which, when used individually or in combination, provide options to the judiciary and to the State's criminal justice system for the effective handling of offenders and juveniles in the community.

OPCA administers a program of state aid funding for approved local probation services and for municipalities and private non-profit agencies which have approved alternative to incarceration service plans. These plans then authorize efficiencies in the operation of the local correctional facility. OPCA also funds other specialized programs.