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Welcome to eFocus, an electronic newsletter produced by the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services, Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (OPCA).  OPCA 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 98, August 12, 2011
NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services 
Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
Robert M. Maccarone, Deputy Commissioner and Director
William M. Schaefer, Jr., Editor
http://dpca.state.ny.us

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In this Issue:

1.         OPCA Conducts Follow-Up Probation Sex Offender Management Survey
2.         Governor Cuomo Signs New Domestic Violence Gun Bill Law
3.         Probation Risk and Need Assessments Aid Case Planning and Management
4.         Focus on Accuracy of Integrated Probation Registrant System Data 
5.         New Peace Officer/Fundamentals of Probation Practice Approved by MPTC
6.         First Annual PVRC Forum Examines Quality Assurance
7.         August 22, 2011 Juvenile Delinquency Intake Rule Symposium Scheduled
8.         Additional Training, Awards, Events and News
9.         Quick Facts

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1.         OPCA Conducts Follow-Up Probation Sex Offender Management Survey – In an effort to continue assessing the important roles that county probation departments play in Sex Offender Management, Investigation and Supervision, OPCA is conducting a follow-up detailed Probation Sex Offender Management Survey similar to the one conducted in  1996.  This year, OPCA is utilizing an online application so that Departments can work on completing the survey in stages, and we can more readily analyze and timely share the results with probation professionals.  We anticipate that the results of the survey will inform us of the significant progress probation departments have made in implementing effective management practices, and identify next steps.  Probation Directors were sent notification of the survey instrument in a memorandum dated August 4, 20011.   The survey can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZBXYN8S. Probation Departments are requested to complete the survey by Friday, September 16, 2011. For additional information, please contact Laura Zeliger at (518) 457-5275 or Laura.Zeliger@dcjs.state.ny.us.

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2.         New Domestic Violence Gun Bill Signed into Law – On August 1, 2011, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law Chapter 258 of the Laws of 2011, to ensure that individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors will be barred from legally purchasing firearms. Federal law forbids the sale of a firearm to individuals convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. However, differences between New York state and federal domestic violence statutes created a gap in the law where the information from those found guilty of domestic violence crimes in New York courts was not transmitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) used for background checks of those purchasing firearms. Under the new law, when a defendant is convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor offense in New York, the court will determine whether the crime is related or situated to the federal domestic violence statute and if so, transmit the defendant's information to the Division of Criminal Justice Services which passes it on to the NICS. For complete details, please visit:
            http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/080111domesticviolencefirearmprotectionlegislation

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3.         Probation Risk and Need Assessments Aid Case Planning and Management – The NYCOMPAS January-June 2011 Management Report was recently shared with probation directors. This report reflects our shared progress in the implementation of fully validated uniform risk and need assessment tools for adult probationers in New York State.  Fifty-seven (57) of the State’s Probation departments utilize the NYCOMPAS and  complete nearly 10,000 risk and need assessments each quarter to assist probation officers develop effective case plans that target the criminogenic needs and lead to improved offender outcomes.  This report also identifies the number of case reassessments/case reviews completed by counties.  As previously reported, the newly proposed Probation Supervision Rule for New York State will refocus the work of probation officers in writing quarterly reports to conducting periodic case reviews that  measure the change in the probationer’s risk of recidivism. More recently, the NYCOMPAS has been made available to the four Probation Violation Residential Centers (PVRC’s) funded by OPCA to ensure collaboration with supervising probation officers.  The NYCOMPAS will continue to be an invaluable asset to officers making those determinations. To access the full report, please visit http://www.dpca.state.ny.us/pdfs/compasjan-juncasereviews2011.xlsx. Should you have any questions, please contact Nancy Andino at Nancy.Andino@probation.nyc.gov or (718) 876-7658.

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4.         Focus on Accuracy of Integrated Probation Registrant System (IPRS) Data – OPCA regularly issues the “NYS Probation Cases Supervised” to assist counties in improving the accuracy of the data reported in the Integrated Probation Registrant System (IPRS). This report is also available on the Probation Services suite of eJusticeNY and provides the number of active IPRS cases by county, as well as information regarding the number and percentage of active cases that are beyond Maximum Expiration Date (MED) with a Violation and Declaration of Delinquency (DOD) filed. This report is also known to the probation community as the “Threshold Report” where the statewide goal has been to maintain the number of closable cases to fewer than 5%.  However, the electronic interface of IPRS with Caseload Explorer and other automated case management systems has facilitated real-time reporting and our goal is to maintain real time accurate reporting; many automated probation departments now maintain 0% closable cases.  Importantly, this report also includes a table entitled “Two-Year Statewide Caseload Comparisons.” This table includes two-year comparisons of Probation Supervision Cases beyond MED with pending probation violations and Declarations of Delinquency. These are probation absconders (warrants).  Probation departments are encouraged to review this monthly report in order to reduce closable cases beyond MED, as well as to guide departmental review of probationer absconders and active warrants.  Should you have any questions, please contact Gary Govel at (518) 457-4336 or Gary.Govel@dcjs.state.ny.us.

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5.         New Peace Officer/Fundamentals of Probation Practice Approved by MPTC – A new Basic Course for Peace Officers for Probation Officers was approved by the NYS Municipal Training Council (MPTC) at its meeting held on June 1, 2011. The Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (OPCA) submitted recommendations to the MPTC for a Peace Officer Course curricula for probation officers based on the unique duties of probation officers and the extensive nationally accredited training curricula in place throughout New York State. The Basic Course for Peace Officers for Probation Officers combines elements of two existing initial training programs for new probation officers, formerly known as Peace Officer Course and Fundamentals of Probation Practice into a single 89.5-hour curriculum called the Fundamentals of Probation Practice. Probation Directors were notified earlier this month that that OPCA will be conducting a new Fundamentals of Probation Practice class in Albany starting with Officer Safety and Survival Training during October 3-4, 2011; Peace Officer/Fundamentals Week 1   during October 5-7, 2011; Peace Officer/Fundamentals Week 2 during October 17-21, 2011; and, Peace Officer/Fundamentals Week 3 during October 24-28, 2011. To register, please contact Gail Roy at Gail.Roy@dcjs.state.ny.us or (518) 485-5155 by September 2, 2011.

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6.         First Annual Quality Assurance PVRC Forum Examines Outcomes – The First Annual PVRC Quality Assurance Forum was held on August 9, 2011 in Albany to examine the operations of the state’s four pilot Probation Violations Residential Centers and the outcomes of probationers engaged in these stabilization centers.  The PVRC pilot program model was established by OPCA in 2008 to provide stabilization, treatment and cognitive behavioral intervention (CBI) services to felony probationers at high risk of probation violation and costly incarceration.  Information and preliminary findings related to program success was shared by the four PVRC’s: TASC of the Capital District; Project MORE (located in Dutchess County), and Palladia and BASICS both serving New York City.  Probation departments served by the regional PVRC’s were also represented at the forum and provided their perspectives on collaboration and case management.  A current Orange County probationer, who participated in Project MORE, provided compelling testimony of her long standing opiate addiction, recovery and family reunification as a result of receiving the stabilization services provided at the PVRC.   The four PVRC’s reported the following cumulative data on their operations: 448 potential participants screened; 315 participants completed intake process; 274 participants reached the 30- day retention milestone; 180 participants successfully completed PVRC; 253 participants completed Thinking for a Change (T4C) or other CBI program; 53 participants completed Offender Workforce Development Specialist - “Ready, Set, Work!” training; and 166 participants are Employment Ready.  Additional probation departments are encouraged to reach out to the PRVC’s to learn more about how they might benefit from the services provided through these unique programs.   Please feel free to contact Yvonne Behan at Yvonne.Behan@dcjs.state.ny.us or (518) 485-5153 to learn more.

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7.         August 22, 2011 Juvenile Delinquency Intake Rule Symposium Scheduled – The Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (OPCA) is pleased to invite probation directors and senior juvenile probation staff to a one-day JD Intake Rule Probation Department Policy Planning Symposium on Monday August 22, 2011 from 10am to 3pm at 80 Wolf Road, Albany, in the 4th floor training room. The purpose of this symposium is to bring probation directors and senior juvenile probation staff together to discuss the September 1, 2011 implementation of the newly promulgated Part 356 to 9 NYCRR, Preliminary Procedure for Article 3 Juvenile Delinquency Intake. The agenda will include a review of the primary components of the new JD Intake Rule and identify the essential components of change that should be incorporated into existing local probation policies. This will include pertinent changes to the rule, including definitions and the enhanced focus on Assessment, Case Planning, and Reassessment as they affect Intake, Diversion and juveniles held in detention. It is anticipated that New York State’s newly promulgated, evidence-based JD Intake Rule, combined with strong local probation department policies and practices, will lead to improved outcomes for youth and families. Please contact Patti Donohue at Patricia.Donohue@dcjs.state.ny.us by Monday August 15, 2011 to register. Registration for this Symposium is nearly full at this time.   

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8.         Additional Training, Awards, Events and News

~          The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office and Probation Department initiated a joint program in 2010 referred to as SPLINTER, where probation officers and sheriff’s deputies conduct visits at probationer’s residences, employment, and even at bars from 4:00pm through 11:00pm on random days.   During home visits, several arrests were made, new charges filed, information gathered for investigations, VOPs filed, and even some early terminations of probation were initiated based on positive observations. Since the inception of SPLINTER, this collaborative has resulted in over 400 home contacts, 7 Violation of Probation warrants having been executed, new arrests for weapons and drug charges, immigration enforcement was facilitated and gang intelligence gathered. This program has continued on a limited basis in 2011. For additional information about this program, please contact Debbie Burton, Sullivan County Probation Officer or Steven Pitcher, Probation Supervisor at (845) 807-0351.

~          The Dutchess County Office of Probation and Community Corrections recently worked closely with the Mount Pleasant Police Department and other town officials to secure an arrest warrant for a Level II sex offender following his visit to a community pool in violation of his conditions of supervision.  The defendant was initially placed on probation in New York State for failure to register as a sex offender as required following his previous conviction of felony sex offense committed in 2005 in New Jersey.

~          Madison County Probation Department Supervisor Camille Vinci worked closely with the U.S. Marshals to track down a convicted Level III sex offender who absconded from probation supervision in 2009. The case was the subject of two news features in local newspapers during his absence. The defendant was taken into custody by the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office in Rockford, Ill., on a Madison County violation of probation. Ten days later, he was arrested by U.S. Marshals and arraigned on a federal warrant charging him with a violation of Title 18, U.S.C. 2250(a), a violation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. The probation department worked with the Madison County District Attorney’s Office to receive permission to extradite. The defendant was returned to the Northern New York District Court and is facing an additional charge lodged by the Oneida Police Department for failure to register as a sex offender, a class E felony.  The extradition to New York State constituted the 34th case under OPCA Operation Return.

~          The American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) Journal “Perspectives” recently published an article entitled “Is it Time to Re-think How we Transfer Probationers Between States and How we Measure Outcomes: A Proposal for the ‘Complete Transfer’ of Resident Probationers between States” by Robert M. Maccarone, Deputy Commissioner and Director of the NYS DCJS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives.  To obtain a copy of this article, please visit the APPA website at http://www.appa-net.org.

~          The Counsel of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center recently released a guide entitled, A Ten-Step Guide to Transforming Probation Departments to Reduce Recidivism that provides probation leaders with a roadmap to overhaul the operations of their agencies so they can increase public safety in their communities and improve rates of compliance among people they are supervising. To download the report, please visit http://www.nationalreentryresourcecenter.org.

~          NIC’s Offender Employment Retention Specialist! Broadcast – New York State Probation will participate in a Live Satellite Broadcast scheduled for November 2, 2011.  OPCA was chosen by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) to be a part of a new initiative the Offender Employment Retention Specialist (OERS) training. This training builds upon the Offender Workforce Development Training (OWDS) and focuses on job retention.   Those participating in the OERS training are required to be OWDS certified. OPCA Cynthia Blair, Ulster County Probation Officer and NYSPOA President Mark Pisano participated in the pilot training for OERS, held at the NIC training Academy in January of this year. Cynthia also participated in the August 1st-3rd Compression Planning Session for the upcoming satellite/internet broadcast on Offender Employment Retention. Steve Swisher, NIC Program Specialist, facilitated the group which generated goals and objectives for the upcoming 3-hour broadcast. Please mark your calendars for November 2nd and contact Cynthia Blair at Cynthia.Blair@dcjs.state.ny.us or (518) 485-5145 for further information. 

~          The NYS DCJS has recently added a new Domestic and Sexual Violence navigation button in the “Law Enforcement Services” suite on eJusticeNY, the secure extranet for law enforcement, prosecution and probation agencies.  This new tab will provide important information on the serious crimes of domestic violence and sexual assault, and will feature educational or informational videos, written documents and links to resources. This tab is a work in progress and it will be updated often. If you think there is a specific resource that we could provide that would help you relate to or provide enhanced services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, please contact the DCJS Violence Against Women Unit at vawa@dcjs.state.ny.us or (518) 457-9726.

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9.         Quick Facts:  Since the implementation of Leandra’s Law (December 18, 2009) and July 27, 2011, there were 1,409 cases of Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated with a Child, including 10 arrests on the Fourth of July.

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eFocus is the property of the Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives.  Articles may be reprinted with attribution to the Office.  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 OPCA's eFocus, please contact Bill Schaefer at (518) 485-5157 or Bill.Schaefer@dcjs.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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