Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

New York State
Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor
Brian Fischer, Commissioner

Contact: Peter K. Cutler
Office of Public Information
(518) 457-8182
peter.cutler@doccs.ny.gov
www.doccs.ny.gov

For immediate release:

Monday, July 18, 2011

ANNUAL PAROLE MEMORIAL CEREMONY MARKS BEGINNING OF PROBATION, PAROLE AND COMMUNITY SUPERVISION WEEK

Event honors parole officers who died in the line of duty

Week recognizes the role Probation, Parole and Community Supervision professionals play in ensuring public safety; awards presented to Department of Corrections and Community Supervision employees in recognition of exceptional professionalism

ALBANY -Deputy Secretary to the Governor for Public Safety Elizabeth Glazer, Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Commissioner Brian Fischer, Board of Parole Chair Andrea Evans and Robert M. Maccarone, director of the Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives at the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), gathered today at the New York State Parole Officers Memorial for a ceremony honoring parole officers who have died in the line of duty and to recognize the key role community supervision professionals play in keeping New York's residents safe.

Dedicated in 2002 and located at the Empire State Plaza, the New York State Parole Officers Memorial honors seven officers who died in the line of duty.

In issuing a proclamation designating July 17-July 23, 2011 as Probation, Parole and Community Supervision Week, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said, "Probation and Parole officers are peace officers and essential members of the law enforcement community, who risk their lives in monitoring those under their supervision, enforcing terms and conditions of release, executing warrants, and collaborating with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in conducting field intelligence work and partnering with joint initiatives to investigate and combat crime."

"The supervision and reintegration of offenders back into the community is the key to preventing and reducing crime by promoting productive lives." said Deputy Secretary Glazer. "Today we honor those Parole Officers who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our families and communities safe. We also recognize twelve community supervision officers and two departmental units who demonstrated exceptional professionalism and service. These individuals represent the highest pinnacle of service by our Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and I thank them for their service."

Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Commissioner Fischer stated, "Community supervision professionals frequently perform key services, providing support and protection to victims, which ensures that their voices and views are heard within our justice system. These professionals have been at the forefront of promoting and achieving successful re-entry and re-integration of offenders back into our community, helping to strengthen their family ties and overseeing their responsibility to lead law-abiding lives."

The week also provides DOCCS the opportunity to recognize community supervision employees for exemplary service. Twelve individuals were honored during the ceremony for their exceptional professionalism, along with the staff of the Parole Access Records Management Information Services (PARMIS) Unit, who prepare and distribute caseload information from facility parole staff to field parole staff on each parolee prior to release from prison, and the community supervision staff at the Franklin Correctional Facility.

Since 1841, the practice of probation and parole has played a vital role in New York State's criminal justice system. These professionals are a critical part of the public safety system, supervising more than 200,000 people in New York State on community supervision who are monitored by parole officers and other community supervision professionals. Monitoring may take the form of home contacts, drug testing, ensuring the offender attends counseling sessions and assisting offenders to find suitable housing and employment. In addition, many officers also supervise offenders using electronic equipment, which requires expert knowledge of emerging technologies.

Community supervision professionals diligently work in identifying community-based programming, improving service delivery, advocating for graduated sanctions, successfully reintegrating offenders back into society through state and/or local re-entry strategies, facilitating reunification with and support of families and offering support and assistance to crime victims. Through early intervention, advocacy, timely enforcement and admonition and advice, these professionals are important role models and a true force of positive change within their communities who make a significant difference in the lives of countless individuals.

In addition to their supervisory responsibilities, Probation officers play a key role in ensuring that probationers who are required to provide a DNA sample after being convicted of a qualifying offense comply with those requirements. In 2010, county Probation Departments collected 34 percent of the 40,775 DNA samples collected statewide, the most of any contributing agency. DNA collections by Probation officers have helped solve nearly 1,146 major crimes, including 100 homicides.

DCJS Acting Commissioner Sean M. Byrne said, "The state's probation and parole officers deserve special tribute for the critical roles they perform in supervising and monitoring nearly 200,000 former offenders on probation and parole and those who participate in community correction programs. Also, the DNA databank is one of the state's most effective crime-solving tools, and I commend probation officers for the important role they play in collecting DNA. DNA collection efforts have prevented further victimization and brought closure to the families of homicide victims."

Probation Director Maccarone added: " New York State's 3,100 probation officers are the 'sentinels of community safety' as they work to supervise 120,000 adult and 15,000 juvenile offenders, including 26,000 DWI offenders, 7,000 sex offenders and 5,000 domestic violence abusers. Probation officers and community corrections professionals work each day in their respective communities to hold offenders accountable, reduce re-arrest, promote victim and community safety, and assist offenders with changing their thinking and behavior so they may lead law-abiding lives."

Board of Parole Chairwoman Evans said: "These officers play a pivotal role in post-release supervision and probation, which are key factors in maintaining and preserving our state's public safety. Their diligence helps to protect the public and keep our communities secure. Parole officers, like all law enforcement professionals, have made tremendous contributions and sacrifices while valiantly and selflessly performing their duties."