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

For immediate release:

Monday, July 16, 2012


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, this is the 10th anniversary of the Parole Memorial which is located at the Empire State Plaza, honoring seven officers who died in the line of duty.

In issuing a proclamation designating July 15-July 21, 2012 as Probation, Parole and Community Supervision Week, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said, “These community corrections professionals have been at the forefront of promoting and achieving successful re-entry and reintegration of individuals into their respective communities, strengthening their ties and responsibilities with respect to their families and children, and achieving greater offender accountability. They have made a significant difference over the years in the lives of countless at-risk youth and young and adult offenders through supervision, guidance and role modeling to achieve positive change in individual behavior and reduce re-arrest and recidivism.”

Deputy Secretary Glazer said, “As we move forward with our efforts to improve the re-entry process and strengthen public safety, we must never forget those within this agency that are responsible for getting the job done. It is through their dedication and hard work that this agency is able to accomplish its mission. Today we honor those Parole Officers who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our families and communities safe. We also recognize eight community supervision individuals who demonstrated exceptional professionalism and service. They represent the highest level of service by our Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and I thank them for their dedication."

Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Commissioner Fischer said, “Our community supervision professionals work hard every day to promote and enhance public safety, and protect all New Yorkers in their communities by achieving successful re-entry and re-integration of offenders back into the community. Today, we highlight some of the more notable acts of exemplary service by honoring these outstanding individuals and recognizing their tireless commitment to the people of New York State, while also remembering those who gave their lives in the performance of their duties to our fellow citizens."

New York State’s Probation officers work in partnership with police, prosecutors, parole and the courts to enhance community safety. Last year, the 3,100 Probation officers who work in every county across the state supervised nearly 118,000 adult probationers, including DWI offenders, sex offenders and those convicted in connection with domestic violence incidents, as well as 15,000 juveniles.

In addition to their supervisory responsibilities, Probation officers confirm the addresses of nearly 5,000 sex offenders under supervision every quarter, which helps ensure the integrity of information available to the public through the state’s Sex Offender Registry; monitor 26,000 convicted drunk drivers, including those who are required to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles under Leandra’s Law; and partner with local law enforcement through Operation IMPACT, the state’s program to fight and prevent violent and gun crime.

Probation officers also 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 2011, county Probation Departments collected 34 percent of the 42,071 DNA samples obtained statewide, the most of any contributing agency. Those collections will likely increase beginning Aug. 1, 2012, when the state’s DNA Databank expansion law takes effect.

Prior to the expansion, New York State only permitted DNA to be collected from 48 percent of offenders convicted of a Penal Law crime. The new law allows DNA samples to be collected from anyone convicted of a felony in any state law or Penal Law misdemeanors, with the exception of first-time offenders convicted of low-level marijuana possession. The law is not retroactive, and also does not apply to youthful offenders or children involved in Family Court matters.

Michael C. Green, executive deputy commissioner of the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, which is home to the Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives, said: “New York’s counties are safer because of the work done every day by Probation officers, and the important role they play will only grow as the state works to ensure that the DNA Databank expansion law meets its important public safety objectives: solving more crimes, preventing thousands of New Yorkers from ever becoming victims in the first place, exonerating the wrongfully convicted, and helping police accurately identify those who commit crimes as soon as possible.”

State Probation Director Maccarone said, “New York State’s 3,100 probation officers work each day in their respective communities to hold offenders accountable, reduce re-arrest, promote victim and community safety, and assist offenders to change their thinking and behavior and lead law-abiding and productive lives.”

Board of Parole Chairwoman Evans said Community supervision by both parole and probation officers play a critical role in preserving public safety throughout the State. Although often unsung, the dedication and expertise of these officers fosters an understanding among those being supervised that leads to a law-abiding lifestyle. Through their one-on-one work with individual offenders, the efforts and successes of probation and parole officers benefit not just one person, but all of us who live within our communities. Each day, these officers place themselves in difficult, challenging and even dangerous situations with individuals who have already demonstrated an ability to engage in criminal activity. They truly deserve our praise and recognition for their sacrifice and dedication in making our communities safer one person at a time.

The week also provides DOCCS the opportunity to recognize community supervision employees for exemplary service. Eight individuals were honored during the ceremony for their exceptional professionalism, including:

Brian Rooney Award

Recognizes agency Parole Officers who have provided continuous exemplary service.

Jonathan Dumberger, Parole Officer
William Rosenbeck, Parole Officer
Robert Thayer, Parole Officer

Fellowship Award

Recognizes employees whose extra efforts have contributed to morale or promoted camaraderie, spirit and the feeling of fellowship and goodwill among agency staff.

Jillian Smith, Parole Officer

Mary Van deWal Award

Recognizes the contributions of support staff within the agency.

Helga Konnerth, Agency Program Aide
Gwenda Jordan, Agency Program Aide

Violation Process Contributions Award

Recognizes an employee whose work performance has contributed most to improving or facilitating the effectiveness, efficiency and/or management of the Violation process.

Tami Cafariella, Administrative Analyst

Parole Board Recognition Award

Acknowledges agency staff whose work performance has enhanced the ability of the Board to do its job.

Daniel Amend, Senior Offender Rehabilitation Coordinator

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.

The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) is responsible for the care, custody and treatment of individuals sentenced to state prison and for working with them to ensure their successful re-entry into the community. The Department operates 60 correctional facilities (including the Willard Drug Treatment Campus and the Edgecombe Residential Drug Treatment facility) and oversees 38 community supervision (parole) field offices across the state. DOCCS currently provides care, custody and supervision of approximately 94,000 individuals:56,000 in custody in correctional and drug treatment facilities and 38,000 under post-release community supervision.