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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 243
Supervision of administration of local probation and correctional alternatives
Executive (EXC) CHAPTER 18, ARTICLE 12
§ 243. Supervision of administration of local probation and
correctional alternatives. 1. The office shall exercise general
supervision over the administration of probation services throughout the
state, including probation in family courts and shall collect
statistical and other information and make recommendations regarding the
administration of probation services in the courts. The office shall
endeavor to secure the effective application of the probation system and
the enforcement of the probation laws and the laws relating to family
courts throughout the state. After consultation with the state probation
commission, the office shall recommend to the commissioner general rules
which shall regulate methods and procedure in the administration of
probation services, including investigation of defendants prior to
sentence, and children prior to adjudication, supervision, case work,
record keeping, and accounting, program planning and research so as to
secure the most effective application of the probation system and the
most efficient enforcement of the probation laws throughout the state.
Such rules shall provide that the probation investigations ordered by
the court in designated felony act cases under subdivision one of
section 351.1 of the family court act shall have priority over other
cases arising under articles three and seven of such act. When duly
adopted by the commissioner, such rules shall be binding upon all
probation officers and when duly adopted shall have the force and effect
of law, but shall not supersede rules that may be adopted pursuant to
the family court act. The office shall keep informed as to the work of
all probation officers and shall from time to time inquire into and
report upon their conduct and efficiency. The office may investigate the
work of any probation bureau or probation officer and shall have access
to all records and probation offices. The office may issue subpoenas to
compel the attendance of witnesses or the production of books and
papers. The office may administer oaths and examine persons under oath.
The office may recommend to the appropriate authorities the removal of
any probation officer. The office may from time to time publish reports
regarding probation including probation in family courts, and the
operation of the probation system including probation in family courts
and any other information regarding probation as the office may
determine provided expenditures for such purpose are within amounts
appropriated therefor.

2. The office shall exercise general supervision over the utilization
of correctional alternative programs throughout the state. The office
shall collect statistical and other information and make recommendations
regarding the availability, identification, coordination and utilization
of such programs. The office shall endeavor to facilitate communication
and coordination among and between correctional alternative programs and
probation services in order to assist in making effective use of such
programs. A correctional alternative program shall be deemed to refer to
those programs, including eligible programs as defined in paragraph b of
subdivision one of section two hundred sixty-one of this chapter, which
by themselves, or when used in conjunction with one or more programs or
with probation services, may serve as an alternative to a sentence or
disposition of incarceration or a portion thereof, and which shall serve
the interests of justice. The office shall further exercise general
supervision over the administration and implementation of alternatives
to incarceration service plans under the provisions of article
thirteen-A of this chapter. The office shall recommend to the
commissioner general rules and regulations which shall regulate methods
and procedures in the administration and funding of alternative to
incarceration service plans, and any other correctional alternative
program funded by the state through the division, including but not
limited to issuance of quarterly reports as specified by section two
hundred sixty-three of this chapter. When duly adopted by the
commissioner, such rules and regulations shall be binding upon all
counties and eligible programs that may be funded in such plans and when
duly adopted shall have the force and effect of law. The office shall
keep informed as to the development, implementation and utilization of
plans and funded eligible programs therein and shall from time to time
inquire into and report upon their work and efficiency. The office shall
investigate the work of any funded plan or eligible program and shall
have access to their records and offices for such purpose.

3. (a) The office shall have the authority to certify to the
commissioner those correctional alternative programs subject to
supervision of the office and determined to perform a criminal justice
function, as defined in subdivision ten of section eight hundred
thirty-five of this chapter, for the purpose of permitting access to
criminal history records for criminal justice purposes, subject to the
approval of the commissioner. Any such correctional alternative program
may apply for certification to the office in writing, on forms
prescribed by the office. Such application shall specify, at a minimum,
the following: the nature and scope of the program; the necessity for
access to such records related to their criminal justice function; the
names of employees, and their job titles or positions, for whom access
is being sought; and any other information the office deems necessary.
Certification shall include the designation of those employees of such
programs for whom access to such records is authorized. No designated
employee shall have access to such records until such person has
satisfactorily completed appropriate training, required by the division.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, probation departments
conducting investigations ordered by a court, for purposes of
determining custody, adoption, visitation, or guardianship shall have
access to criminal history records maintained by state law enforcement
agencies for criminal justice purposes.

4. The office shall recommend to the commissioner rules and
regulations which shall include guidelines and procedures on the
placement of sex offenders designated as level two or level three
offenders pursuant to article six-C of the correction law. Such
regulations shall instruct local probation departments to consider
certain factors when investigating and approving the residence of level
two or level three sex offenders sentenced to a period of probation.
Such factors shall include the following:

(a) the location of other sex offenders required to register under the
sex offender registration act, specifically whether there is a
concentration of registered sex offenders in a certain residential area
or municipality;

(b) the number of registered sex offenders residing at a particular
property;

(c) the proximity of entities with vulnerable populations;

(d) accessibility to family members, friends or other supportive
services, including but not limited to locally available sex offender
treatment programs with preference for placement of such individuals
into programs that have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing sex
offender recidivism and increasing public safety; and

(e) the availability of permanent, stable housing in order to reduce
the likelihood that such offenders will be transient.