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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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Education reform program
Social Services (SOS) CHAPTER 55, ARTICLE 6, TITLE 11
§ 458-l. Education reform program. 1. As used in this section:

(a) "eligible person" means an individual who (i) is, or is at risk of
being, the subject of a person in need of supervision petition in family
court where elements of an eligible offense have been indicated; or (ii)
has been arrested for or charged with an eligible offense, or it is
otherwise alleged that such person has committed an eligible offense, as
that term is defined in paragraph (b) of this subdivision. In
determining whether to order an eligible person who has been arrested
for or charged with an eligible offense as an adult to participate in
the education reform program under this section, a judge must consider,
among other factors, prior participation in the program as an adult.

(b) "eligible offense" means a crime or offense committed, or, in the
case of a person who is, or is at risk of being the subject of a person
in need of supervision petition, conduct engaged in, by an eligible
person that involved cyberbullying or the sending or receipt through
electronic means of obscenity, as defined in subdivision one of section
235.00 of the penal law, or nudity, as defined in subdivision two of
section 235.20 of the penal law, when the sender and the receiver
thereof were both under the age of twenty at the time of such
communication, but not more than five years apart in age.

(c) "program" means the education reform program developed pursuant to
subdivision two of this section.

2. The office of children and family services, hereinafter the
"office," shall develop and implement, in consultation with the division
of criminal justice services and the state education department, an
education reform program to be provided to eligible persons as a
diversion program in accordance with section seven hundred thirty-five
of the family court act or, as a condition of adjustment pursuant to
section 308.1 of the family court act, or as a condition of an order of
adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, suspended judgment, discharge
with warning, conditional discharge or probation pursuant to article
three or seven of the family court act, as a condition of probation or a
conditional discharge pursuant to section 60.37 of the penal law or as a
condition of an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal pursuant to
section 170.55 of the criminal procedure law, as applicable.

3. The program shall be available in every judicial department in the
state; provided that if the office determines that there is not a
sufficient number of eligible offenses in a judicial department to
mandate the implementation of a program, provisions shall be made for
the residents of such judicial department to participate in a program in
another judicial department where a program exists if practicable with
regard to travel and cost, or to complete the education course online.

4. Such program shall be provided in an age-appropriate manner which
focuses on the crime, offense or conduct, shall involve up to eight
hours of instruction and shall provide, at a minimum, information

(a) the legal consequences of and potential penalties for sharing
sexually suggestive materials, explicit materials or abusive materials,
including sanctions imposed under applicable federal and state statutes;

(b) the non-legal consequences of sharing sexually suggestive
materials, explicit materials or abusive materials, including, but not
limited to, the possible effect on relationships, loss of educational
and employment opportunities, and the potential for being barred or
removed from school programs and extracurricular activities;

(c) how the unique characteristics of cyberspace and the internet,
including the potential ability of an infinite audience to utilize the
internet to search for and replicate materials, can produce long-term
and unforeseen consequences for sharing sexually suggestive materials,
explicit materials or abusive materials; and

(d) the potential connection between bullying and cyber-bullying and
juveniles sharing sexually suggestive materials, explicit materials or
abusive materials.

5. The office, in conjunction with the office of court administration,
the office of probation and correctional alternatives and the division
of criminal justice services, shall provide annual notice regarding the
program to local probation departments, applicable court personnel,
county defender offices, organizations or groups assigned to act as
attorneys for children, district attorneys, presentment agencies and
county attorneys, for the purpose of such information being provided to
each eligible person, his or her attorney and his or her parent or
guardian where necessary, upon an order that they complete such program.
The notice shall include, at a minimum, a short description of the
program, when use of the program is authorized by statute, and the means
of accessing and completing the program. The office shall maintain
information on its website regarding the program, including directions
for accessing the program.

6. Within twenty days of the date upon which the eligible person
completes the program, the office shall provide such person with a
certification that he or she has successfully completed the program and
the date the program was completed. The eligible person shall be
responsible for completing the program, and providing any necessary
proof of completion.