Saturday, April 21, 2012

Join Us Today for Walk A Mile In Her Shoes!

Come down to Marist College today to join the fun at
Walk A Mile In Her Shoes!

Everyone is invited! Help us raise awareness and support Crime Victims. You can register as an individual or a team. We’ve got great prizes for walkers who bring in the most sponsorships.
If you don’t have a pair of heels, don’t worry we’ve got a pair of pink flip flops for you!

Date: Saturday April 21st
Time: 10:30 - 11:30 Registration 11:30 - 12:00 Walk
Location: Marist College McCann Center

The event happens rain or shine.
In case of bad weather we'll be inside the McCann Center,
so don't worry about getting your shoes wet!

Monday, April 16, 2012

From the Poughkeepsie Journal: Tougher Human Trafficking Laws Sought

Measure calls for an increase in protections, harsher penalties

Reprinted from the Poughkeepsie Journal April 13, 2012

ALBANY — Lawmakers and prosecutors are pushing for a stronger human-trafficking law that would increase protections for victims and strengthen penalties against traffickers.

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, D-Scarsdale, introduced a bill this week to revise the state’s 2007 law to hold sex and labor traffickers, sex-tourism operators and other human traffickers accountable.

The measure would particularly increase protections in cases of commercial sexual exploitation of children.

It would also close a gap in the state’s 2008 Safe Harbor Law, which prohibits prosecution and incarceration of children on prostitution charges. Children ages 16 and 17 still have been arrested and convicted in criminal court because the judicial system has some discretion about transferring cases to Family Court, Paulin said Thursday.

Prosecutors, members of law enforcement and organizations that serve victims of human trafficking have pointed out other gaps and loopholes in the law that make it more difficult to catch traffickers, she said.

“My bill builds on the 2007 anti-trafficking law by increasing accountability for the criminals, the buyers and the traffickers who are fueling the underground growth of this massive industry,” Paulin said.

The legislation would create the felony sex offenses of first-, second- and third-degree aggravated patronizing a minor so penalties would conform to those for statutory rape. Under existing law, patronizing a minor for prostitution is a class E felony. Rape is a class B felony, a more serious offense.

“People who buy sex from children should face the same penalty as people who commit statutory rape of children,” said Dorchen Leidholdt, director of the Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services at Sanctuary for Families in New York City.

The legislation would classify sex trafficking as a class B violent felony, which carries more penalties than a B felony, as it is categorized under current law. It would increase the penalty for labor trafficking from a class D felony to a class B felony.

Sen. Steve Saland, R-Poughkeepsie, said he would introduce the bill in his house, “knowing full well that it’s going to need some work.”

New York has made progress, but there is room for improvement on human trafficking. “Clearly there’s more that needs to be done. It’s just how do we get there,” he said.

Paulin said she and Saland put in everything they want in the bill and will begin the negotiating process.

The bill would remove New York’s requirement that prosecutors prove coercion in sex-trafficking cases involving children. New York’s Safe Harbor Act recognizes that prostituted individuals younger than 18 are exploited youth, as does federal law.

From the Ulster Prevention Council Blog: Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies

I’ve spent the last few days with six wonderful teaching assistants from the Kingston City School District. I am so impressed by their professionalism and passion for what they do! We spent our time together discussing Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS®), an elementary school curriculum that has been shown to significantly improve children's social and emotional skills.

Schools are charged with helping students to master academic content and become able to succeed in an increasingly complex world. Yet, many students lack the social and emotional skills they need to learn and grow, or they possess them but require ongoing reinforcement to reach their full potential.

Teaching students effectively is difficult when pupils are unable to properly engage in the learning process. Some students have difficulty managing emotions, act out in unhealthy and potentially harmful ways, detract from the healthy functioning of the school environment and/or create conflict in the classroom, playground, cafeteria or school bus.

The PATHS® program teaches skills that allow children to calm themselves when angry, make friends, resolve conflicts respectfully, and make ethical and safe choices. Social and emotional competence underlies both effective behavior and academic success.

PATHS® supports federal requirements that mandate schools to provide safe and effective learning environments, helping to reinforce a bully-free climate. The program can also help students meet Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and can support goals for reading, writing, listening and speaking. The PATHS® program was one of only 12 SAMHSA Model Programs that had documented academic achievement outcomes - and one of only two programs designed for children ages 5-12.

According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, classroom and school interventions that make the learning environment safer, more caring, more participatory, and that enhance students’ social competence have been shown to increase student attachment to school. In turn, students who are more engaged and attached to school have better attendance, higher graduation rates, higher grades and standardized tests scores and decreased rates of high-risk behaviors including alcohol and drug use, violence, truancy, and bullying.

In rigorous clinical studies, the PATHS® program has been shown to:

• reduce teachers' reports of students exhibiting aggressive behavior by 32%

• increase teachers' reports of students exhibiting self-control by 36%

• increase students' vocabulary for emotions by 68%

• increase students' scores on cognitive skills tests by 20%

• significantly improve students' ability to tolerate frustration plus their ability -- and willingness -- to use effective conflict-resolution strategies

• reduce depression and sadness among special-needs students

For more information regarding PATHS®, please contact me.

Cheryl DePaolo

Family Services

Ulster Prevention Council


85 Grand Street

Kingston, NY 12401


Monday, April 9, 2012

Press Conference Acknowledging Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April 4, 2012- Family Services' administration and staff gathered Wednesday with other community leaders to acknowledge Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Brian Doyle, Family Services' CEO, and Joan Crawford, Deputy Executive Director, remarked that Sexual Assault Awareness Month gives us the opportunity to help the public understand the social norms that permit sexual violence to be as widespread as it is – and to engage bystanders to proactively work together to build a safer community. Also recognized for his work with victims of Crime was Dutchess County Chair of the Legislature, Robert Rolison. Sharon Doane, Family Services' Director of Forensic Services, presented Rob with the Fay Honey Knopp Award of Spirit and Humanity from the NYS Association of the Treatment of Sexual Abusers and the NYS Alliance of Sex Offender Treatment Providers.

Monday, April 2, 2012

From the Ulster Prevention Council Blog

On March 29, 2012, New York State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H. issued an order of summary action banning the sale of synthetic marijuana products in New York State. These substances, generally referred to as "synthetic marijuana", consist of plant material coated by chemicals that mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. These products are being sold as a "legal alternative" to marijuana in convenience stores, smoke shops, and tobacco stores with brand names such as "Spice", "K2", "Mr. Nice Guy", and "Galaxy Gold".

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo called upon the Department of Health to take action to ban the sale of these dangerous products.

The order states, "synthetic cannabinoids have been linked to severe adverse reactions, including death and acute renal failure, and commonly cause: tachycardia (increased heart rate); paranoid behavior, agitation and irritability; nausea and vomiting; confusion; drowsiness; headache; hypertension; electrolyte abnormalities; seizures; and syncope (loss of consciousness).

The Commissioner's order calls for sales and distribution of these products to cease immediately and it calls upon local health officials to distribute the order and check for compliance.

Last week, the Commissioner sent special health alerts to local health departments, emergency departments and other health care providers to make them aware of the dangers of these products.

The New York State ban is much stronger than the current temporary DEA ban on 5 synthetic cannabinoid compounds in that it encompasses products with a wide variety of chemical compounds that are synthesized to mimic the actions of THC.

In Ulster County, the town and village of Saugerties are currently in the process of conducting public hearings to move forward with laws that would ban the sale of all synthetic drugs, and county officials have expressed support for a county-wide ban.

The New York State order is available here: