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California Probation, Parole and Correctional Association: A Variety of Perspectives and a Valuable Resource.

"Justice and Equity Put Forth With Devotion" has been the California Probation, Parole and Correctional Association's (CPPCA's) motto since its formal establishment in 1917. Honoring this motto has made CPPCA a success and has inspired its leaders and members to achieve the association's missions of legislative advocacy, public education, standards development, research and professional development.

Reaching out to professionals in probation, parole and correctional agencies throughout California, CPPCA is the only association in the state that represents juvenile, adult, state, local and institutional facility employees. "Having members who work in line staff, management, supervision and specialized fields or services brings a great cross-section of information to the association," says Craig Levy, CPPCA's president. "Each person brings a different perspective to the table because we each see things differently from the chairs we sit in. This is a wonderful aspect for an association because a variety of professionals are represented and everyone works in the best interest of the members."

Managing an association in a state as large as California may seem difficult, but CPPCA uses various approaches to help members connect with other professionals throughout the state. One way CPPCA ensures this is by having a geographically diverse leadership. The president, first vice president and second vice president rotate according to region. One year, a president is elected from the north and the following year, from the south. This rotation, ensures that members from different regions are represented equally. CPPCA also has regional vice presidents from southern, central, northern coastal and northern regions, which enable regions to have individual meetings that focus on their geographic areas, in addition to CPPCA conferences.

One way CPPCA enables members to exchange their ideas and experiences is through its conferences. According to Levy, numerous county programs have begun as a result of CPPCA conferences. A member often will hear about a program taking place in one county and may try it in his or her county. This year, CPPCA's annual conference, "A Universal Approach to Corrections: Rethinking, Restoring and Reshaping," will be held in Universal City, Calif., Sept. 12-15. Levy says he has three main objectives for this conference: a great site, outstanding training and fun. "We are going to work hard during the day and have fun in the evening," he says.

CPPCA also educates and informs members through its publication, Corrections News, and its Web site, which provides information about the association and correctional issues, as well as links to other operations and association sites. The site also includes a student page that gives future probation, parole and corrections professionals a jump start on their careers, providing links to jobs and internships.

"We really want to bring people into the association early in their careers," says Levy. "Once one gets involved in the association, one gets a better understanding of the expectations of the career and makes some valuable connections. There is a true value to this because even if you are just a bit involved, you are going to do much better in the field than if you come in cold off the street."

Educating legislators is another important objective of CPPCA. Its lobbyist, Nick Warner, along with the legislative committee, works to educate legislators and pass or defeat propositions and bills favorable to the field. "Having [Warner] work in the Capitol [Sacramento] and work closely with the board is extremely beneficial to our agency," Levy says.

Another mission of CPPCA is helping other members achieve their goals. Whether it means providing research, information, connecting one person to another or helping a member with a project, CPPCA thinks the better informed a member is, the more professional he or she will be. In the future, CPPCA would like to form a leadership academy that would help members to go beyond the norm and one step above.

"CPPCA has many valuable resources," says Levy. "The most valuable resource is our members. We have some members who have been in the field for 40 years. Having the knowledge of people who have been in the field forever at your fingertips provides us with a great opportunity and gives us guidance and direction."

Elizabeth Klug is assistant editor of Corrections Today.

Vital Statistics

* Founded: CPPCA was founded in 1017.

* Objectives: To advance correctional practices through public education and information, legislative advocacy, research, standards development and professionalism.

* Leadership: Comprised of a president, first vice president, second vice president, regional vice presidents, chair of the delegates, delegate body, committee chairs, representatives for agencies and aboard of directors.

* Membership: CPPCA currently has 2,100 members.

* Publications: CPPCA publishes a newsletter, Correctional News, 10 times a year.

* Conferences: CPPCA has an annual conference and regional conferences at various times throughout the year.
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Article Details
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Author:Klug, Elizabeth
Publication:Corrections Today
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Jun 1, 2000
Words:784
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