Department of Corrections Begins Statewide Victim Notification System
Tallahassee- Secretary James V. Crosby announced today that over 50 Florida Sheriff's have agreed to implement the Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) system in their local jails. VINE proactively notifies crime victims of inmate location, transfer, escape, death or release.
"By extending the VINE service to the county level, victims will now be able to follow an individual through the entire criminal justice system," said Secretary Crosby. "Information is the key to putting a victim's life back on track, and this will allow them to get important information from the onset."
After the sheriff's office comes on-line, they will be able to automatically notify the victims of rape, domestic violence, homicide, and other serious crimes, on the status of the person charged with the crime. This type of timely notification is important in local rape cases when a victim might be unaware of the offender's release from the county jail.
The Department of Corrections Office of Victim Services empowers over 40,000 victims of crime annually by providing information about the status and location of offenders as well as an automated telephone notification system 24 hours a day seven days a week. This notification is particularly crucial when domestic violence offenders are released from state prison and the abused victim may need protection. As one victim recently wrote in a letter to the department, "I am grateful for such a program but it is so tragic that there is such a need for it."
Since 1972, over 32,000 laws have been passed at the federal, state and local level to assist victims of crime. Since its' introduction in Florida in 2000 the Victim Notification and Information Everyday (VINE) has processed over 770,000 calls and letters for Florida's victims of crime.
VINE is a free public service. To register call 1-877-vine-4FL (1-877-846-3435).