May 16, 2008
Automated Crime Victim Notification Network Launched in Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA — The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency today helped to unveil a new automated system to help victims of crime in Philadelphia track the status of offenders in the prison system.
The Pennsylvania Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification, or PA SAVIN, system allows citizens to register to be notified of an offender's release, transfer, or escape from a county or state facility either by telephone or e-mail, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Philadelphia is the 26th county to implement the system, which eventually will be offered statewide.
"PA SAVIN allows crime victims, victims' family and friends, members of the public, law enforcement officials, victim service providers and the media to receive fast notification about an offender's status," said PCCD chairman Walter M. Phillips Jr. "PCCD commends Philadelphia for its foresight and dedication to victims of crime in implementing this automated notification system."
Citizens wishing to register may call, toll-free, 1-866-972-7284, or register online at www.pacrimevictims.state.pa.us.
Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham, Philadelphia Prison Commissioner Louis Giorla and area victim advocates joined Phillips for the announcement.
Philadelphia is the largest local government in the state to implement PA SAVIN. The Philadelphia Prison System houses 23 percent of all county-incarcerated inmates in the state. One third of Pennsylvania's counties are now online, and 63 counties with jails are scheduled to join PA SAVIN by the end of October.
PA SAVIN complements an existing system operated by the state Office of Victim Advocate that provides notification to crime victims about offenders within the state's Department of Corrections and Board of Probation and Parole.
The implementation of the Pennsylvania Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification system is a joint project of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Institute. Pennsylvania is one of 13 states to receive funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance within the U.S. Department of Justice to launch a statewide program.
PCCD and the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Institute have selected Appriss Inc., a Kentucky-based technology company, to implement SAVIN in Pennsylvania.
Appriss launched the first victim notification service in 1994 following the murder of 21-year-old Mary Byron, who was shot by an ex-boyfriend three days after he was released from jail on rape charges. Byron was not aware that he had been released.
The victim notification service is currently available in more than 2,000 communities in 41 states.
For more information about PCCD, visit www.pccd.state.pa.us.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Other counties using PA SAVIN are: Berks, Blair, Carbon, Centre, Cumberland, Clarion, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Jefferson, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Mifflin, Montgomery, Montour, Pike, Somerset, Tioga, Union, Venango, Washington and Wayne.
Source: Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency
Tara Mead of Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, +1-717-265-8470
Web Site: http://www.state.pa.us/