January 14, 2008
Colorado to Launch VINE(R) Statewide
Federal funding allows state to join National Victim Notification Network
LITTLETON, Colo. — The County Sheriffs of Colorado has introduced Victim Information and Notification Everyday(R) (VINE), a service that allows crime victims and other concerned citizens throughout the state to track the custody status of offenders by telephone or online.
With Colorado VINE, users can call 1-888-263-8463 or log onto www.vinelink.com to find out if an offender is in jail or prison. They can also register to be notified by phone, e-mail, pager, or TTD/TTY device when an offender is released, transferred, or escapes. Live operators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist victims who need help obtaining offender information or registering for notification. Technical support professionals monitor and maintain the network to ensure high reliability and availability of this potentially life-saving service. VINE is free to the public.
The service is being funded by a two-year, $430,000 grant from the Bureau of Justice Administration (BJA) created to bring as many states as possible together into a National Victim Notification Network. Since 2005, the Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification (SAVIN) grant program has nearly doubled the number of states providing automated victim notification. The grant is supported by Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. and the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance.
The goal of the SAVIN program is to increase public safety and improve basic criminal justice decisions by ensuring that victims are given timely and accurate information that both enhances their ability to protect themselves, and ensures they are able to fully participate in the criminal justice process.
The County Sheriffs of Colorado has contracted with Appriss(R) Inc., a technology company providing resources to criminal justice and victims of crime. Appriss currently provides VINE in Denver County. Colorado joins 32 other states that have launched statewide victim notification using Appriss technology and services.
Appriss provides innovative technology solutions that help thousands of local, state, and Federal government agencies serve and protect their citizens. Its flagship product, VINE(R), keeps crime victims informed on the custody or court status of their offender in more than 2,000 communities across the country. Other innovative products and services include VINE Protective Order(TM), which automatically notifies petitioners when protective orders are served on respondents; JusticeXchange(TM), the leading solution for connecting criminal justice agencies nationwide; and AlertXpress(TM), a high- speed notification solution for government agencies. The company's newest product, MethCheck(TM), is an automated tool that allows law enforcement to monitor purchases for pseudoephedrine, one of the components in the manufacture of methamphetamine, and to "watch" specific individuals who exceed the legal limits imposed by state law.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, supports law enforcement, courts, corrections, treatment, victim services, technology, and prevention initiatives that strengthen the nation's criminal justice system. BJA provides leadership, services, and funding to America's communities by emphasizing local control; building relationships in the field; developing collaborations and partnerships; promoting capacity building through planning; streamlining the administration of grants; increasing training and technical assistance; creating accountability of projects; encouraging innovation; and ultimately communicating the value of justice efforts to decision-makers at every level.
Don Christensen of County Sheriffs of Colorado, +1-720-344-2762
Web site: http://www.vinelink.com/