The District of Columbia understands the importance of balancing victim and inmate needs within its lists of services. One of the more important victim services we offer involves getting timely information to victims whenever an inmate’s status has changed.
Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) is an automated victim notification system that informs victims of inmate status changes, whether it is a release, facility transfer, court hearing, escape, or re-incarceration. VINE continuously polls the Corrections Department's computer for status changes. When one occurs, it calls registered victims' phone numbers or sends notices to registered e-mail addresses at regular intervals until contact is made or a 48-hour threshold is reached (in addition to e-mail, system also has faxing capability). After 48 hours, VINE generates a form letter that the subscribing agency mails to the victim. Registered victims may also take the initiative and call 1(877) 329-7894 (toll-free) to obtain up-to-date status information on an inmate. This feature has the added benefit of potentially reducing substantial numbers of direct calls to the facility. Users can also use the VINELINK Offender Search to check the custody status of an offender.
For more information on victim assistance programs, visit the Victim Assistance section of the Metropolitan Police Department website and/or the Victim Witness Assistance Unit of the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.