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DC DOC Unveils Automated Inmate Locator and Notification Service for Crime Victims

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

(Washington, DC) On Wednesday, April 24, 2002, at 1:30 pm, Department of Corrections Director Odie Washington introduces VINES (Victim Information and Notification Everyday System), the agency's most progressive initiative toward protecting crime victims. The briefing will be conducted in the old Council Chambers located at One Judiciary Square, 441 Fourth Street, NW, Washington.

Mayor Anthony Williams projects the benefits of the VINES service will be far-reaching and invaluable to the residents of the city and the criminal justice community. "Regaining a sense of safety and a life of normalcy often presents many challenges to victims of crime," said Mayor Williams. The Mayor added, "I am committed to making Washington, DC, the city that is Delivering on the Digital Promise, and the use of automation offered through VINES will significantly contribute to making our communities safer."

VINES is an automated inmate locator and notification service for crime victims. While it is designed to provide the victims of crime with the latest information about an offender's custody and/or case status changes, it serves as a powerful resource tool for victim advocates, law enforcement agencies, and the general public.

Corrections Director Odie Washington regards this innovation as a key component to the agency's overall mission as a municipal jail detention system. "It is critical that Corrections balances its focus to become more victim-centered," Director Washington stated. "VINES is complimentary to the myriad victim services available, from referral to compensation, adding a vital component of inclusiveness. VINES offers information and notification, the only service of its kind currently available in the District."

The VINES electronically links the offender custody information housed in the Department of Corrections to a national communications center. It allows individuals to call a toll-free number and anonymously receive public information about an offender(s) and register to be notified upon any change in custody status or court appearance activities.

VINES was developed by Appriss, a Louisville, Kentucky-based company recognized as a front-runner in automated victim notification services to the nation's criminal justice agencies. More than 750 communities in 35 states use VINES.

The Department of Corrections' VINES service will be introduced during National Crime Victims Rights Week, April 21-27, 2002.