Appriss Joins Washington D.C. Department of Corrections To Launch VINE; Appriss Launches VINE in Minnesota/ Illinois
LOUISVILLE, KY - Crime victims in the nation's capital now have access to offender custody status information through VINE® (Victim Information & Notification Everyday.) The Washington D.C. Department of Corrections launched VINE to monitor the custody status of offenders in the Central Detention Facility, Correctional Treatment Center, and the halfway houses located through out the District. "Criminal justice systems across the country need to be more victim-centered," said Odie Washington, director of the D.C. Department of Corrections. "This service literally gives victims an opportunity to learn the status of offenders at any time." "I've had victims ask me how I know when and where their offender is being released and I just haven't been able to answer that," said Brook Hedge, presiding domestic-violence judge for D.C. Superior Court. "It's very hard to see the fear in a victim's eyes when they don't know where the offender is." "VINE has become the premier automated information and notification victim service through out the country," said Davis. "Over 51 percent of the estimated county inmates and 48 percent of the estimated state inmates are now monitored by VINE." Appriss Launches VINE in Minnesota/ Illinois
LOUISVILLE, KY - Appriss Inc. President Mike Davis joined government leaders in Illinois and Minnesota to commemorate National Crime Victims' Rights Week. April 21-27 marked the 22nd year for the nationwide effort to recognize the accomplishments of the victims' rights movement. Davis was on hand as leaders in both states launched their automated victim notification services. At a news conference in Springfield, Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan introduced his state's new service known as Automated Victim Notification or AVN. Appriss is implementing both custody and court notification for the state. "AVN is already operating in 24 counties, giving crime victims the peace of mind and security of knowing when and if offenders will be paroled from prison," said Ryan. "Too many times, victims have been surprised by the same criminals who victimized them before, sometimes resulting in tragedy." Illinois is also the second state to launch V-NET, a secure website that allows victim advocates to register victims for VINE over the Internet. It is also an information resource, linking advocates to other criminal justice websites as well as providing email and a Chat Room. The Minnesota Center for Crime Victim Services unveiled its plans for a statewide VINE service at a news conference in St. Paul. Launched initially in Scott County in 1998, VINE went on line in Douglas County during National Crime Victims' Rights Week. It is scheduled for statewide completion in 2003. "We understand the importance of providing up-to-date custody status information to crime victims," said Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner Charlie Weaver. "With information, we give victims a voice in the criminal justice process." "Appriss is thrilled to see these two states aggressively move to keep all crime victims informed," said Davis. "There is no better way to honor victims and their families during this special week, than to provide them with such a worthwhile service." The 2002 National Crime Victims' Rights Week also coincides with the 20th anniversary of the President's Task Force on Victims of Crime Final Report. The task force report provided guidance toward the implementation of victims' rights including victim information and notification.