The Arkansas Crime Victim Information and Notification System allows anyone to check the location and status of offenders, and to register for notification of events related to a particular offender. The program is often referred to as the VINE system. VINE is an acronym for “Victim Information and Notification Everyday,” however; you do not have to be a victim of a crime to use this system.
First in the Nation
Arkansas was the first state in the nation to implement an automated information and notification system that includes data from all county jails, some prosecuting attorneys, the Arkansas Department of Community Correction, and the Arkansas Department of Correction.
How the Arkansas VINE System Works
The Arkansas VINE system consists of a network of computers gathering information from each county jail, participating prosecuting attorney’s offices, the Department of Correction, the Department of Community Correction, and the Attorney General’s Office. The system captures information on an offender’s custody status and parole/probation status. The system also provides court event information on criminal cases handled by Prosecuting Attorneys. Victims, or interested persons, may register with the VINE system by using a touch-tone telephone or visiting the VINELink website at http://www.vinelink.com. Once registered, a victim will be notified of custody, parole/probation, and/or court case status changes on an offender. Victims may also use the VINE system to check on the status of an offender or case 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1-800-510-0415 or visiting the website at http://www.vinelink.com.
* Use of the Arkansas VINE System is free to everyone.
* The Arkansas VINE System will automatically call or email you if there is a change in the offender’s custody status, parole/probation status, and of upcoming court events or case status changes.
* All telephone registrations through the Arkansas VINE System are anonymous. You will be asked to choose a special PIN (Personal Identification Number) to acknowledge notifications from the system.
* You may register more than one telephone number. Each registered phone number must have a related PIN for that number.
* You can register against an Arkansas offender regardless of where you live in the country, but to register against other state offenders you would have to refer to that state’s VINE program.
* The VINE system calls every 30 minutes for a 24 hour period. If you are not at home when the VINE system calls with a notification, the service will leave a message and call back every two hours for a 24 hour period. If your email address is registered you will only receive one email containing the status change information of the offender you are registered against.
* You may call the VINE System as often as you want from any touch-tone telephone to check on an offender’s custody and court status, 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
In 1997 the Arkansas Legislature passed Act 1250 which authorized the development of an automated victim information and notification system. This responsibility was placed on the Arkansas Crime Information Center (ACIC). The legislature also passed the “Arkansas Crime Victims Rights Law” which mandated that victims of crime be notified of certain events pertaining to an offender.
VINE Sample Call
Background on the VINE System
In December of 1993, Louisville, Kentucky was faced with a tragic event. A twenty-one year old woman named Mary Byron was murdered as she left her place of employment. The killer was her ex-boyfriend who had been released on bail from the county detention center where he had been held on charges of rape and kidnapping. The young woman did not get notified of his release on bond, as previously promised, and he shot and killed her 3 days after his release.
The violent murder prompted the leaders in Louisville to look for a method of notifying victims of crime when their attackers are released from custody. The goal was to prevent another tragedy from occurring similar to the death of Mary Byron. The search went nationwide, but found that no other community had a fast, effective way of providing this type of notification. Based on these findings, Jefferson County Kentucky selected Interactive Systems of Louisville, Kentucky to develop an automated process to inform and notify victims. The acronym, VINE, was coined for this project, representing the words Victim Information and Notification Everyday. From the beginning, the critical nature of this system was paramount. Once on-line, the system would be responsible for warning individuals when their very lives might be in danger.
Information About the VINE System
For information about the Arkansas VINE system, including brochures and posters, or to schedule public awareness trainings, please call ACIC at (501) 682-2222.
Links to Victim Service Organizations can be found on the ACIC home page under Crime Victims Guide.
Information Provided by Arkansas Crime Information Center at: http://www.acic.org/