Kansas Adopts Service for Crime Victims

Kansas Adopts Service for Crime Victims
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Sheriff’s departments across Kansas are implementing a new system to notify crime victims of the status of their offenders.

Right now in many counties, if a victim in Kansas wants to be notified when a criminal is released, there’s paper work and room for error.

“Typically if a victim wanted to be notified it was a manual effort. where the corrections officer would make a manual note in that jail file,” Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said.

Now, it’s a mouse click away. County-by-county, Kansas is implementing the Victim Information Notification Everyday, or VINE system. The database makes an offenders name, custody status, location, and scheduled release available for victims; automating notifications without the clerical work.

“Our records management is gonna communicate with the vine system, and it’s gonna just push out that notification,” Groves said.

Program Director at the Safehouse Crisis Center, Brooke Powell, says making this information easier to access is vital for victim’s safety.

“If they’re living on their own, what safety precautions they need to take. Do they need to come back in to shelter to stay safe for a few days?,” Powell said. “That will enhance not only their safety but their piece of mind.”

There’s also a mobile app. Which, like the website, is meant for victims. But is open to anybody.

“There’s a lot of people who may have someone who lives in their neighborhood who gets arrested and they want to know when those people are released from custody,” Groves said.

18 counties in Kansas already have the service up and running, including Bourbon and Labette. Crawford and Cherokee County expect to start using the service within the next month or two. VINE should be state-wide within two years.

“The potential for human error, as inadvertent as that may be.. when those people need to be notified that an inmate is about to be released they need to be notified for a variety of reasons,” Groves said.

VINE Mobile is available in the Android and iPhone app stores.

You can search the VINE database HERE.