News: Press ReleasesFor Release: January 5, 2001 - Contact: Larry Traylor, (804) 674-3574
National Domestic Violence Hotline Recognizes DOC VINE System
RICHMOND – Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC) Director Ron Angelone announced today that the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) has recognized the DOC for “promoting a violence-free America” through the implementation of VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday). VINE is a toll-free hotline that provides up-to-date offender custody information and notifies registered crime victims when an offender’s status changes within the Virginia prison system.
“The Virginia Department of Corrections realizes that victims of violent crime are often traumatized in the knowledge that a perpetrator may eventually be released,” said Director Ron Angelone. “The DOC was recognized by NDVH in its efforts to help crime victims through its foresight in implementing VINE’s unique notification technology.”
The VINE program, designed to bridge the gap between crime victims and the criminal justice system, is a free 24-hour automated system that provides crime victims with current information and notification on offenders housed in Virginia’s prison system. The DOC Inmate Phone System supports VINE which allows it to operate at no cost to taxpayers.
The VINE system will track the status of perpetrators incarcerated within DOC facilities so that victims of crime can make vital decisions regarding their safety from the privacy of their own home. All registered crime victims remain anonymous.
If an inmate has a change in custody status, such as transfer, release or even escape, while in the custody of the Virginia Department of Corrections, the VINE Call Center automatically begins to call all persons registered for that inmate. Notification calls continue every half-hour for 24-hours or until notification has been confirmed with the registered person’s confidential Personal Identification Number (PIN). The system also provides information such as the offender’s parole eligibility date, interview date, and final parole decision.
Since the implementation of Virginia’s VINE program in October 1999, more than 3,400 victims have registered with the system through the help of the Virginia Department of Corrections’ Victim Services Unit. The Victim Services Unit provides quality services and assistance to victims of crime in Virginia at 1-800-560-4292.