The Arkansas Crime Victim Information and Notification System allows anyone to check the location and status of offenders is provided by ACIC. The program is often referred to as the VINE system. VINE is an acronym for "Victim Information and Notification Everyday."
First in the Nation
Arkansas was the first state in the nation to implement an automated notification system that includes all county jails, all prosecuting attorneys and the state prison system.
How the Arkansas VINE System Works
The Arkansas VINE system consists of a network of computers placed in each county jail, prosecuting attorney's office, the Department of Correction, the Attorney General's Office, and the Department of Community Correction. The system captures information on an offender's custody status. The system also provides court event information on criminal cases handled by Prosecuting Attorneys.
Victims may register with the VINE system by using a touch-tone telephone. Once registered, a victim will be notified of custody and/or court status changes of an offender. Victims may also use the VINE system to check on the status of an offender 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Use of the Arkansas VINE System is free to crime victims. The Arkansas VINE System will call you automatically if an inmate is released, is transferred, escapes or
dies. All telephone registrations through the Arkansas VINE System are anonymous. You will have a special PIN (Personal Identification Number) to access the system.
You may register more than one telephone number. Use the same PIN for each registration.
If you are not at home when the VINE system calls with a notification, the service will leave a message and call back within two hours.
You may call the Arkansas VINE System as often as you want from any touch-tone telephone to check on an offender's custody and court status.
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 a "crime victims rights" law which mandated that victims of crime be notified of certain events pertaining to an offender.
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. The young woman did not know her ex-boyfriend was out of custody after being assured that she would be notified if he was released.
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 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 set out to develop a first of its kind high-tech notification system.
The notification system had to integrate with the jail's automated booking system and serve as a high speed notification platform, as well as an information resource for incoming calls. The term VINE was coined for this project. This stood for Victim Information and Notification Everyday. From the beginning, the critical nature of this system was understood. Once on-line, the system would be responsible for warning individuals when their very lives might be in danger. The goal was to prevent another tragedy like the murder of Mary Byron. Interactive Systems of Louisville was selected to develop the automated portion of the system.
Information About the VINE System
For information about the Arkansas VINE system, including brochures and posters, call Kathy Gattin, VINE Program Coordinator, at (501) 682-9490, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Helpful Victim Service Organizations
Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence
The Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence provides statewide referrals to battered women's shelters and advocacy services. They have legal advocates who can assist in obtaining orders of protection.
Center for Arkansas Legal Services
The Center for Arkansas Legal Services provides free legal advice and representation in non-criminal cases to individuals who cannot afford a lawyer.
Crime Victims Reparations Board
The Crime Victims Reparations Board provides financial assistance to victims of crime such as funeral expenses, psychological counseling, medical bills & work loss.
Arkansas Department of Human Services
The Arkansas Department of Human Services provides social services such as Medicaid, food stamps, and financial assistance through the TEA Program formerly known as Aid to Families with Dependant Children.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Mothers Against Drunk Driving provides support and advocacy to victims of drunk and impaired driving.
Parents of Murdered Children
Parents of Murdered Children is a self-help organization that provides support and advocacy to families affected by homicide.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Domestic Violence Hotline links individuals to help in their area using a nationwide database that includes detailed information on domestic violence shelters, other emergency shelters, legal advocacy and assistance programs, and social service programs.
National Organization for Victim Assistance
Founded in 1975, the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) is a private, non-profit, umbrella organization working on behalf of victims of crime and disaster.
National Center for Victims of Crime
The mission of the National Center for Victims of Crime is to forge a national commitment to help victims of crime rebuild their lives. We are dedicated to serving individuals, families and communities harmed by crime.
Please contact Safe Spaces if you need information on the
VINE Program in other states.