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Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) System

Victim Information and Notification Everyday notification system

The Victim Information and Notification Everyday system allows crime victims to obtain information about particular criminal cases and the status of offenders who are in custody. VINELink is the online version of this system, giving crime victims 24/7 access to this reliable information. While VINELink is designed for crime victims, the information is available to the general public.

VINELink is accessible at www.VINElink.com. Some states have the ability to display this website in Spanish. Please click on the state where you wish to search. If this option is available, you will see an "English | Español" toggle in the upper right hand corner. Victims and other concerned citizens can register to be notified by phone, email, text message (SMS) or TTY device when an offender's custody status changes. Users can also register through their participating state or county toll-free number.

Purpose of the Program

The Victim Information and Notification Everyday system can be used via telephone or online. The service lets crime victims and others search for an offender to see if the offender is currently in custody. Additionally, crime victims can register to receive notifications via phone calls or emails if the offender's custody status is changed. Every state and county uses their own toll-free number for the telephone version of VINE. Additionally, crime victims can register at www.vinelink.com to get email notifications. The service is provided free of charge to the public.

How Information Is Obtained

Law enforcement agencies input the information into the VINE system. The department of corrections of each participating state inputs information, as well as other law enforcement agencies. This means that the information is only as accurate and current as law enforcement agencies make it, because they are responsible for having their personnel input the information.

Where Is VINE Used

Inmate information is available for 46 states and for Puerto Rico. Arizona, Montana, West Virginia, Georgia, Massachusetts and New Hampshire only contain limited information on VINELink. Additionally, information is not available for federal inmates.

What Information Is Included

Law enforcement agency personnel input information about individuals currently in custody. If the individual has been released, this information is also listed. Additionally, some law enforcement agencies show when an individual has been granted parole or probation or when an individual has escaped from custody. Some states also show whether a criminal inmate had violated conditions of their release and changed status as a fugitive.

How to Use the Program

After going to the VINELink site, crime victims choose a state from a map where they want to search for the inmate. Then, they select the "Search and Register" tab and the facilities that they wish to search. They can search by name or by the individual's department of corrections inmate number. If information is available, it will populate on the screen. Multiple individuals may pop up if the search was based on a name. After verifying the information for the inmate that they are searching for, they can click on the offender to get more information. Users can also register to receive notifications when the inmate's status changes by clicking on the magnifying glass icon by the "Register/Details" column beside the inmate. They select how they want to register and fill in the information. They finish by clicking "Register."

Updated Information

VINELink is updated about every 15 minutes by jails and usually twice a day for prisons. However, this can vary based upon the availability of personnel in various facilities. Crime victims can also call the jail directly where the inmate is housed to receive completely updated information.

Disputing or Changing Records on VINE

Because VINE includes information provided by local and state law enforcement agencies, VINE is not able to remove offender information or change the data included in it. If an inmate or former inmate finds inaccurate information, the inmate can contact the local jail facility to discuss the inaccuracy. If such a mistake is discovered, that facility may change the information it includes in the VINE system.

Limitation of Information

In addition to not having access to inmates who are in federal facilities, VINE only contains information on individuals who are currently in custody or who have recently been released. Facilities often delete information about inmates after they have been out of custody for two weeks. Therefore, VINE cannot be used as a historical database. Additionally, while VINE is a national database, not every county participates in the program. Therefore, crime victims may only be able to get information from specific counties within a state, even if the state is considered a "participating" state. Additionally, some counties lack actual jail facilities and will not include information of this nature.

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