Justice and Public Safety Cabinet
Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence commemorates 10th Anniversary of VINE® System in Kentucky
VINE® helps crime victims stay informed
Frankfort, KY – Ten years ago, Kentucky became the first in the nation to offer automated statewide victim notification. Like many progressive acts, the Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE®) system came at the behest of tragedy when three years earlier Mary Byron was murdered by her estranged boyfriend after he was released from the Jefferson County Jail and Mary wasn’t notified.
Mary’s parents, Pat and John Byron, began a crusade that their daughter’s death would not be in vain and a year later, software engineers developed the VINE® system and implemented it at the Jefferson County Jail. In 1996, the system was launched on a statewide level including all the county jails and state prisons in the Commonwealth.
Today in Louisville, Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence, the Byrons, and other officials marked the 10th anniversary of that system and the crusade for victims that has left a lasting mark in not only Kentucky, but across this nation. A reception was held at Appriss, Inc., provider of the VINE® service.
“As a result of Mary’s death and the tragedy that the Byron family suffered, victims are safer today than they were 10 years ago,” said Lieutenant Governor Pence. “Countless lives have undoubtedly been saved by the advance warning it provides to those who need it. As secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, I am committed to making sure we do everything in our power to keep crime victims safe, and one way to do this is to make sure they are informed about their offenders.”
The VINE® system is part of a contract the state holds through the Kentucky Department of Corrections and Appriss. While VINE® is the company’s flagship product, Appriss has numerous other criminal justice products including JusticeXchange, an inmate database for law enforcement that includes booking records, incident reports, and other data from hundreds of jails and prisons across the country.
“We currently have more than 20,000 felons in custody across this state, in county jails and state prisons. Victims need information about these individuals long after the trial and conviction – that’s where VINE® comes in,” said Corrections Commissioner John D. Rees. “We have recently enhanced the service by adding scripts in Spanish to better serve this state’s growing Hispanic population and the system now gives automatic parole notifications.”
To obtain custody information about an offender in any jail or prison in Kentucky, people can call VINE® toll-free at 1-800-511-1670 or go to the VINE® website, www.vinelink.com.
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