Free Training Designed to Educate the Public About VINE(R)

March 31, 2009

Automated service notifies victims when offenders are released from jail

NEW YORK, March 31 /PRNewswire/ — Victim advocates, law enforcement officers, and concerned citizens will have the opportunity to learn about a free service that can help keep crime victims safe.

Appriss Inc. is offering free workshops about New York VINE, on Tuesday, April 7 in Conference Room B at Roosevelt Hospital, 1000 Tenth Avenue, across the street from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Two sessions will be held: the first from 10 a.m. to noon, the second from 2 to 4 p.m.

VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) is a free, anonymous phone and Web system that allows users to track the custody status of offenders in jail and register to be notified when an offender is released, transferred, or escapes. Information can be accessed in English and Spanish 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 1-888-VINE-4NY or www.vinelink.com. Operators are available around the clock to assist callers with registration and referrals to local victim services.

The workshops will include information about using VINE, new features of the system, and tips for promoting the service in the community.

Organizers say ongoing efforts to raise public awareness about VINE are critical because many victims of violent crimes are vulnerable to continued attacks by their offenders. For instance, late last year in Ulster County, a retired state trooper killed his estranged wife then committed suicide. Isol Cotto assumed she was safe because her husband was in jail and had been served with a restraining order directing him to stay away from her. If Cotto had been registered with VINE, she would have been notified immediately upon his release and possibly sought safety.

The workshops are free, but advance registration is required. To register, contact Kristy Shields at 866-277-7477 ext. 5811 or kshields@appriss.com.

VINE is a service of Appriss Inc., a Louisville, Kentucky-based provider of technology solutions for local, state, and Federal government agencies to serve and protect their citizens. New York VINE is offered by the State Sheriffs’ Association, the NYC Department of Correction, and the State Department of Correctional Services. The state introduced New York VINE in 1998; the service is now available in more than 2,000 communities in 46 states.

SOURCE Appriss Inc.

Source: newswire

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