One Step Ahead

One Step Ahead

Government Technology CoverNoted businessman Victor Kiam once said that information is a negotiator’s greatest weapon. The same is undoubtedly true for crime victims who live in fear that their assailants will strike them again the moment they are released from legal custody. This fear is far from irrational, particularly in cases of domestic violence, where it is not uncommon for someone to fall victim to a person they thought was still securely under lock and key.

But with knowledge comes power, and a unique information system called the V.I.N.E. service is now helping to give both victims and law enforcement a leg up in the battle against crime. VINE, which stands for Victim Information and Notification Everyday, is a fully automated notification system that lets registered users know almost immediately when there has been any change in the holding status of a particular offender. This information can be sent via telephone, e-mail, or even a pager, and is usually delivered within about 15 minutes of the change in status occurring.

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