The Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services and the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) has launched an enhanced version of the Victim Information Notification Everyday (VINE) service in Maryland. VINE is the nation’s leading victim notification network, providing crime victims and concerned citizens access to timely and reliable information about offenders in custody.
The enhanced VINE service, funded in part by a nearly $400,000 Bureau of Justice Assistance Grant from the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services, offers victims an improved user experience with the addition of an offender watch list, contact list, and quick escape button, as well as expanded access to victim services with the addition of the comprehensive VINE Service Provider Directory for Maryland.
“This victim notification system is a crucial tool for survivors of violent crime as they recover from their trauma and rebuild their lives,” said Glenn Fueston, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services. “Having access to this information, gives them peace of mind, and allows victims and their loved ones to take proper steps to stay safe. ”
This initiative also provides additional resources to victims of crime through the VINE Service Provider Directory, which connects victims of crime directly to local and national victim services organizations for additional assistance and support. The enhancement allows victims to better track cases throughout the criminal justice process and eliminates the need to enter case numbers that can change based on an offender’s status.
VINE is provided at no cost to users by the State of Maryland through Appriss Insights. Updated information on more than 3 million offenders is provided through a toll-free telephone number, website, or mobile application. Users may also register to receive automated notifications relating to changes in custody status via telephone, email, or text message. The system also utilizes TTY, a device used to communicate with individuals with hearing or speech impairment.
“We have dedicated victim services staff who treat victims’ issues with urgency and compassion,” says Robert Green, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. “Anything we can do to enhance those services is of critical importance.”
Maryland is the 23rd state in the country to implement the enhanced VINE service since its rollout in May 2017. In 2019, more than 1 million offender and court case searches were conducted using the Maryland VINE website and mobile applications.
Victim service providers interested in joining the VINE Service Provider Directory should visit https://apprissinsights.com/mdvine/. If you have additional questions about the directory, please contact Victim Services Program Manager, Rebecca Allyn, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Maryland VINE, please visit https://www.dpscs.state.md.us/victimservs/commitment/main_pages/vs-vine.shtml.