What is VINE?
Kentucky was the first state in the nation to provide an automated, statewide victim notification system. Through this computerized system, critical information is available about inmates housed in local jails and adult correctional facilities as well as certain juvenile offenders. This information can be accessed 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Through computer generated telephone calls and emails, all registered persons will be contacted at a predetermined telephone number or email when an inmate is scheduled for release or if an inmates escapes from custody. In addition to victims, law enforcement agencies and the general public have access to housing locations and release information through the 24-hour telephone service.
How does a victim call VINE?
A person requesting to be notified should call the toll-free VINE number (1-800-511-1670) using a touch-tone telephone, to register for notification. The system will begin to call a victim for an established period of time or until the requesting party acknowledges the receipt of the release information.
What inmate information is available through VINE?
- Status: If not in custody, the date the inmate was released will be given.
- Location: Current jail or institutional address and telephone numbers will be given for inmates currently in custody.
- Parole Eligibility: The next hearing date will be given, where applicable.
- Sentence date: The tentative release date will be given, where applicable.
Can I Register Online For VINE?
Registration is available on line at www.VINELINK.com. You may register your phone number or register for an email notification. You can search for the offender by name or identification number. Once you locate the offender you are looking for, if they are in custody at a Kentucky facility, you can enter an email address or phone number.
How often will the system call?
Notification regarding the release of an inmate from jail or state institution will vary depending on the type of release. In the event of an escape, notifications will be made every 30 minutes until notification is acknowledged by the registered person. Notification regarding the general release of an inmate will be made to the extent possible, prior to the release and at the time of the offender’s release. In the cases of parole, court ordered discharges and home incarceration, the system will begin to call once the inmate is released. VINE will also notify registered persons in advance of upcoming parole hearings.
How can I make sure that I get the notification and not someone else?
You can register more than one phone number or email address with VINE. To ensure the person receives the release information, the system requires a the victim to leave a four digit, personal identification number (PIN). A familiar number is recommended for this PIN because, in some cases, it may be several years before the inmate is released. A number that is not readily familiar may be forgotten. Use of the PIN is the only way to halt the notification calls. You may wish to record your PIN in some secure location in your residence.
If I don’t have a touch-tone phone, will I be notified?
Registered victims with rotary dial telephone are able to receive the notifications and be provided with a way to use their PIN to confirm receipt of the notification.
How can I locate the correct inmate?
There are certain offenders who are eligible to be housed in local jails. These offenders will have 2 records in VINE, both a Department of Corrections record and a local jail record. A person may search for the inmate by institutional number or inmate name. . If number is unknown, you may enter the name by the telephone keypad.
Will the inmate know I registered for notification?
No! This system provides an opportunity to register anonymously.
What do I do if the inmate is going to be released?
If you fear for your safety, do not depend on this or any other service for your protection. Take precautionary measures as if the inmate is already released.
What if I wish written notification of an inmate’s release?
If the inmate is in the custody of the Department of Corrections and you wish to receive written notification on an inmate’s release, please notify the Office of Victim Services at the following address: Department of Corrections , Attention: Office of Victim Services , P.O. Box 2400, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601. The office telephone number is 1-502-564-5061or you may call toll free 877-OVS-6818. If you wish to be notified of a Corrections inmate’s release on furlough, written requests must be made to the Warden of the institution where the inmate is housed.
How can I have input into Parole Board Decisions?
The Kentucky Parole Board has, since 1986, notified victims of crime and Commonwealth’s Attorneys throughout the state about pending parole hearings 45 to 90 days prior to the inmate hearing. The Board is provided with the names of victims by local probation and parole officers when they prepare the Pre-Sentence Investigation Report. In the event the victim’s address changes after the court proceedings, it is essential that the victim notify the Board of the change of address. The Board has a toll-free victim number: 1-800-221-5991. The Board’s regular number is 502-564-3620.
The Board’s notification process is designed to provide the name of the offender, parole eligibility date and a Victim Impact Statement (VIS). Victims are encouraged to complete the VIS promptly and return it to the Parole Board. Two very important questions on the VIS are:
- Do you wish to appear before the Parole Board for a hearing?
- Do you wish to be notified on the Parole Board’s decision?
The law requires the anyone who wishes to meet with the Board for a victim hearing before the inmate’s hearing advise the Board in writing not less that seven days prior to the inmate’s hearing. Victim Impact Statements should be returned to the Board at the following address: Kentucky Parole Board, Attention: Victim Coordinator, P.O. Box 2400 , Frankfort , Kentucky 40601.
Why was this system started?
The tragic death of Mary Byron in Louisville, Kentucky in 1993, established the need for a 24 hour-a-day release notification service to victims. Jefferson County officials recognized this need and established the first local automated system. These officials gave seed money to implement the state wide system.
Kentucky Victims of Homicide Memorial… A Symbol of Remembrance and Hope
KVHM is a collaborative project of Kentucky’s two statewide victims’ organizations, KY Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Kentuckians’ Voice for Crime Victims (KVCV). It serves as an enduring memorial to victims of homicide and provides a symbol of remembrance and hope for their surviving loved ones. Read More on their Facebook page, or download the brochure [PDF].