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VINE Putting Victims at Ease

VINE Putting Victims at Ease

Posted - Apr. 22, 2004 at 9:42 p.m.



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Kim Johnson ReportingMoments of fear that hit in the middle of the night, we all have them. But they take on a different meaning, for victims of crime. A new tool was unveiled today, a tool victims say is long overdue.

VINE stands for Victim Information and Notification Everyday service. At any time registered users can call VINE through a toll free number to find out if an offender is in jail. And VINE calls them if an offender is getting out.

It has been almost two years since Lori Tavey's daughter Amy was murdered. Five men are behind bars. Even though they're locked up for a long time, Lori still finds peace of mind in VINE-- a peace of mind only crime victims understand.

Lori Tavey, Mother of Murder Victim: "When you become a victim of crime, or have a life-changing experience like this you go to a place that other people, no matter how well meaning, can't go, because you're thrown into a situation that there's no way to understand unless you're experiencing it.”

Lori says when middle of the night apprehension hits her, VINE brings comfort. Here's how it works:

Information about criminals from jails, prisons, courts, and corrections systems is linked with a national communications center in Louisville, Kentucky. VINE compares information on inmates with the list of registered users. When it finds a match, VINE calls the users and notifies them of any change in a perpetrator's custody or status.

Tammy Nuttal, Mother of Stalking Victim: "I can register my work phone, my home phone, my cell phone, my mother's phone, my friend's phone, to make sure I get that. I will be notified and that gives peace of mind."

Tammy Nuttal's daughter was the victim of a stalker, who'll be out of prison in a year.

Tammy Nuttal: "My fear was the overcrowding and him getting out early, and with this in place I can be prepared."

VINE is being paid for through the victim's reparations fund; no tax dollars are being used for the service.

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