Automated Victim Notification System Now Covers More Than Three-Quarters of Kansas Counties

TOPEKA – (April 8, 2019) – An automated system designed to notify crime victims when an offender has a change in custody status has been implemented in more than three-quarters of the county jails across the state, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.

County-by-county implementation of the Kansas Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) system began in March 2016.

“Kansas VINE is an important source of information for victims of crime,” Schmidt said. “Having it available now in more than three-quarters of Kansas counties is significant progress.”

VINE is a free and anonymous service provided through the collaboration of the Kansas Attorney General’s Office, the Kansas Department of Labor, and the Kansas Sheriffs’ Association. The VINE system allows victims of crime to use the telephone or internet to search for information regarding the custody status of their offender in a county jail and to register to receive notification when the offender’s custody status changes, such as when the offender is released from jail. Types of offender information available are name, offender number, current offender custody status, location of the offender and scheduled release date if available.

The Kansas VINE system is currently for offenders housed in county jails. Although operation of the state prison system is centralized through the Department of Corrections, the county jails are separately operated by individual counties. Currently, 80 of the 105 Kansas counties have been activated. Before VINE, there was no central source of information available to crime victims about offenders held in county jails.

Kansas VINE is available in English and Spanish with multiple language support through victim service representatives. Kansas VINE is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This week, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime leads communities across the country in observing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. In Kansas, the attorney general and governor will host the 22nd Annual Crime Victims’ Rights Conference on April 10-11 at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita. The theme for the week and the conference is “Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future.”

Details about the conference can be found at https://bit.ly/2UDGaz8. More information about Kansas VINE can be found at www.ag.ks.gov/vine.