When it comes to an offender's status everyone has the right to know - The VAN Service is the Department of Correction's free and confidential Victim Notification and Information Service which is available to anyone. To find out the custody or supervision status of an offender or to register for notification call toll free 866-976-8267 (VANS) or register online at www.vinelink.com. For more information contact Victim Services at (888)810-1847
The VAN Service Information
How the VAN Service Works
- The VAN Service communicates with the DOC’s booking system in near realtime, transmitting updated information about offenders to the Appriss Data Network.
- Crime Victims and the general public can access offender status information or register for notification by calling the VAN Service’s toll-free number, or logging onto www.vinelink.com, any time of the day or night. All registrations are operator assisted
- Victims can find out whether an offender is held in a facility or is being supervised in the community
- Registrants will be notified immediately of a change in the offender’s custody status, such as release transfer or escape
- When a notification is triggered, VANS automatically calls the number or numbers the victim has provided or sends an email
- Calls continue for a designated period of time, or until the victim (registrant) enters a four-digit PIN
- The VAN Service is an open system. Anyone, victim, affected party, community member, or criminal justice/law enforcement professional, can call to get information or register to receive notification when there is a change in an offender’s status
- Operator assistance is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week
- All VAN Services are free and confidential
Benefits of the VAN Service
- Around the clock support – a staff of live operators to assist victims and technicians who monitors the Service
- Saves taxpayers money by eliminating the need to manually notify victims, allowing staff to focus on their core responsibilities
- Provides life-saving services to victims at no cost to the victim
- Helps satisfy most states’ legislative requirements to provide notification
- Services available in many languages
- Enhances public safety by allowing law enforcement to receive immediate notification when an offender is re-incarcerated or released
- Enhances communication between the field and facility by allowing registered Probation/Parole officers to be informed if an offender is re-incarcerated
- Eliminates the human error factor because instead of counting on a caseworker to remember to manually notify a registrant, notifications are triggered automatically by data entered into the Department’s database
VINELink Quick Guide
A Quick Guide for how to register for notification through VINElink.com. When you register onto VANS through www.vinelink.com you can register anonymously or you can register your name and address. Direct Victims and Affected Persons are asked to register a name and an address and not to register anonymously. There are some notification events that will not be done automatically and there may be times when a caseworker or victim's advocate might need to get in touch with you to share important information or to get your input on release planning. If we don't have your name we cannot contact you. All information submited to VANS through VINElink is kept confidential and cannot be seen by any member of the public.
VINELink Is the “Public Face” of the VAN Service. Anyone can use VINELink to find out the custody status of an offender and to register for notification. Information about anyone who registers for the VAN Service is completely confidential and cannot be accessed through VINELink. To get offender custody status information and register onto VANS
- Go to www.vinelink.com
- Click VT on the map
- Click the “Search and Register” tab
- Enter the offender’s complete last name and partial first name and click on search. A list of offenders will come up.
- Clicking on the magnifying glass next to the offender will allow you to register for notification
- Select which method of notification you want (phone/email) and click “continue”
- Enter a phone number, 4 digit PIN code (to be used to signal VANS to stop the calls) and /or email address where you want to be reached
- Click the plus (+) sign if you want to register additional phone numbers or email addresses
- Fill in the registrant classification (victim/affected person or other)
- Enter the name and address of those who have registered as a victim/affected person
- Click “register” and the registration process is complete
VAN Service Background and History
A brief background and history of the efforts to automate the Department of Corrections victim notification system.
In 2000 the Vermont Department of Corrections, through the efforts of the Victim Services Program, began to explore the possibility of automating its victim notification functions. Several years later and after much discussion and planning with community stakeholders, including the Department of the States Attorneys and Sheriff’s, the Attorney General’s Office, the Courts, the Center for Crime Victim Services and the Network Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, the VAN Service (Vermont Automated Notification) is about to be become a reality.
In 2006, the Department of Corrections applied for and received a $400,000 grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance through the Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification (SAVIN) initiative. This federal initiative is designed to help states improve their victim and community information and notification capacities.
Work to begin automating Vermont’s notification and information service began in earnest in the fall of 2007 with a statewide Victim Notification Summit, where over fifty Department of Corrections staff along with victim survivors and partners from community victim service programs met to discuss the transition to automation, identify special issues and challenges and begin to design a Vermont based service. A Department of Corrections Work Group continued the design work in collaboration with the Victim Notification Advisory Group, which is comprised of representatives from the original stakeholder groups and victim survivors.
In October 2008 a contract was signed with Appriss, the automated notification technology vendor. The Victim Services staff began to work with the Appriss implementation team to build the data interfaces, develop public awareness materials and write “scripts” that will be used when the automated notifications are delivered. Testing of the system will begin in late February with a tentative date set for April 27th for the launch press conference.
Integral to the success of the VAN Service is public awareness about the service. In addition to printed materials (posters, law enforcement tear off cards and brochures) there will be a public awareness campaign through articles in the paper, radio stories and a public service announcements.
A mass mailing will be sent to victims and community members who are currently registered to receive notification from the Department of Corrections to inform them about the VAN Service and to give them information about how to register.
The VAN Service is totally free, confidential and available to anyone in the State wishing to get or receive information about the status of an offender in the custody of, or being supervised by the Department of Corrections.