A counterpart to Connecticut’s Office of the Victim Advocate is the Judicial Branch Services in the Office of Victim Services. They oversee the Victim Information Notification System (VINE), otherwise known locally as CT SAVIN – Connecticut Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification (System).
CT SAVIN is a free, confidential service that provides crime victims and their family members, victim advocates, and members of the community no cost, confidential notification of court related events. The Connecticut Judicial Branch provides this toll-free, automated notification service.
VCRs- VINE Service Representatives
CT SAVIN is operated by the VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) service and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. In addition to VINE Link, CT SAVIN offers a free and anonymous telephone service that provides crime victims and interested individuals with information and notification. Accommodations are available to those with communication impairments and Spanish speakers as their primary language. (I would check in advance to ascertain if representatives and documentation is available to assist in other languages).
Registration Information: Notifications can be received by telephone or e-mail. Fair warning! Should you misrepresent your identity, you could be prosecuted! You are encouraged to update your status and personal information whenever a change occurs!
And just to be CLEAR, in our state where bureaucracy rules CT SAVIN provides notification messages regarding court related events whereas the Office of Victim Services and the Department of Corrections OVS/DOC provides information about changes in inmate status.
For help with registration for Connecticut incarcerated inmate related notifications contact OVS toll-free at (800) 822-8428 or DOC Victim Services Unit toll-free at (888) 869-7057. http://www.jud.ct.gov/webforms/forms/vs005.pdf
Why can’t every state have a “one stop shopping procedure” and be an “opt out” system? “Just askin’.
The Proof is in the Pudding….
Although I have been registered with the Department of Corrections and the Office of Victim Services Notification Systems, I was negligent in registering with VINE! Shame on me. So, as a “test case,” for this blog, I went through the process via phone registration. They will ask you identifying information regarding the inmate and your name. They will also respond to any related questions or get the answers (Seems to me, I was put on hold about three times.)
TYPES OF NOTIFICATIONS GIVEN BY SAVIN:
- A 30 day advanced notice of the prisoner’s release
- Information concerning a prisoner’s transfer to another facility
- Information concerning the escape and re-capture of the prisoner
- Information regarding the custody status of the inmate
Other Important Points
- You may register other family members with their phone number or e-mail address and a password;
- It does not matter where you are based, you will receive the notification
- There is a free app available via Apple ITunes as well;
- CT SAVIN notification messages will be left on an answering machine
- Notification from CT SAVIN should be just one part of your safety plan
APPRISS, the Kentucky based software company, devoted to safety notification, administers the program, and includes a wide range of services. (As they are undergoing management changes, a Shattered Lives radio show is still pending.) http://www.appriss.com/default.html
A Quick Reference Guide: How to Register:
Please check the procedures and provisions in YOUR State, as they may differ!
This is a great opportunity to remind readers, that the VINE alerts you to changes with court related events regarding the perpetrator. However, who is there to be your voice to the court, or with Board of Pardons and Parole when you clearly are too distraught and consumed with emotion to convey your opinion on the fate of the murderer?
- Can you trust someone else to present a generic picture for you?
- Can you trust that another relative or friend will say what is needed?
- Can you trust yourself to maintain control?
If the answer to any of these questions is doubtful, trust in me, a skilled writer and homicide survivor and advocate with over 30 years experience. If you have been given sufficient time to prepare a victim impact statement, perhaps I can help.
For more information, please contact me about Victim Impact Statement Assistance.
The Most Important “Head’s Up EVER! The Victim Information Notification System (VINE)