Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced a new statewide automated victim notification system, Illinois VINE (Victim Information and Notifications Everyday), which will allow survivors of violent crime and families to better search offenders’ custody status and access support services and advocacy organizations.

Illinois VINE provides automated notices that allow registered users to track an offender’s custody and court case status by sending alerts when an offender appears in court, is transferred or released. Free confidential notifications are offered in English and Spanish and can be delivered via phone, email or text messages to violent crime survivors, witnesses, family members, law enforcement officers, probation officers and concerned community members. Illinois VINE transfers information to a centralized communication center to generate individual alerts and provides updates about offenders in 88 Illinois county jails and 97 county circuit clerks.

“Survivors of violent crimes deserve the peace of mind that comes with being alerted to a change in the custody or court status of the offender who perpetrated the crime,” Raoul said. “Illinois VINE is a step toward peace of mind because it allows survivors and their families to receive free notifications and 24-hour access to the latest information about offenders’ case status, and now people can register in one place. I encourage survivors and families to register and access the resources now available through VINE’s directory of service providers.”

Illinois VINE is a streamlined system that allows users to visit one website to register to receive notifications for both offenders’ custody status and court dates. Registration is free and confidential. Users need only provide an email address, but have the option of providing a phone number to receive text updates. Users can also create their own accounts that can be used to search offenders and save information. Registrations and searches are confidential. Users can also create a watch list in order to quickly determine whether an offender is still in custody. Additionally, VINE provides survivors and families with access to support services and advocacy organizations by allowing users to search a directory of service providers in Illinois.

Since taking office, Attorney General Raoul has strengthened his office’s Crime Victim Services Division by expanding access to crime victim services and implementing a trauma-informed, more victim-centric approach to assisting survivors and families. This spring, the Illinois Legislature passed Raoul’s improvements to Illinois’ Crime Victim Compensation Program that would allow the Attorney General’s office to more efficiently administer benefits in order to make resources more accessible to survivors. Additionally, the Legislature passed Raoul’s legislation to expand Illinois’ Address Confidentiality Program to include survivors of human and sex trafficking. The program is administered by the Attorney General’s office and currently provides survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking – as well as members of their households – with a substitute address to use as home, school and work addresses.

Victims and the public can access Illinois VINE by calling 1-866-5-NOTIFY (1-866-566-8439) or visiting VINELink.com. Attorney General Raoul encourages individuals who have been impacted by a violent crime to call his office’s Crime Victims Assistance Line at 1-800-228-3368. Please visit the Attorney General’s website for more information about the office’s programs supporting survivors of crime and their families.

Like RiverBender.com on Facebook!

Print Version Submit a News Tip