Protecting crime victims through education

By Brandi Bailey

Protecting crime victims through education

February 28, 2013 Updated Mar 1, 2013 at 2:18 AM EDT

Town of Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) It's a nationwide program focused on helping ease the minds of victims of crime -- and it's available here.

The Victim Information and Notification Everyday, or Vine Link Program, helps crime victims keep track of their perpetrators.

The online program was started in 2001 and has grown to cover city, county and state jail.

The idea came to fruition when a young woman was killed by her abusive boyfriend, and the family was unaware he had been released from jail.

Law enforcement says this program is now in place to ensure that doesn't happen.

"When the person goes off to jail you register with Vine program and when that person gets released from jail you automatically get notified by the program," says Broome County Sheriff David Harder.

Whether the notification is by phone, email or text, the program is always available.

Users are able to log on to the website, click on their respective state, then enter the offender's ID number, or first or last name.

A new addition to the program also publishes orders of protection.

"When it's served on the person that's supposed to get served with the order, notification is made to the computer system to let everyone know who was served. You can also register to know who was served," Harder said.

According to Harder, this provides peace of mind for victims and prepares someone for a possible encounter.

"That would make notification to you if that person got released from jail or state prison," Harder says.

Victims are notified within 15 minutes of that person being let of jail or prison.

The Sheriff's Office will attend a program in April to learn more about keeping victims of crimes safe.

For more information on the program, visit www.vinelink.com.

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