Virginia Launches Enhanced Domestic Violence Database
Virginia recently became the third state to launch a more detailed and enhanced version of VINE, the Victim Information and Notification Everyday program. VINE is a nationwide network that provides timely and reliable information to a victim when an incarcerated offender is released, transferred, or undergoes some other change in custody status.
According to a recent Fairfax Times article, in addition to custody information, victims can now find crisis support, financial assistance, and other resources. There is also the added ability to search for offenders nationally, rather than just within one state. The system was launched on November 29, and unveiled at Fairfax County’s Adult Detention Center on December 14.
How to Use VINE
Users can access VINE by creating an anonymous account or logging in as a guest. Access options include the website, mobile app, and a toll-free number.
- VINELink: VINELink.com is the online web portal, accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- VINELink Mobile App: This is the on-the-go version of VINE that lets you access vital information from any mobile device that operates on either iOS or Android operating systems.
- Toll-Free Number: The Appriss CustomerFirst Center operates a toll-free number
Users can register to receive notifications when an offender is released, transferred, or somehow escapes. Options to receive notifications include email, phone calls, texts, letters, or TTY. New safety features include an emergency escape button where users can quickly exit the app if needed.
If for some reason the notification system goes down, the sheriff’s office will receive a faxed list of inmates and deliver their own alerts to necessary victims, even notifying a victim in person if necessary.
The updated VINE has a service provider directory for counseling, children’s services, healthcare, basic needs, and financial assistance. Prior to the launch, victims were forced to find help on their own. Service providers have been vetted by the state and verified for adequate funding prior to being included in the directory.
VINE provides offender custody status to over 20 million civilians on an annual basis. It’s available in 48 states, with 41 states using it in every one of its counties. Over 2,900 state and county agencies input and share data. Annually, the VINE system delivers over 40 million notifications to victims and concerned citizens
Seeking Legal Assistance
Our Leesburg domestic violence attorneys are experienced in all areas of family law, including domestic violence. If you need assistance in Virginia, contact us today at Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC for immediate help with your case.