Through a partnership with Louisville-based Appriss, Inc., developer of the Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) system, the Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC) has enhanced its statewide escape notification service.
“This enhanced escape notification plan is a continuation of our plan towards ensuring the safety of residents of the commonwealth and carrying out the mission of not only the Department of Corrections, but the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet as well.”
- John D. Rees, Commissioner
Department of Corrections
The notification system, AlertXpress, will now allow individuals who live near Kentucky’s 13 state prisons and three private prisons to hear detailed information about the inmate in the event of an escape from that institution. When the escape notification system was launched last year, residents only heard a recorded message informing them of the date and time of the escape. Now those registered will know exactly who escaped, including a description of the inmate and their charges.
Residents will still call the same toll-free number, 1-866-445-2867, to register and all those previously registered will be rolled over by Appriss into the enhanced system. Residents may register as many numbers as they wish – for instance a home telephone, a cell phone number and a work number.
The enhanced notification system also calls registered individuals when the escapee is back in custody.
“This enhanced escape notification plan is a continuation of our plan toward ensuring the safety of residents of the commonwealth and carrying out the mission of not only the Department of Corrections, but the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet as well,” said Corrections Commissioner John D. Rees. “We work diligently to make our prisons safe and secure and want to do everything in our power to make the residents who live near our prisons feel as safe as possible.”
Early in 2004, the DOC began exploring the idea of an escape notification plan when its LaGrange prisons attempted to update their lists of nearby residents wishing to be notified of an escape. Due to the number of residents who responded and the volume of calls it would require, it was not feasible for prison staff to manually make the telephone calls. Department officials approached Appriss President Mike Davis, who agreed to provide the service as an added component of its existing VINE contract.
“The Kentucky Department of Corrections has been on the cutting edge of notification technology for more than 10 years,” said Davis. “We are thrilled to, once again, work with the department to ensure residents living near state prisons have as much information as possible during an escape.”
Kentucky became the first state in the nation to implement VINE in 1996. The victim notification service is now available in more than 1,500 communities in 40 states.
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