The Kentucky Department of Corrections and the Kentucky Court of Justice have collaborated to implement the new Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) Court Service. The program allows victims in 17 Kentucky counties to register to be notified about changes in an offender’s status and about upcoming court events in felony cases through the VINE automatic notification system.
For 12 years the safety of victims and the acronym VINE have gone hand in hand in Kentucky. Now that protection extends beyond the confines of the jail cell, when offenders are released from custody, and into the courtroom.
VINE Court Service went live in the Daviess County pilot site on Sept. 24, 2007 and was implemented in 16 other Kentucky counties by Oct. 15, 2007. The other counties are Boone, Boyd, Bullitt, Campbell, Christian, Fayette, Franklin, Hardin, Kenton, Laurel, McCracken, Oldham, Pike, Shelby, Spencer and Warren.
“Crime victims shouldn’t have to worry about when their offenders are going to be in court – they deserve every bit of protection we can provide,” said Corrections Commissioner John D. Rees. “This grant has enabled us to enhance our VINE service to take the notification system into the court arena and through this partnership with the Kentucky Court of Justice, crime victims who use this service will have one more layer of protection.”
"This new level of notification will help ensure the safety of crime victims and give them a greater opportunity to participate in Kentucky’s legal process," said Chief Justice Joseph E. Lambert. "This is a positive collaboration with the Department of Corrections that furthers our ongoing efforts to improve public access to state courts."
Victims may register to be notified by calling the VINE 800 number at 800-511-1670, if they have the felony case number. Live operator assistance will be available 24/7 in both English and Spanish. Victims can also register to be notified by e-mail, telephone or both by visiting www.courts.ky.gov.
The VINE Court Service is funded through a Bureau of Justice Assistance grant the Department of Corrections received to enhance its victims service programs. VINE Court Service will be expanded if additional funding becomes available. In 1996, Kentucky became the first state in the nation to offer automated statewide victim notification. The Department of Corrections contracts with Louisville-based Appriss Inc., developer of the VINE system, to deliver the service.