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VINE Program Commonly Asked Questions & Answers


What is VINE?

VINE stands for Victim Information and Notification Everyday. The purpose of the VINE program is to assist victims of crime and other concerned persons by providing continual access to inmate custody and case information via the telephone. This 24-hour information hot line allows victims of crime to verify the custody status of an inmate and automatically notifies registered victims if the inmate has a change in custody or case status. (Case information if applicable)

When was VINE developed?

The first VINE program was created in 1993 after the tragic death of Mary Byron in Louisville, KY. An ex-boyfriend murdered Mary when he was released from jail without her knowledge. A notification call from police that was promised but not delivered, set the stage for the development of the nation's first totally automated service for keeping crime victims informed of the custody status of an inmate. After a year of development, VINE was unveiled in Jefferson County (Louisville) KY, on December 31, 1994.

How does VINE work?

VINE is a fully automated computer service that electronically links a National Call Center to inmate custody information at the local jail or state prison. When new inmate custody information is sent to the VINE Call Center, VINE compares the inmate information to a list of victims who have previously registered with the service. When it finds a match it immediately places calls to the appropriate registered victim(s). VINE may also monitor court information by connecting to on-site case management systems at the prosecutor or district attorney's office.

Does the VINE Program monitor all inmates?

    * VINE only monitors inmates who are in the custody of participating agencies. If you need more information on VINE in your area, call the PACE Department @ 1-800-816-0491.
    * There may be delays from the time of arrest before an inmate is officially recorded in the institution. If VINE cannot confirm that the inmate is in custody, callers should assume that the inmate has been released.
    * An inmate may be released on bail or released on his/her recognizance during arraignment. These individuals may not be considered in custody.
    * VINE may also monitor inmates being held at a police precinct or other police facilities. For further information contact the PACE Department @ 1-800-816-0491.

Who can use the VINE Service?

VINE is an open service available to anyone in the community who would like custody information about an inmate and who would like to register to be notified of an inmate's release.

How do victims register?

Victims register by providing contact information to their Victim Advocate. The Victim Advocate will then register the victim with VINE.

How will the citizens of your community learn about the VINE Service?

VINE will provide a training workshop for law enforcement agencies and victim service providers agencies. Once all specified training is completed, a general introduction to the public and the media will take place. Victim service providers, first responders and law enforcement officers will have brochures, cards, and/or posters detailing the VINE service and explaining the registration process.

What should I tell victims about VINE?

Victims should know that VINE is a service that is available to assist them in determining the custody and court status of an inmate. All VINE telephone registrations are anonymous and confidential. A VINE brochure will be available to victims with information on how to use the VINE service.

What if the inmate is released outside of regular business hours, for example midnight on a Sunday?

The VINE service is active 24 hours a day, 365 days a year including holidays. Any change in inmate custody will prompt the VINE service to call all registered victims regardless of the day or time. If an inmate is released during non-business hours, you will get a call from VINE.

What if the inmate is transferred out of the custody of a participating institution but is still incarcerated?

The VINE service will notify all registered persons if an inmate is transferred out of the custody of a participating institution. If you need more information on the participating agencies in your area, call the PACE Department @ 1-800-816-0491.

What if I need help?

For assistance in using the VINE program or to report a technical problem: CALL THE VINE CUSTOMER SERVICE LINE 24 HRS. A DAY @ 1-800-865-4314 or go to