IDAHO, Cassia County Sheriff Randy Kidd announced today that Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter signed into law House Bill 595 which requires convicted misdemeanants and felons to pay $10 to a Victim Fund to be used for victim notification of their offender's incarceration and court status. The program, known as VINE (Victim Information Notification Everyday) is managed by the Idaho Sheriff's Association which consists of all 44 county sheriffs.
A victim or other interested person can register in the VINE system and once registered will be automatically notified by telephone or email when the person they registered against is released from custody or is scheduled to appear in court. Sheriff Kidd said, "VINE satisfies Idaho's Victim Rights law that passed in 1995 as an amendment to Idaho's constitution".
The Idaho Sheriffs' Association has managed VINE for almost three years from grants provided by the Bureau of Justice Assistance through the Department of Justice. 2012 is the last year of grant funding and House Bill 595 is a result of seeking sustainable funding for the program. The bill passed the House of Representatives 55 to 13 and the Senate 30 to 3, demonstrating a strong commitment by legislators for victim rights.
All Idaho jails, the Department of Correction and the Supreme Court contribute in making VINE a viable force that protects victims, especially women and children who are the most vulnerable in domestic violence situations. VINE offers a level of assurance and peace of mind to victims as they know they will be automatically notified when their offender is released from jail or prison, when their offender is scheduled for a parole hearing, or when their offender is scheduled for a court hearing. To register go to the Idaho Sheriffs' Association website and click on VINELink or dial 1-866-984-6342.
Sheriff Kidd said, "Idaho's law enforcement community rallied together to support VINE". He commended the Idaho State Police, Department of Correction, Parole Commission, Idaho Chiefs of Police Association, Idaho Prosecuting Attorney's Association, Peace Officer Standards and Training, Fraternal Order of Police, Department of Juvenile Corrections, Idaho Association of Counties, Association of Idaho Cities, and numerous victim advocacy groups for their help in keeping VINE alive and for their commitment to victims.
The Idaho Sheriffs' Association contracts with Appriss, Inc. a nation-wide company that handles the technology behind VINE. Appriss is in 47 states and handles notifications for the federal government. Last year over 22,000 automatic notifications were made to Idahoans.
Sheriff Randy Kidd, Cassia County Sheriff's Office, 208-878-2252
Tammara Slater, Idaho Sheriffs' Association, 208-287-0424