The New York Sheriffs' Victim Hotline has helped and supported crime victims ad crime victim advocates from every part of New York State.
They consider VINE a real life line. Here are some of their stories
"I use VINE daily to assist victims in tracking their offenders for safety.
There is not one specific case that stands out; this service in INVALUABLE."
"Several victims I have registered with VINE have informed me they were notified promptly of an offender's release. Victims who I give information to on VINE services appear to feel safer knowing they will be informed when an offender is released."
Recently a victim reported that she received a call from VINE within two minutes of the inmate's release and she was very grateful.
"Victims who have used our services are thankful to be able to keep track of offenders. One victim (a minor) who was told that her father would never be housed in a prison close to her home was, in fact, informed that he was in the prison in her community."
VINE service informed a client that her batterer was getting out of jail (a little earlier then we thought) and we were able to make shelter arrangements for our client and her child.
"Our agencies often utilize VINE to keep our victim clients aware of offender location. Clients are very happy with the ease of use."
"In my program, it has been especially helpful with victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence ... also Spanish speaking clients who are new immigrants."
"VINE helped me personally when the defendant who murdered my daughter was moved from the county jail to state prison. VINE has helped many of my victims to inform them when the defendant was being released from county jail."
"A victim feared that her attacker lived in her neighborhood so we searched the VINE web site for her attacker's whereabouts and found he remained incarcerated. She was reassured."
"This system has helped many of my victims feel more confident in their safety. They can avoid daily/hourly calls to the jail to double check on the status of the inmate. It offers one less thing to worry about."
"I think it is a great program. We provide information about this service to victims we work with and have VINE posters throughout the office. Many victims have told us that it is a relief for them to know they can be notified of the defendant's incarceration."
"Being the victim of an attempted murder, a gentleman uses VINE frequently to calm his anxiety about the release of the offender."
"Many victims of domestic violence have relied on VINE services to learn about the custody status of their current/former partner. One victim told me she could fall asleep at night only if she checked the custody status of her husband."
"VINE is always helpful in keeping victims up to date."
"Being able to confirm that an inmate was transferred or released is a very good resource."
"I was always able to check via Internet the status of the man who killed my son in a drunk driving crash."
"It was used to show a client that her boyfriend was a Level III sex offender. It has been used to help clients find out the legal (incarceration) status of their perpetrators."
"For many of our victims, this service has helped them feel safe and has given them peace of mind. Many times we have used the VINE system to help the counseling process by giving the victim something concrete to call when they are worried and to calm them."
"Victim was able to relocate because she received a call from VINE stating offender was released."
VINE has been an extreme asset in helping victims feel safe knowing that they will be notified in the event of a change in a defendant's status.
Most of my clients use VINE services to locate their abusers.
I know VINE helps victims feel safer knowing that they can sign up and be notified directly if anything at all changes concerning their perpetrator's custody status at any time of day or night.
"The majority of my clients are survivors of domestic violence. I see clients after they have been treated in our emergency room and after the arrest and often utilize the VINE service so that survivors are aware about the status of the batterers for safety."
"VINE has been a very effective tool in giving victims some feelings of safety, knowing they can find out when an offender is released from custody. I often register for VINE as well to be notified of an inmate's release just as a follow up to the victim."
"Victims of crime who I see on a regular basis are provided with and use VINE information. According to their feedback, notification and being able to track the status of an offender's incarceration brings some peace of mind and reduces anxiety."
"I always encourage victims that I work with to sign up for VINE and they have always been grateful for status updates."