The purpose of the program is to increase the safety of victims of crime, law enforcement, criminal justice personnel and the general public by providing access to timely information concerning the custody status of offenders in county jails. Victims and other concerned citizens can register anonymously by telephone (1-888-868-4631) or register at the website to be notified in the event of an offender’s release, transfer or escape. The VINE system is provided by our sole source provider Appriss.
The TSA Staff and SAVIN Governing Council, which is comprised of sheriffs representing all regions of the state, have been working hard toward implementing and promoting this service to the public. The Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration and the Office of Criminal Justice Programs are authorized to provide an annual grant from the Victim Notification Fund to make this program possible. The 2009 Tennessee State Legislature enacted legislation, signed by the Governor as Public Chapter 488, to fund this 24-hour/365 day Statewide Automated Victim Information Notification System to be operated by the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association beginning July 1, 2010.
TNSAVIN provides an optional process and timelier access to offender information from participating county correctional facilities. What makes it special is the automatic notification feature. As long as you’ve got a telephone or a computer, you can receive an automated alert anytime of the day or night anywhere-at home or your workplace and up to five contact numbers can be entered. That kind of information could provide protection that is critically important to anyone who’s concerned about the whereabouts of any offender. However, victims should not rely solely on this system for all notification purposes.
Citizens calling 1-888-868-4631 are asked to provide an offender’s name and/or booking number which they can obtain from their local county jail or correctional facility. After the system has provided the relevant offender custody information, it asks the caller if they would like to register to be automatically notified when that offender is released or transferred and what manner of notification they prefer. Those choosing to register provide a phone number, and a four-digit personal identification number (PIN), which they will later use to confirm the notification calls or to cancel any future calls if needed. Live operator assistance is available round-the-clock for callers who have questions or require additional help. General information is in both Spanish and English and interpreters are available in many languages.