System will alert victims of criminals' prison status


POSTED: Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Crime victims will soon be able to sign up for phone or e-mail alerts that would notify them when an particular offender is transferred, paroled, released or escapes from prison.

  ;[Preview]    New Website Helps Victims, Public Track Criminals

A website will soon offer up to the minute information on where an imate is and when he or she will be released. 12/16/08


Watch ]





The Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification program, known as SAVIN, is scheduled for launch at the end of February, state public safety officials announced yesterday.

“;I don't think you can imagine what it must be like to be the victims of certain crimes,”; Gov. Linda Lingle said at a news conference in her office. “;Imagine, further, if after being a victim, you don't have any information about the perpetrator — you have no way to find when they are moved, when they are paroled, whether they escaped. This system will allow us to do that.”;

The program is being launched with the help of a $707,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice and two recent Victims of Crime Acts grants totaling $390,000. Start-up costs are estimated at $127,000 with annual maintenance of about $121,000.

After the system is launched Feb. 28, the program will be made available in Japanese on March 31. Officials say they hope to provide Korean- and Ilocano-language services at a later date.

Anyone may register to receive alerts about a particular offender, although the system is aimed at providing victims with information on their attacker's movements.

Once registered, a user could choose how to receive alerts. Alerts would include when an offender is released, escapes, is returned to custody, is transferred or dies. Users also would be notified of a prisoner's parole schedule and any outcome from a parole hearing.

The information also would be available online or by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, said Public Safety Director Clayton Frank.

Tommy Johnson, deputy director of public safety for corrections, said the department would discuss the possibility of expanding the program to provide alerts on movements of patients at the state mental hospital, but added that doing so might be difficult because of patient privacy laws.

Youth offenders are not included in the notification program because they are under the jurisdiction of juvenile court, Johnson said.






        A look at the Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification program, known as SAVIN, being launched by the state Department of Public Safety.


Launch date: Feb. 28 in English, March 31 in Japanese. Officials hope to add Korean and Ilocano at a later date.



How to register after launch:

        » By phone: (877) 846-3444
» Online:
» Users also can register in person through the Victim Witness Units at County Prosecutor's offices or through advocacy groups including the Domestic Violence Coalition, MADD and the Sex Assault Treatment Center.


——— Star-Bulletin staff