Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $819,267)
The Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification (SAVIN) program (authorized by Pub.L. 111-8, and guided in part by the general principles of 42 U.S.C. §10603e) ensures victims of crime receive accurate and timely information regarding the status of offenders and events related to their cases. Through SAVIN, victims are able to participate in the judicial process and make sound decisions to protect themselves from further victimization while maintaining total anonymity. This information-sharing capability is also available to courts, corrections, and law enforcement officials.
The Nevada Attorney General's Office (NAG) will utilize the FY 2009 SAVIN award to implement a statewide victim notification system. The NAG will serve as the lead agency and will work in collaboration with various partnering agencies to accomplish this project.
By policy and statute, the Department of Corrections Victim Services Unit (DOC-VSU) addresses victim and concerned public requests regarding offender status in state custody. Requests can be done by phone, mail, or e-mail. Those who register against an inmate will be informed of the following: escape and recapture; transfer to a transition center; discharge from DOC custody; transfer to a residential confinement program; and inmate's death. In addition, by policy and statute, the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners sends a written notice to the victim with the date, time, and place of scheduled parole hearings.
The capability to register interested parties via an automated phone system and on-line (through VINELink) would be invaluable, as this would not require the victim to complete a paper form for mailing to the DOC. Instead, an automated system would allow victims to register multiple phone numbers [including cell phones or a family member's number] so if they move, they would still receive notification.
The current victim notification process comes from advocates who send out written notifications in a few police/county agencies, domestic violence shelters, DA's offices, DOC, and the Board. The scope of this project is to develop a central program that can provide appropriate information and referrals for assistance. Individuals, professionals, and the general public who come into contact with crime victims will benefit from the access to a central, statewide victim notification program.
The NAG will complete the following: (1) establish a SAVIN governance committee to create policy and help guide governance issues; (2) begin selection of a SAVIN vendor to bring agencies on-line with the Nevada SAVIN program; and (3) collaborate with various stakeholders, and state and local agencies to work on the development of the statewide system. Grant funds will cover the following: personnel hiring (program officer and accountant); travel for vendor site meetings/trainings; equipment; supplies; and vendor contractual services (e.g., fees, installation and set-up costs, interface costs, etc.).