N.Y. offers online victim information, notification system in Spanish

New York is the first state in the country to offer an online victim information and notification system in Spanish. The service began this month.

The New York State Department of Correctional Services made its VINELink system available in Spanish because more than 3 million people statewide speak Spanish, according to a department press release.

VINELink is a free, anonymous and confidential phone and Internet system that allows crime victims or concerned citizens to track the status of offenders in jail or prison. Victims who register with VINELink will received notifications of an offender’s release, escape or transfer from one facility to another.

The system’s expansion to include information in Spanish was made available through $30,000 in federal grant money given to the New York State Crime Victims Board.

Anyone can register with the VINELink phone network by calling the automated system at 1-888-846-3496. Operators also will be available for speakers of other languages. The online system is available at www.vinelink.com, and users will be able to switch between English and Spanish on the site by clicking a link for the language they prefer.

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