VINE Program

If you've ever been a victim of crime and constantly worry about when the offender will be back on the street, you can rest easy.

A new program is rolling through the Capital City, to track offenders as they move through the prison system.

The idea is to reduce the number of frantic calls law enforcement receive from victims of crime, many just wanting to know when the perpetrators will be released from prison.

Now they can get all that information and more by answering the phone.

It’s called VINE, a 24-hour hotline tracking down offenders and notifying the victims of their release.

The idea is to alleviate fear and stress felt by victims who are unsure when a perpetrator will be back on the streets.

“We have victims calling terrified- wanting to know wherever he's at,” explains victim advocate Catherine Hicks.

Now, the victims won't have to track down the information, instead the VINE System phones them within 15 minutes of an offender’s release.

“I think it will alleviate fear people have, if that persons let out of prison,” says Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell.

The system was developed four years ago. It’s been used successfully at the Department of Corrections, so well, it's spreading through the Sunshine State with the latest kick-off in Leon County.

“It's a statewide system in Florida, except approximately six counties,” adds Lt. Ronnie Greer.

The process is simple, just dial 1-877-VINE-4-FL. Then type in the offender’s name, and you'll receive notification when that person leaves the prison system.

Vine instructors say victims of crime will benefit most from using the service- but anyone concerned about the status of an offender is able to use this service.