News Release: Florida Department of Corrections
Working to keep Florida families safe by providing crime victims resources and tools that allow them to be regularly aware and informed is a priority of the Florida Department of Corrections’ Victim Services office. The Department will observe National Crime Victims’ Rights Week from April 6-12, 2014. This is the 30th year of national observances of promoting victims’ rights and supporting crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf.
The office of Victim Services assists victims of crimes committed by inmates in the Department's custody or under supervision, and to notify victims prior to an inmate's release. The office also provides referral services to victims with specific needs, such as counseling, support groups, crimes compensation, and crisis intervention.
“The Department is committed to providing support and resources to alleviate the fears or concerns of crime victims and help them regain a sense of safety and security,” said Secretary Michael Crews. “We are proud to participate in observing and promoting the rights of victims not only this week, but year-round as part of the Department’s dedication to a safer Florida.”
Through Victim Services, victims and their families are able to receive assistance in collecting restitution that is owed to them by an inmate or offender, utilize free services such as VINE and have a point of contact where they can express their concerns or ask questions and receive information about the corrections system.
Resources such as VINE and the new VINE mobile app allow victims to stay informed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Victims can register to receive an automated notification when an inmate is released, transferred, escapes, is placed in a work release facility, transfers to another jurisdiction, returns to the Department's custody, or dies while in custody. The VINE Service is anonymous and confidential.
Through participation in recognition and training events during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, the Department hopes to increase awareness for victims of crimes and continue to provide tools and resources to ensure public safety.
Since 1981, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week has challenged communities around the nation to celebrate decades of progress in securing the rights, resources, and protections crime victims need to rebuild their lives. Organized by the United States Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime, National Crime Victims’ Rights week is held every April to honor those who have been a victim, and those who assist and advocate for them.
For information about VINE or other available resources, contact the Department's Victim Services office at (850) 488-9166, toll-free at 1-877-8-VICTIM (1-877-884-2846) or the Office of Citizen Services at (850) 488-7052 or toll-free at 1-888-558-6488.