Victim Services

Notification of Inmate Custody Status Change...

General Information...

Notification of Inmate Custody Status Change

There are three (3) types of notification services provided by the Office of Victim Services

  1. Written Notification

    The prosecutor should provide the victim of a violent felony offense a Victim Notification Form  284 KB to fill out to demand to be informed of the escape, abscondance, discharge, parole, conditional release or release to post-release supervision of the inmate. Upon completion of the form by the victim, the prosecutor submits the form to the Department’s Office of Victim Services.

    Upon receipt of the completed notification form, the Office of Victim Services sends an acknowledgment letter to the victim(s). The acknowledgment letter explains that the form has been received and provides additional information on rights of crime victims including the VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) telephone notification service, the New York State Office of Victim Services Victim Compensation Program and the New York State Division of Parole Victim Impact process.

    All notification forms are confidential. The forms are not held in the Correctional Facilities. Inmates do not have access to the forms.

  2. Telephone Notification

    Anyone who wants notification of an inmate’s release can use a touch-tone phone to get information about inmates in the Department’s custody and register for notification of the offender’s release, escape, death, and/or participation in a furlough or temporary release (work release) program. Notification will not be provided when an inmate transfers from one state Correctional Facility to a different state Correctional Facility.

    The VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) automated telephone system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year in both English and Spanish. A live operator can assist a caller who is having difficulty using the system.

    To use the VINE system to register for notification dial 1-888-VINE-4-NY (1-888-846-3469), choose option 2 to register against an inmate in a state Correctional Facility and provide the inmate’s Department Identification Number (DIN), New York State Identification Number (NYSID) or name and date of birth. Register the phone number you wish to be called to notify you of the inmate’s release from custody. You will need to select a four-digit PIN (personal identification number) which is easy to remember. You will need to enter the PIN number at the time you receive the notification call to confirm you have received the notification call. No name or address is collected on the VINE system. The telephone number registered to receive the notification call is confidential.

  3. E-mail Notification

    Victims and other concerned citizens can also register to be notified via e-mail notification through the VINELink (the National Victim Notification Network) when an offender's custody status changes. This service allows crime victims to obtain timely and reliable information about criminal cases and the custody status of offenders 24 hours a day nationwide.

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Office of Victim Services

The Office of Victim Services is the primary contact for victims with questions regarding Department policies and procedures. The services provided by the Office are victim driven.

Realizing that victimization is a devastating experience that effects many areas of a victim’s life, the Office of Victim Services provides services to better meet the needs of victims during the post-sentencing phase of the criminal justice process. Because seemingly minor offenses can be as deeply traumatic as those offenses commonly termed “serious” or “violent” crimes, the Office provides services to victims of all types of crimes. For more information on these services, you may call the Office of Victim Services toll-free at 1-800-783-6059 Monday through Friday during regular business hours.

Apology Letterbank

Apology letters from inmates may be mailed to the DOCCS Office of Victim Assistance. Upon receipt, the letter will be "deposited" in the confidential Apology Letterbank file until the victims or their families request information about the inmate. At that time, it will be explained that there is an apology letter on file. An offer will be made to read the letter to them or mail it to them for them to read at a time and place that is best for them. The inmate will not be told if the victim or their family ever comes forward and requests information about the inmate or if they have accessed the letter.

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