Nationwide Automated Victim Information and Notification System
Computer automation provides a means for integrating federal investigative, prosecutorial, and corrections components with the victim notification requirements specified in the Attorney General Guidelines for Victim and Witness Assistance. Money allocated from the Crime Victims Fund has been used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons to develop and implement a nationwide automated victim information and notification system (VNS) for the federal program. The system provides consistent information and reduces the time and resources necessary to notify victims of key case events.
As of September 30, 2006, a total of 1,135,808 victims had been provided with notification information by the victim notification system. In FYs 2005 and 2006, a total of 698,723 victims were added to VNS. During that same time period, the VNS automated call center received a total of 116,156 calls from victims and provided current information about each victim's case. VNS captures the number of notification events communicated to every victim for each defendant/inmate involved in his or her case. During FY 2005, the total number of these events was 6,508,699 and for FY 2006 the total was 8,404,602. VNS generated 1,224,757 letters during FY 2006 (the first year such figures were available).
In FYs 2005 and 2006, the Executive Office for United States Attorneys completed the following VNS projects:
- New notifications were added to the system to comply with the Crime Victims' Rights Act (2004).
- Internet access to VNS was added for victims (www.notify.usdoj.gov) (victim logins during FY 2006-the first full year of operation-were 134,653).
- Improved the e-mail notification services to victims (FY 2005, 36,953; FY 2006, 650,796).
- Streamlined the process for creating letter notifications for victims.
- The U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division was added to the system.