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Victim Notification System Debuts in Cumberland County

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FAYETTEVILLE — A new program in Cumberland County is helping crime victims feel safer. The new system allows victims to call a toll free number for the latest information about an offender.

The system is called SAVAN - the Statewide Automated Victim Assistance and Notification Hotline - and is designed to keep victims informed about their violators' cases.

Victim's Advocate Crystal Black says the hotline will give victims "the information they need to ensure that they have safety for themselves and their families."

The hotline is a project of the Governor's Crime Commission. It is expected to be installed in all county jails, and in the Department of Correction, in about a year.

By calling a toll-free number, the victim can get updates on the offender. Victims can also make a request to be notified of any changes in the case.

Law makers say the hotline is a huge step toward giving victims the same rights as defendants.

"We are now beginning to even the system up, to make sure that those people that have been victimized by others receive the kind of protection and the kind of things that the court system can offer to them to make sure that they are an integral part of what goes on, and that their views and their rights are also protected."

Cumberland and Bladen Counties activated the systems Tuesday, bringing the total number of counties currently involved up to 11. Only information on inmates in those county jails is available. For information, victims can call (877) NC-SAVAN.


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