Local News

Counties Follow Wilson's Victim Notification Example

Posted August 18, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— A program to protect victims from their attackers could soon go statewide. Right now, the victim notification network is only installed in two counties. Wilson is one of them.

"Welcome to the Wilson County office of the sheriff's victim information and notification system," a phone recording announces.

The program is free. It's easy to use. And it works in English and Spanish. All you need is a phone and a special identification number that is available from the jail. With one call, you can find out where an inmate is locked up. It can also call you.

The problem is, not enough people know about it. Deputies say the phone system isn't doing nearly as much good as it could in Wilson County until now. The state is planning to put this system in every county. The publicity and the information from other jails is expected to boost the effectiveness for everyone.

"For most of these women, they are constantly looking over their shoulders," Kimberly Clifford of the Wesley Shelter explains. "They are constantly worried when they cut off their lights at night, someone might be breaking into their home to reperpetrate the crime. It really does give them that sense of peace."

The jail hopes this report may make more people aware of a service that is both convenient and free.

If you would like information on the system, and you live in Wilson, you may contact the Wilson County Sheriff's Department. They have pamphlets to answer questions and provide instructions.

A call to any other sheriff's department or jail administrator in other counties may provide information about the timeframe for getting the statewide system online.