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New System Allows Victims to Track Offenders Online

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RALEIGH — Victims of crime in North Carolina will soon have a way to check on the status of the offenders who victimized them.SAVAN, which stands for Statewide Automated Victim Assistance and Notification, will go online across the state over the next 13 months.

Wake County officers are already being trained on the automated system, which furnishes up-to-date information about offenders in any jail or prison in North Carolina.

The SAVAN system was pioneered by theVINE Company, a Louisville, Ky. firm, which has similar projects running in 31 states and Canada. Under the VINE name, which stands for Victim Information Notification Everyday, the system is already running inMecklenburgandWilson Counties.

The information allows victims to protect themselves from offenders who might show up unannounced.

"Crime victims register automatically by telephone, and they can receive automatic notification when an offender's status changes," saysRichard Moore,secretary of theN.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety (CCPS)."In other words, they don't have to just call in that number every so often to see if there's been a change. They can actually have the system call them when there's been a change in status."

TheGovernor?s Crime Commissionis using a $1.7 million federal grant to build and maintain the system. As part of the contract with the VINE Company, pamphlets, posters and other literature have been developed to publicize the SAVAN system.

CCPS will also create a companion web site atwww.ncsavan.com.