Local News

Phone Device Protects Wilson Victims

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WILSON — A new phone device is in place at the WilsonCounty jail, aimed at helping protect crime victims. It keeps track ofeveryone in the jail, and enables victims to dial a number to find out iftheir alleged attacker is still behind bars.

Sheriff Wayne V. Gay says he spotted the system on a news program,showing it being used in Louisville, Ky.

A $40,000 federal grant will pay for the service the first year. Afterthat, the telephone tracking system will be funded by inmate's own phonecalls, for which they are charged. Sheriff Gay says $100,000 wasgenerated in the inmate phone call account.

The service is provided free to the public, and counselor Kim Cliffordsays it will be a big help to victims, who at times are unpleasantlysurprised to find their attackers are back on the streets with no noticeto them.

The tracking system is updated every five minutes.

For some Wilson County residents, particularly victims of rape andabuse, the new phone service could mean the difference between life anddeath.