Local News

Phone Device Protects Wilson Victims

Posted February 14, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— A new phone device is in place at the Wilson County jail, aimed at helping protect crime victims. It keeps track of everyone in the jail, and enables victims to dial a number to find out if their 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. After that, the telephone tracking system will be funded by inmate's own phone calls, for which they are charged. Sheriff Gay says $100,000 was generated in the inmate phone call account.

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

The tracking system is updated every five minutes.

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