(MDHHS, Jan. 13, 2017)
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has enhanced the MI-VINE (Michigan Victim Information and Notification Everyday) service with a powerful new feature called RegistrationLink 2.0. The RegistrationLink system links offender records and cases to better track incarcerated individuals as they move from one jail facility to another. The feature allows victims to more easily follow an offender in Michigan.
“RegistrationLink has provided Michigan residents with an additional layer of security when they track their offender’s whereabouts within the county jail or state prison system,” said Nick Lyon, director of the MDHHS. “Crime victims deserve a seamless process to track an offender that has been transferred to another correctional facility and the right to know if the offender is due for parole.”
Prior to the new feature, when a victim registered on MI-VINE, the offender typically would be in a county jail and that registration would only be good for the county jail system. When the offender was released from the county jail, the victim would receive notification. However, if that offender was moved to a state prison, the victim would have had to re-register to receive notification of the offender’s movements within the state jail system. Often, victims would either forget or would not know they had to re-register to receive notification, consequently, losing track of their offender.
Michigan is one of nine states that have the RegistrationLink feature. In addition to tracking offenders as they move between county jails and the state prison system, the new system also provides the ability to link court case information to an offender’s record to keep victims better informed.
Crime victims and other concerned Michigan citizens can register for the MI-VINE program by calling 800-770-7657 or going online at www.vinelink.com. Users can check on the status of an offender 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Once registered, the system will automatically notify the user when there is a change in that offender’s custody status. The service is free and anonymous. To find additional resources for crime victims or to learn about the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), visit www.michigan.gov/crimevictims.
The Crime Victim Services Commission, housed within MDHHS, began offering MI-VINE in 2000. The Crime Victim Rights Fund, which is supported by criminal assessment fees in the courts and not taxpayer money, pays for the Vinelink service. In Michigan, 77 county jails, 71 prosecuting attorney offices and the Department of Corrections use the MI-VINE service.