Many victims live in fear that the criminal offender who victimized them may someday return to do so again. For these victims and their families and friends, it is important to know if that offender is incarcerated in a correctional facility - and to know if and when that offender is released from custody.
It has often been difficult for a victim to obtain timely and accurate information about an offender's custody status - information so important to the victim's peace of mind. That is why, as your Sheriff, I am pleased to join with my fellow Sheriffs across the State of New York to implement the Sheriff's VICTIM HOTLINE. Now with just one toll-free phone call, a citizen can immediately learn the custody status of any offender housed in any of New York's county jails or other county correctional facilities.
In addition to providing custody status information to callers, the Sheriffs' VICTIM HOTLINE also has an automatic notification feature. Any victim can register with the Sheriffs' VICTIM HOTLINE to be automatically notified if an offender's custody status should change. This feature eliminates the need for a victim to constantly call the Sheriffs; VICTIM HOTLINE to verify the offender's status.
Facts about the New York Sheriffs' VICTIM HOTLINE:
- The offender will not know you are registered with the New York Sheriffs' VICTIM HOTLINE.
- If you are not at home, the New York Sheriffs' VICTIM HOTLINE will leave a message on an answering machine. If there is no answer, the hotline will keep calling back until you enter your PIN code or until 48 hours have passed.
- Since the New York Sheriffs' VICTIM HOTLINE calls automatically when an offender's custody status changes, you may get a notification call in the middle of the night.
- Do not leave a phone number with the New York Sheriffs' VICTIM HOTLINE that rings to a switchboard unless the switchboard operator has your PIN code to confirm the message.
- The New York Sheriffs' VICTIM HOTLINE monitors offenders in New York's County Jails, the New York City Department of Correction and the New York State Department of Correctional Services.
- Do not depend solely on the New York Sheriffs' VICTIM HOTLINE, or any other single program, for your protection. Make the New York Sheriffs' VICTIM HOTLINE part of your safety plan.
- You can leave more than one phone number with the New York Sheriffs' VICTIM HOTLINE. Just call the VICTIM HOTLINE again.
What you need to do to sign up...
- Search for offenders and register for notification on the VINE Online resource. From this web page, you can search for offenders and register for notification. (Pages launches in a new browser window. Adjust any pop-up blockers accordingly)
- OR Call 1-888-VINE-4-NY (1-888-846-3469) from a touch-tone phone and follow the directions. The VICTIM HOTLINE will tell you the custody status of the offender.
- If the offender is in custody, you can leave a phone number where you want to be notified when there is a change in the offender's custody status. Enter the area code and phone number, followed by the pound (#) key.
- When the VICTIM HOTLINE asks, make up and enter a four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) code that will be easy for you to remember. You can write this number down for reference. The New York Sheriffs VICTIM HOTLINE will ask for the PIN code when it calls you.
- When the New York Sheriffs' VICTIM HOTLINE calls, listen to the message, then enter your PIN when asked. Entering the PIN lets the VICTIM HOTLINE know that you got the call.
Victim Assistance Services in New York State:
- New York State Crime Victims Board, call 1-800-247-8035
- New York Sheriffs' VICTIM HOTLINE, call 1-888-846-3469
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving, call 1-800-245-6233
- New York State Domestic Violence Hotline