- What is the difference between PA SAVIN, Appriss, VINE, VineLink and VineWatch?
SAVIN stands for the Statewide Automated Victim Information Notification program. Most states across the country utilize some sort of SAVIN in county jails and/or state Departments of Corrections to provide automated notifications to victims and other registrants.
Appriss, Inc. is the vendor that provides the SAVIN service for Pennsylvania. They are headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky and receive the actual data from the jails. The data is used to provide inmate information and triggers the notifications that Appriss sends to registered individuals.
VINE stands for Victim Information Notification Everyday. VINE is the technology service that Appriss uses to provide SAVIN in Pennsylvania.
VineLink is a public website (www.vinelink.com) which victims and other interested parties can use to search for an inmate’s location and/or to sign up to receive notifications of a change in an inmate’s custody status.
VineWatch (www.vinewatch.com) is a secure website used by select criminal justice system professionals such as jail staff and victim service providers. VineWatch provides statistics and audit reports of all notifications that were made. Jails can utilize VineWatch to access the Emergency Override Line (EOL) when the SAVIN system is disabled so that notifications can go out promptly.
- Why would Corrections staff use VineWatch?
• To verify which inmates have registrations against them
• To find out when the jail last sent data to Appriss
• To run reports on registrations and notifications
• To compare population counts to that of Appriss
• To override the SAVIN system if service has been disrupted in order to ensure that notifications go out on time
• To block information, registration and/or notification of a high-profile inmate, such as a gang member or "celebrity" individual (Prison staff must work with the county advocate to ensure that true crime victims of high profile inmates receive notifications when requested if "block notification" is used.)
Prison staff MUST override the SAVIN system if an offender is released during a service disruption. If this is not done, then the notification will not go out until service is restored, which could potentially be a serious safety issue for the registrant. By overriding the system, the notification will go out in a timely manner and the prison will be in compliance with the Crime Victims Rights Act P.S. §11.214.
- What would cause SAVIN service to be disrupted?
- a power outage, or the VINE computer being accidentally turned off
- a change in the jail's server
- a change in the jail's computer IP address
- the implementation of a new jail booking system
- a "glitch" in the system that requires the jail to reboot the computer
- How would prison staff know if there is a problem?
If Appriss does not receive any files from a prison within a pre-determined amount of time, known as the threshold, Appriss will e-mail an alert to jail staff, informing them that no files have been received and asking them to troubleshoot. If it is simply a case of no files being sent because there were no booking, transfer or release transactions, then the prison can just inform Appriss that there is no new data.
If there HAVE been transactions during the threshold, then as soon as the jail has alerted Appriss of a problem, the standard procedure is for Appriss to call the prison, confirm that data has been sent, and verify a fax number for the Emergency Override Line (EOL) instructions to be faxed to the jail (Appriss may e-mail the information if the prison prefers that method of notification.) When the fax number is confirmed, Appriss will then fax a cover page, a list of offenders with registrants and the instructions to override the system via telephone so that notifications can go out to registrants if offenders with registrations are released during the outage.
- How can I find out what our threshold is?
Contact the SAVIN Coordinator:
PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency
3101 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
or contact Appriss at 1-800-277-7477, option #2 or at email@example.com
- How do I know when the prison last sent data to Appriss?
Appriss staff or the PA SAVIN Program Coordinator can provide this information. The last data time stamp is also available on the VineWatch website, under "Reports" > "Snapshot".
In the event of a service disruption, it is vital to know the exact time that data was last received by Appriss. Any inmates who were released or transferred between the time that the last data file was sent and the time that the jail was taken offline must also have the EOL used if the inmates had registrations against them.
We are working with Appriss to try to have this information listed on the EOL fax cover page. Presently it says only that the EOL must be used from the time the fax was received until service is restored. It is important to remember to use the EOL for any inmates who were released between the time that the last file was sent and the time that the EOL fax was received.
- How can I override the system during an outage?
The link below takes you to a page of SAVIN links. The fourth one down provides the instructions for overriding the SAVIN system via phone or via the Internet using VineWatch:
- How do I get a VineWatch account?
The Program Coordinator or your Agency Administrator can create new accounts. The Agency Administrator is the person in your facility who can add, delete or update VineWatch accounts. A prison may have more than one Agency Administrator.
- I haven't used VineWatch for a long time. How do I get into my account again?
The Program Coordinator can re-set your account, as can the prison's Agency Administrator (Agency Administrators cannot re-set their own accounts.) If it has been more than 180 days since it was accessed, then Appriss will have to reactivate the account. Account holders can contact Appriss directly or they can contact the Program Manager, who will reach out to Apriss to have the account reinstated.
- I'm in VineWatch but I'm having trouble finding what I need. How can I become familiar with the website?
The link below provides a one-hour WebEx training session that thoroughly reviews the VineWatch website. It can be accessed as many times as needed at any time of the day. Additionally, the Program Coordinator is in the process of visiting all county prisons to do refresher informational sessions on PA SAVIN, which include a brief review of the VineWatch website.
The beginning of the WebEx is cut off, but the presenter was just explaining that the VineLink website is public, and anyone can search in almost any state, but VineWatch is a secure site and you must select Pennsylvania on the map in order to log in to your account.
- Should the prison provide PA SAVIN information to visitors?
Having a poster or brochure in the lobby or waiting area of the prison can inform any interested parties as to how to obtain automatic inmate status information without calling the prison. The number of status inquiry calls that the jail receives can be reduced if people know that they can sign up to be notified of changes, saving the prison time and money.
Additionally, if the prison has a web page, it is helpful to include links for PA SAVIN. The PA Crime Victims website provides a wealth of information for victims, including PA SAVIN. The general public can search and/or register through the VineLink website.
- Where can I get posters or brochures?
Contact the PA SAVIN Program Coordinator.
- What if I need more information?
Contact the PA SAVIN Program Coordinator:
PA Commission on Crime & Delinquency
3101 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
On-site SAVIN Informational Sessions:
Robin is going out to all PA county correctional facilities to do SAVIN informational sessions. These informal presentations are refreshers for staff who were on board when SAVIN was implemented, and they are educational for new staff who are unfamiliar with the program details. If your facility has not yet received a recent visit, Robin will be in touch to schedule a session. Even if you have already had a presentation, she would be more than happy to visit again to do additional sessions at any time. Please contact Robin to schedule a visit.
http://www.pacrimevictims.org - click on "Find Help in Your County" on the home page menu for a directory of victim service agencies in your county.
http://www.pdaa.org - The PA District Attorneys Institute handles the billing for SAVIN accounts. Select "PA DA Institute" from the home page, the select "SAVIN".
firstname.lastname@example.org - The Customer First Center at Appriss can assist with questions and issues regarding the technology used in SAVIN.