Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification
Significant attention has been devoted to ensure that crime victims and survivors have opportunities to be safely and actively engaged participants in their cases and in the overall justice process. A victim’s right to notification and information about his or her case has long been considered a “threshold right” from which all other victims’ rights flow, and is articulated in state law, Victims’ Bill of Rights, 33 state constitutions, and federal law. When victims are informed about the status of a criminal case and the custody status of an alleged or convicted offender, it empowers them to more safely participate in justice processes and make decisions related to other critical needs, including protection, support services, restitution, and victim compensation. Informed victims are also encouraged to voice their recommendations in plea agreements, sentencing, and parole decisions through victim impact statements.
One mechanism for providing this vital service is Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification (SAVIN) systems. These systems are intended to provide a single point of shared services for victims anywhere in a state to learn about the status of their case against an offender, from the point of arrest and incarceration through disposition, release, and community supervision. Other federally and state-funded SAVIN services are providing status information and notification on domestic violence protective orders and court events.
SAVIN Training and Technical Assistance
With limited resources, law enforcement, prosecutors, court officials, and correctional practitioners face considerable obstacles to maintaining efficiency and reliability in victim notification. To this end, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) established the SAVIN Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Project to overcome these barriers by helping states build, implement, and improve their victim notification capacity. TTA is provided to meet the programmatic and technology needs of SAVIN Administrators. SAVIN TTA is operated in partnership with the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA), Justice Solutions, and the IJIS Institute, through a cooperative agreement granted by BJA.
The primary purpose of the SAVIN Online website is to serve the training and technical assistance needs of practitioners who develop and direct SAVIN programs. The site is a conduit for the distribution of SAVIN-related information and materials gathered or developed by the SAVIN Training and Technical Assistance Project Team. It also provides a communications forum, allowing practitioners the opportunity to provide peer-to-peer support and cross-education, and to foster a national network to enhance effective and efficient delivery of notification services to crime victims and other SAVIN users, e.g., witnesses, advocates, justice professionals, media representatives, etc.