The Evolution of VINE®: From Victim Notification to Holistic Protection Platform for Survivors

Since its inception in 1994, VINE has revolutionized the victim notification space.

For private citizens and professionals navigating the criminal justice system, the need for reliable and timely information is paramount. For decades, organizations and advocates alike have strived to meet that need and provide resources for victims, with one platform standing out as a leader—VINE® (Victim Information and Notification Everyday). What began in 1994 as the first-ever automated victim notification service has evolved into a holistic protection platform. Today, VINE— now powered by Equifax®— has revolutionized the victim notification space and remains committed to innovations that enhance our growing suite of solutions for state agencies and survivors.

How VINE Pioneered Victim Notification

VINE emerged in response to a critical need in the criminal justice system—providing crime victims with timely and accurate information about their offenders' custody status. Before VINE, victims often found themselves in the dark, unaware of crucial developments about their offender, and were unable to implement their personal safety plan when an offender was released. Where available, VINE alleviated that by delivering automated notifications via phone, email, or text whenever an offender's status changed.

The simplicity and effectiveness of VINE's system quickly gained recognition, and it became the go-to solution for victim notification. VINE’s impact has been profound, and as of 2024, VINE operates in 46 states and the District of Columbia and has delivered over 800 million notifications to users across the United States—empowering victims with knowledge.

Recognizing the evolving needs of survivors and the challenges they face beyond receiving notifications, VINE has continued to innovate and expand our offerings to provide extensive resources for victims and their advocates. In addition to notifications, VINE also provides a Service Provider Directory that connects victims with essential resources ranging from basic needs to legal assistance, counseling, and healthcare.

Holistic Evolution 

The transformation of VINE from a notification service to a holistic protection platform is a testament to our commitment to serving survivors at multiple stages of their unique journey. In addition to custody status notifications through VINE, we have incorporated two additional solutions into our platform, where available, that encompass this commitment: VINE Courts™ and VINE Protective Order™.

VINE Courts

VINE Courts is a groundbreaking product aimed at enhancing communication between courts, victims, and other stakeholders. By integrating with court systems, VINE Courts provides victims, court personnel, and concerned citizens near real-time updates on case events, such as hearings, sentencing, and probation reviews. These integrations improve transparency and efficiency within the justice system while empowering survivors with timely information about their offenders’ cases.

VINE Protective Order

Protective orders are a vital tool for survivors seeking legal protection from their offenders. However, navigating the complexities of protective orders can be challenging. VINE Protective Order simplifies this process by providing support to survivors throughout the lifecycle of a protective order, from issuance to expiration.

The Importance of Partnering With a Reliable Industry Leader

In today's digital age, where numerous solutions may be available, partnering with a reliable industry leader like VINE is more crucial than ever. States and agencies must prioritize the safety and well-being of survivors by choosing proven, trustworthy platforms for victim services. The consequences of relying on unreliable or new, untested systems can be dire, potentially compromising the safety of survivors and negatively impacting the effectiveness of the justice system. By partnering with VINE, states can ensure that survivors and advocates have access to reliable data from the source and services throughout the entire lifecycle of an offender's custody. Highlights of VINE's service to states include:

  • Trusted Victim Services Technology Provider: Since 1994, the Equifax VINE team has successfully implemented and supported VINE in 48 states and the District of Columbia. VINE is a proven victim notification solution for statewide, large-scale notification services. Over the past 30 years, VINE has been reliably used by victim services, law enforcement, and public safety agencies to keep communities safe and informed.
  • Near Real-Time Data: Incarceration, court case, and protective order details are updated as frequently as every 15 minutes, where available.
  • Victim-Centered Support: 24/7/365 CustomerFirst Center Support, as well as Data Operations Support. CustomerFirst Center associates are sensitivity trained to answer a range of questions from VINE users. Equifax also provides VINE customers with high-touch, full-service account management, training, and marketing support to help promote VINE awareness and utilization at local and national levels.
  • Incarceration Data Coverage: VINE is powered by  the broadest incarceration data  network in the U.S. VINE  integrates with approximately 3,000 incarceration facilities and covers  approximately 90% of the U.S. population.
  • Comprehensive User Experience: VINE is the only known victim notification solution in the market that offers the ability for agencies to add court case and protective order notifications to support victims of crime, all within a single web portal and/or mobile app experience.

VINE Has You Covered

Through innovation and collaboration, VINE continues to set the standard for victim services, providing survivors with the support and resources they need to rebuild their lives.

As we look to the future, it is imperative that states and agencies prioritize partnerships with reliable industry leaders like VINE. By doing so, we can ensure that survivors receive the protection and support they deserve, creating safer communities for all.

To learn more about how VINE has you covered and can help support your work to protect our communities, please contact us today.

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