IN launches criminal tracking system

SAVIN system will deliver voice, emali and text alerts when selected convicts come up for parole or release.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor

Crime victims in the state of Indiana will soon be able to get a phone or e-mail notification when a criminal comes up for parole or is about to be released from jail, reports the NWI Times.

Gov. Mitch Daniels announced recently Indiana's participation in the Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification (SAVIN) network. The focus is on crime victims, but anyone will be able to log on and request to be notified when particular offenders are transferred, released or scheduled for parole hearings.

"We're putting a system in place that has long been needed by the victims of crime," Daniels said. "This is a major step forward in our efforts to protect Hoosiers."

Currently, Indiana sends notices by mail, but the newly instated law, scheduled to begin in April, will speed up the process. Mail notification will still occur, said State Corrections Commissioner J. David Donahue.

"That sounds like an excellent idea," said Assistant Police Chief James Boyce. His family wasn't notified last fall when the state scheduled a parole hearing for the man convicted of killing of his father, Gary patrolman James " J.R." Boyce, in a 1974 robbery.

The new system, made possible by $2.2 million in state and federal funds, also will allow users to track inmates in all 92 county jails. Users also will be able to track the status of inmates who await trial on criminal charges.

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