A new online system will allow any citizen to log on and check the release status or location of anyone arrested or convicted of a crime, county and state law enforcement officials announced Tuesday.
Called "VINE," the system allows anyone " including crime victims " to anonymously check the release status of someone accused or convicted of a crime, or even be notified by phone when that inmate's status changes, officials said.
"The system is designed to protect the person when the perpetrator is released," said Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson when the system was unveiled at a press conference at the Oklahoma County Jail. "It's also available to the news media."
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater (pictured) said the anonymity of the notification system is to allow victims of crime to use it without fear that the perpetrator will find out and retaliate against them, yet will allow the victim to be warned when the perpetrator leaves incarceration.
Edmondson said the system will allow a rape victim to know if their attacker is out of jail, or even a let a former employer know that an embezzler is out and can have that person's check garnisheed.
While the system will also keep track of those who are merely accused " not yet convicted " of a crime, Edmondson defended VINE.
"There is no information that you can get on VINE that isn't public record," he said.
The VINE system is part of a nationwide tracking system available in more than 40 other states, including some municipalities if not statewide. The system has operated for several years in TulsaCounty, officials said.