The New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute, Inc, The New York State Department of Correction and Community Supervision and Appriss Inc., provider of the Vine Service offered three days of training about the Vine Program on:

      October 7, 2013 at the Shirley A. Chisholm State Building, Brooklyn, NY

      October 8, 2013 at the New York State DOCS Training Academy, Albany, NY      

      October 9, 2013 at the Onondaga County Sheriffs’ Office Justice Center, Syracuse, NY.

During the Month of October we observe National Domestic Violence Awareness   Month. This training, which was provided to over 100 Criminal Justice & Victim Advocacy attendees, was designed to inform them about the history and progress that has been made in informing and notifying registered victims about changes in their offender’s custody status through the Vine Service. 

Debra Marasa was the lead Appriss Instructor assisted by Nikki Huyear, Appriss Relationships Manager. Their power point presentation and handouts outlined the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Mary Byron on information and notification system in jails. Mary’s parents, Pat and John Byron lead a national crusade which resulted in the Vine Service now being available in 47 states, with 41 states + Puerto Rico having state wide programs. This year, 2013, marks the 20th anniversary of Mary’s death.

The Vine Service can be accessed by calling toll free number 1-888-Vine-4-NY or on the internet site, www.vinelink.com  A new App – Vine Mobile introduced this year, offers the opportunity to cell phone and I pad users to access the same information or the Vine website.

The Appriss instructors were assisted by Janet Koupash, Director of The Office of Victim Services, New York State Department of Correction and Community Supervision and Edmund B. Wutzer, Director of Victim Notification Services, New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute Inc., in clarifying specific features of the Vine Service that are unique to NYSDOCCS and the 60 county correctional facilities in the state of New York.

 A lively question and answer session ensued at each of the six training sessions. Participants sought to maximize their knowledge and ability to use Vine on behalf of the crime victims they serve. The need to increase the public awareness of the Vine Service remains a challenge.  Clearly if you don’t know about VINE you can’t use it. Attendees were asked to carry the message back to their respective agencies and inform their colleagues of the value and benefits of Vine her 21st birthday, December 6th, 1993. The failure to notify Mary’s parents of her offenders release from jail unleashed a drive to install an automated

(Victim Information & Notification Everyday) to which they all agreed to do so.