Landmark Crime Victims’ Notification System To Be Unveiled
Possibly the Most Significant Legislation in 15+ Years to Assist Survivors of Crime
WHAT: Launch and demonstration of “AlabamaCAN” (Alabama Crime Victim Automated Notification )
WHEN: Wednesday, October 8, 2014, at 9 a.m.
WHERE: Capitol Auditorium, Montgomery, Ala. (street level when entering from South Union St.)
WHO: The following have played a significant role and will be in attendance: Legislators, crime victim advocates, and representatives of the:
- Board of Pardons & Paroles
- Attorney General’s Office
- District Attorneys’ Association
- Administrative Office of the Courts
- Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center
- Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Commission
- Department of Corrections
- Department of Public Safety
DETAILS: In 2011, Gov. Robert Bentley signed Act 2011-681, a bill sponsored by Sen. Cam Ward, that would create an electronic notification system for crime victims, public officials and members of the public who are interested in the status of a criminal case or inmate. The legislation established an Implementation Task Force to develop this revolutionary system and streamline relevant state resources. Subsequently eight state agencies have played a key role, along with 2 victim advocates appointed by the Attorney General, in establishing this user-friendly and critically important system.
With 1 out of every 4 Alabamians being a victim of crime in their lifetime, AlabamaCAN will be a valuable tool to citizens across the state — particularly in tracking the upcoming parole dates of felony offenders. Each year, more than 6,000 parole hearings are held in Alabama. Since 1984, state law has required the Board of Pardons & Paroles to provide notice of hearing dates to certain victims of many violent crimes, and allowed them a forum to express their thoughts on an inmate’s release.
But the new AlabamaCAN system adds safety nets not previously provided and will open up the system to even more participants — which can be a key factor in public safety. While every state has a victim notification system, it is unlikely any other state has taken the innovative approach Alabama has to maximize today’s technology, while respecting the rights and choices of each participant.
Contact: Meridith Barnes (Task Force Chair), Asst Attorney General,
Other Contact: Darlene Hutchinson Biehl (Task Force Member)