Milwaukee County Jail and House of Correction VINE victim notification software crashed

Posted at 10:11 PM, Jul 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-07 12:13:53-04

A computer system that tracks every person booked into the Milwaukee County Jail and the House of Correction crashed Wednesday morning.

That program supplies information for Wisconsin VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday), the office of victim services. The Sojourner Family Peace Center President and CEO Carmen Pitre said that information is critical.

"When a person is getting released it can be a heightened time of danger because if I'm fixated on you, angry, wanting to hurt you and I get out of custody, I would have the opportunity then," Pitre said.

The sheriff's office released a statement about the downed system saying, "Victim notification upon release of an inmate is also disconnected."

The Milwaukee County Executive's Office—which oversees the House of Correction—told TODAY'S TMJ4 they are still notifying victims. They are just looking everything up by hand.

Workers at the Sojourner Family Peace Center—which helps victims of domestic violence—had been worried something like this could happen, so the center has its own backup.

"We continue to get jail release calls and we have and we never turned that over to the electronic system," Pitre said.

But you have to be using their services or working with an advocate. VINE lets anyone sign up to be kept aware of an offender like a neighbor of a sex offender or a family member. Pitre said no one should be afraid to ask for help.

"Call an advocate and talk to them about how to problem solve or think about your safety right now," Pitre said.

Pitre said any victim can contact the Sojourner Family Peace Center and they can help you track an offender.

The Wisconsin Department of Correction released a statement saying the VINE system as a whole is working. They are just currently not receiving information from Milwaukee County. The sheriff's office said they are leaving it up to the district attorney's office to make victim notification.

The Milwaukee County Executive's Office said the public safety programs that provide information to Wisconsin VINE are back up and running.

VINE said late Thursday night that the services were restored.