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|The Office of the State Attorney, 8th Circuit Victim Notification System|
The Office of the State Attorney for the 8th Circuit is committed to ensuring that victims of crime are treated fairly as their case moves through the criminal justice system. In order to provide victims with information on case events, the Office of the State Attorney has developed the Victim Notification System (VNS).
This free automated system provides important COURT EVENT information to victims. In each case, the victim will receive a letter containing a Victim Identification Number, and general information pertaining to the victimís case and/or any defendants in the case. If VNS has your email address, you will be notified each time a court EVENT related to the CASE is updated. Email is the fastest way of notification provided by VNS. The purpose of the victim notification system is to provide victims information about upcoming events in a particular criminal case, but it does not provide detailed information about cases. Contact the victim advocate assigned to your case to ask specific questions. You will find the contact information for your victim advocate in the VNS, or, you may call any of our offices and someone will assist you.
The VNS Internet site includes:
- A current listing of events on a criminal case.
- A method for a victim to request future written notifications of significant events.
- A method for a victim to provide an email address for email notifications.
- Summary Information: a listing of all cases to which a victim is associated.
- Case Activity/Details: Displays information about the significant events which are occurring in the case, including the active or closed status, notices of public court proceedings, and a description of imposed sentence.
- My Information: You are also provided the ability to update your contact information.
- Stop Receiving Notifications: Allows you to stop receiving notifications from VNS regarding the case and defendant.
All VNS letter notifications contain a Victim Identification Number (VIN) that will allow you to access VNS via the Internet.
|VNS Notification Methods|
VNS Letter/Email Notifications:
The first notification generated by VNS will be sent by letter (if VNS has a current and correct postal mailing address for you) and by email (if VNS has your email address). After the letter is sent to you, you will not receive further notification by letter unless you notify the VNS that you would prefer to continue to receive letters. If you register your email address with the VNS, you will receive an email each time your case is updated. You may also continue to use your VIN. Your VIN will access your case(s) one the VNS website while the matter is open, and for 90 days after it is closed. The email notices contain the same information as letter notifications provided by VNS. What if I need more information that is available through the VNS?
Common Questions about the Victim Notification System (VNS)
If at any time you have questions about VNS that are not answered here, please feel free to contact our office.
Q: What if I forget my PIN?
A: You may call any of our offices during business hours and request your PIN. You may be required to provide some identifying information.
Q: How often is information on the VNS updated?
A: The VNS Web site is updated Monday through Friday.
Q: Does the Victim Notification System ensure my safety?
A: No. Do not depend on VNS to ensure your safety. If you feel that you are being threatened, immediately notify law enforcement.
Q: What should I do if my contact information changes?
A: If your address, email or phone number changes, you should update your contact information using one of the following methods:
Q: Must I receive notification?
A: If you do not wish to receive notification you may:
- A. Send an email to the victim advocate through the VNS and indicate that you do not wish to receive notifications.
- B. Call any of our offices and speak to a victim advocate.
- C. Send us a letter requesting that we not notify you.
- D. Come to any of our offices and speak to our staff.
Q: Does the VNS contain any of my personal information?
A: The VNS does not record or display any information related to a victim other than the VIN. Your name, address, phone numbers, social security and other personal information are not stored in the system. No information about a victim is available through the VNS.