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How to Find Out if Someone is In Custody

Updated on November 28, 2010


If you have ever been a victim of crime or know of someone who has been, you know the frustration and worry of knowing that someone in custody could soon be released. The fear and constant looking over your shoulder can be eased by simply registering with Vinelink. You as a victim are entitled by law to be notified upon an inmate’s release from jail or prison.


VineLink was started in 1994 and provides the invaluable service free of cost of notifying victims and their families of an upcoming inmates release or transfer to another institution of that particular offender. Vinelink is the online version of VINE which stands for (Victim Information and Notification Everyday), the National Victim Notification Network.


The program was created sadly after a young woman by the name of Mary Byron was not timely notified of her ex boyfriends release from jail. Although he was arrested for the crimes of assault, rape and stalking he was allowed to post bond. Mary’s ex-boyfriend was released from jail and shortly thereafter found Mary and murdered her. This happens all too often, especially with domestic related crimes.


The Vinelink service allows crime victims to register and obtain reliable information about criminal cases and the custody status of offenders 24 hours a day. Other concerned citizens can also register to be notified by phone, email, or text message when an offender's in custody status changes.


Anyone who has ever been a victim of crime, relatives of minors, and homicide victims have a right to be notified prior to that inmate's release from jail or prison. The Department of Corrections can provide written notification days prior to the inmate's release. Sometimes court actions cause an inmate's immediate release, and notification is provided as soon as possible, based on the victim's current contact information.


The State Attorney's Office is responsible for providing the most current address of the victim to the Department but it is up to you to provide current and updated information to them. If you have moved make sure to notify them. The victim or the victims' family should notify the Department in writing if the victim's address or telephone number changes. Automated notification will be sent if the victim is registered with VINE Service.


Vinelink service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week . The service also allows you to search for information regarding an offender in custody throughout the continental US. Only three states (South Dakota, Maine and Kansas) are not currently participating nor providing such information to Vinelink. The states of Montana, Arizona , Georgia, West Virginia, New Hampshire and Rhode Island have limited information by counties.

At you can search online by clicking on the state and then click search offenders in custody. Lookup either by offenders name or identification number. The service will in turn provide you with a date of birth , age, custody status, facility offender is being held in and the reporting agency. It is also a useful site to find out if someone is currently in custody in a particular county or area.




Although the program is a great effort in helping notify victims and aiding to find someone in custody please do not depend only on this program for your protection. Always maintain other contacts with your advocate, attorney or the law enforcement officers assigned to your particular case.


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    • profile image

      Cory Phipps 6 years ago

      arrested on9-12-11

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 7 years ago


      I pray you never do need this. For the ones that do, better safe than sorry. Thanks for visiting.

    • lctodd1947 profile image

      lctodd1947 7 years ago from USA

      I hope I never need this but it is very good information. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 7 years ago


      Thanks for reading. If it saves a life, its worth hubbing about.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 7 years ago


      It could save a few lives. Thanks for reading, Truth.

    • Truth From Truth profile image

      Truth From Truth 7 years ago from Michigan

      Great information, it could certainly prove helpful.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 7 years ago

      Thank you BreakfastPop. As long as you think so, that's all I care about :)

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      Great and important hub. You rock, you really do!

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 7 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Wow, this is a great service to have thank you for sharing it. Many blessings to you. creativeone59

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

      Great information to know and remember. Many of us probably won't have to use the service, but we all meet people who could. Thank you.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 7 years ago

      Angela Blair

      Just helping spread the word. Noone should have to be a victim twice. Thank you Sis.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 7 years ago


      The service has been around for a few years now although online only in the last couple of years. That's one of the pluses of technology. Information can sure be disseminated quickly. I hope you are well and past the trauma of being a victim.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 7 years ago from Central Texas

      Great Hub and important info for everyone. I was unaware this program existed and appreciate you bringing it to everyone's attention. Thanks! Best, Sis

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Excellent hub. I have never hear of them before but what a wonderful service. I have been a victim and knowing when someone is out of jail can save your life as you are then prepared and alert. I am so glad you wrote this hub as I am sure it will help many people.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 7 years ago

      Ann Nonymous-

      I like to keep all informed. I too hope you never need to use this information. Again, thanks for stopping in and for the feedbak.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 7 years ago

      travel_man 1971

      offender histories can certainly be traced by law enforcement with this and NCI system - good observation! I just wish all States would get on board and other countries would follow lead. I appreciate your comment. Thanks.

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 7 years ago from Virginia

      Hmmm, I hope I never have to use this but your information is always helpful and useful!!! Thanks Bail Up!

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Through the, US authorities can trace the history of crime offenders. You cannot escape the arm of the law if you committed a crime. This is a great relief to all victims that still track the new place of their offenders. I hope, someone in the police hierarchy in the Philippines can read your hub. Thanks for sharing this, Bail Up!