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York County continues inmate tracker program

Thanks to an online database, that victim quickly verified that her offender was still behind bars.rsz 1prison

York County recently re-upped its contract with that database, Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification, or SAVIN. It costs about $19,500 a year, or several cents per inmate.

It offers peace of mind, said Uhler-Myers, deputy administrator of victim witness in the York County District Attorney’s office. You cannot put a price on safety, she said.

The free-to-use program offers access to information and notification about the status of offenders in county jails, state prisons or on state parole. The district attorney’s office has been using it for 10 years.

Users can know what prison an offender is in and when that offender gets moved, released or paroled. It’s as simple as going to the website, selecting Pennsylvania in the top left and finding an offender. Users will also be notified if a parolee stops reporting.

Alerts are available via text message, email or phone call. And it’s completely confidential. No inmate is able to know if he or she has been added to someone’s list.

Whether it’s a neighbor, an estranged or ex-spouse or anyone with a history you don’t want coming around your house, you can request updates on their whereabouts during their incarceration, Uhler-Myers said.

A since-antiquated call-in service exclusive to victims required multiple phone calls, making it difficult to track down people, Uhler-Myers said. Everyone did their best, she said, but people got missed. The program borne out of domestic violence can be used by anyone.

“It is a really good program and it really does work,” Uhler-Myers said.

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