This issue brief presents an overview of the characteristics of automated victim notification (AVN) systems as they have been implemented in U.S. States under grants administered through the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance.
AVNs have been touted as an effective and efficient means of providing crime victims timely and accurate information about the processing of court events and status changes related to their cases. At the time of this publication, 47 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico had implemented some form of AVN system. Findings from an evaluation of these systems indicate that AVN systems are diverse across jurisdictions, making it critical that crime victims in each AVN's jurisdiction are informed about what information the system does and does not provide. The evaluation also highlighted the need for additional research that will assess the degree to which AVN provides victim notification in accordance with the jurisdiction's legal mandates for victim notification. Service providers have long considered victims' right to notification to be a baseline right, since it enables victims to exercise other rights, such as the right to attend, be heard, and participate in the criminal justice process. The AVN evaluation was conducted primarily through telephone interviews with system administrators over the course of the evaluation.
Grants and Funding
Date Published: September 1, 2013