The FBI is a partner with the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Federal Bureau of Prisons in the automated Victim Notification System (VNS). VNS is designed to provide victims with information about their cases. This free, computer-based system provides two important services to victims: information and notification. This information is available in both English and Spanish. VNS can include details about scheduled court proceedings and about an offender’s custody status, such as placement in community corrections centers, furlough, release, or death.
The FBI’s victim specialist should be in contact with victims during the investigation stage of the case. Notifications that may be provided include the arrest of a suspect and scheduling of a release hearing, whether the case is being referred to state or local authorities, and when a case may be administratively closed. Victims will need to register with the FBI office handling their case. They will receive a Victim Identification Number (VIN) and a Personal Identification Number (PIN) that will allow them to access the VNS system. VNS now has an Internet-based website that can be found at http://www.notify.usdoj.gov.