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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: February 19, 2019 11:53 AM
From: Representative Frank Burns
To: All House members
Subject: Studying Pennsylvania’s Crime Victim Alert System
Every day, thousands of crime victims across Pennsylvania rely on automated notifications about the whereabouts of an offender who harmed them. Victims’ safety depends on knowing where the inmate is housed, and when he/she is transferred, released or paroled. Pennsylvania law guarantees crime victims the right to this notification.

More than 500,000 Pennsylvanians have registered to receive free text messages, emails or calls via the Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification system (SAVIN). Last year, victims, witnesses, advocates, policymakers, prison administrators, wardens, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges and business/industry representatives used SAVIN to conduct more than 2.8 million searches to determine an offender’s custody status.

However, proposed changes in the operation of SAVIN could disrupt timely and effective notifications, leaving victims and their families at risk. Therefore, I intend to reintroduce a resolution directing the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to study SAVIN and other state programs that support crime victims in Pennsylvania. The committee would be tasked with evaluating SAVIN’s operations and effectiveness, proposed modifications to it and the feedback of stakeholders. The study would also include an analysis of victim notification in other states.

Please join me in sponsoring this vital resolution to ensure that crime victims are adequately protected and supported.

Introduced as HR175