Crime victims who want to find out where criminals are in the Nebraska corrections system now will access a state website instead of a private service.
The Nebraska Crime Commission built the Nebraska Victims of Crime Alert Portal, or NEVCAP, a website that went online last week.
The website allows a person to search for an inmate in custody anywhere in Nebraska. People also can subscribe to custody change alerts to be sent via email or text, in English or in Spanish.
The state-run service is a change from the previous website, a national third-party service called VINE, which stands for Victim Information and Notification Everyday.
In a press release, officials said people who already had signed up for criminal notifications on VINE will automatically have those subscriptions moved over to NEVCAP. No re-registering is necessary.
The change was made official on Thursday, although nearly a dozen law enforcement agencies across the state were listed Monday as still "offline:" Buffalo, Otoe, Platte, Saline, Sarpy, Scotts Bluff, Seward, Washington and York County Sheriff's Offices and Dodge and Hall County Departments of Corrections.
If users head to VINE and select "Nebraska," a message now reads: "VINELink is not available in your area."
The new website comes after two years of planning and one year of development, according to the press release.
"By bringing the victim notification system in-house, the commission virtually eliminated maintenance costs," officials said. "Further, having direct control of the system allows the commission to work more closely with its data partners and be more responsive to opportunities to foster innovation."
The website also has a section with resources for crime victims, including links to the federal victim notification system, victim advocacy programs and other organizations that can provide help.
The website can be accessed at nevcap.nebraska.gov.