December 19th 2019
Appriss Inc., the developers of VINE—or Victim Information and Notification Everyday—has announced that the service is today marking 25 years providing automated notifications to crime victims and survivors across the United States.
VINE was developed by current Appriss CEO, Mike Davis, and his then-business partner, Yung Nguyen, in response to the tragic murder of a young Louisville woman named Mary Byron. Mary had been brutally raped and assaulted by a former partner, who was subsequently arrested and incarcerated for these acts. Two weeks later, unbeknownst to Mary and her family, her assaulter posted bond and was freed. On the evening of December 6, 1993, Mary’s 21st birthday, he stalked and killed her as she sat warming her car after leaving work at a local mall.
VINE was launched in Jefferson County, KY on December 6, 1994—exactly one year after Mary’s murder. Twenty-five years later, VINE has grown to be the number one victim notification network in the nation, empowering millions of victims and concerned citizens with timely and reliable information regarding offender custody status. Delivering over 40 million notifications each year, VINE allows victims and survivors to proactively plan for their safety—an opportunity Mary did not have. Today, this life-saving service is active in 48 states—covering approximately 3,000 communities.
“I am honored and deeply humbled to be marking 25 years of VINE,” said Davis. “There is no doubt in my mind that every single day there is somebody who is alive because of the work that we do. While nothing can heal the pain of Mary’s loss, we will continue to honor her memory by doing everything we can to equip victims with the information they need to stay safe.”
VINE operates by allowing victims to call a toll-free number, visit www.vinelink.com, or use the VINELink mobile app to anonymously check on an offender’s custody status. Victims can also register to receive automated notifications about changes in that status via their choice of format: phone, email, or text. TTY (hearing impaired) service is also available. It is offered free of charge to registrants, is completely confidential, and features multiple language support.
What started off as a two-person company working out of Nguyen’s basement, has grown to nearly 1,000 employees across three different business units. United under the corporate mission of Knowledge for Good, Appriss continues to tackle some of the largest societal and business problems—from battling the opioid epidemic, retail fraud, and improper payments in government entitlement agencies, to strengthening law enforcement, community and workplace safety. As Appriss has grown, it has remained rooted in VINE.
“Above all else: we are victim-centric,” Davis notes. “Our company was built on that foundation. With that as our motivation, our home base, VINE will be around for 100 more years.”