Alabama Launches Innovative Crime Victims’ Notification System

Many public officials and stakeholders have contributed to the revolutionary victim notification system launched today in Montgomery, including Larry Arrington (programmer for ACJIC), Eddie Cook (assistant director of Pardons & Paroles), State Sen. Cam Ward, State Rep. Paul DeMarco, victims' advocate Darlene Hutchinson Biehl, Meridith Barnes (assistant attorney general with Pardons & Paroles), and Barry Matson (deputy director of the District Attorneys' Association).
Many public officials and stakeholders have contributed to the revolutionary victim notification system launched today in Montgomery, including Larry Arrington (programmer for ACJIC), Eddie Cook (assistant director of Pardons & Paroles), State Sen. Cam Ward, State Rep. Paul DeMarco, victims’ advocate Darlene Hutchinson Biehl, Meridith Barnes (assistant attorney general with Pardons & Paroles), and Barry Matson (deputy director of the District Attorneys’ Association).

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama crime victims will now have better access to information about the offenders who harmed them or their loved ones, as an innovative electronic notification system was unveiled at the State Capitol. Members of the Task Force that have been developing “AlabamaCAN” (the Alabama Crime Victim Automated Notification system) demonstrated the public website at http://victims.alabama.gov, which is just one element of the project that maximizes today’s technology. With one out of every four citizens being a victim of crime in their lifetime, AlabamaCAN will be a valuable tool.
In 2011, the Legislature approved a bill sponsored by Sen. Cam Ward that outlined the requirements of the new notification system, and it established an Implementation Task Force that eventually included eight state agencies and two crime victim advocates. Considered by many stakeholders to be the most significant crime victims’ legislation to pass in 20 years, the 2011 law primarily addresses how notice will be provided for upcoming parole/pardon hearings. But AlabamaCAN may one day extend further to provide notice at additional points in the criminal justice system.