The Indiana Department of Corrections is rolling out a new and improved notification system that will allow law enforcement from across the state to keep tabs on prison inmates. The Law Enforcement Notification System is a free service for authorized law enforcement officers and agencies that provides real-time custody information on offenders currently housed in Indiana’s 20 adult correctional facilities or on work release or parole, according to a Nixle message from the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office.
“Every year, thousands of men and women are released from prison back into our communities. Services like SAVIN (Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification) and LENS are vitally important to keeping law enforcement, crime victims and the community well informed,” stated IDOC Commissioner Bruce Lemmon. “By using new technology to improve communication and information sharing between our partners in law enforcement, we are providing a better service to the citizens of Indiana.”
The LENS system, released in 2007, is a joint venture between IDOC and the Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center. The original notification service allowed law enforcement officers to register to receive e-mail notifications about offenders being released from IDOC into their jurisdictions 30 days prior to the individual’s release. Through the new system, which already has 46 agencies registered, officers can receive customized notifications and perform geographic searches. Officers in larger jurisdictions can elect to receive notices for a specific zip code, while officers working in gang units or units that monitor sex offenders can elect to receive notifications on only individuals who meet those specific criteria.
The newest feature of LENS is that officers now have the ability to search for information inside the system, including immediate access to offender photos and detailed information such as gang affiliations and sex offender status.
“The new system not only allows us to continue an important public safety service but can also help law enforcement keep Hoosier communities safer by providing important information that could assist in criminal investigations,” added Lemmon.
The upgrade was designed as part of the SAVIN program. The new law enforcement-only component of SAVIN was built by InfoStrat, an IDOC technology partner.
Ripley County Sheriff Tom Grills added, “This is a very important system that our agency, or any officer, can use to help us in our enforcement. Working with IDOC over the years has aided the sheriff’s office in our operations. Safety is key, and keeping up-to-date with the latest technology is an invaluable resource for efficient and effective law enforcement. Technology is something I have been committed to, and have produced, since I became sheriff.”