< Back to H.R. 4860 (105th Congress, 1997–1998)

Text of the National Domestic Violence Victim Notification Act

This bill was introduced on October 20, 1998, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Oct 20, 1998 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

HR 4860 IH

105th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4860

To amend the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 to establish a national domestic violence victim notification system.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

October 20, 1998

Mr. BAESLER introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To amend the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 to establish a national domestic violence victim notification system.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘National Domestic Violence Victim Notification Act’.

SEC. 2. VICTIM NOTIFICATION SYSTEM.

    (a) AMENDMENT- Subtitle A of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘CHAPTER 6--VICTIM NOTIFICATION SYSTEM

‘SEC. 40161. ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION.

    ‘(a) IN GENERAL- The Attorney General may make a grant to a private non-profit entity to create and operate a national victim notification system (referred to in this section as a ‘VINE system’). A VINE system shall be a comprehensive community and individual awareness program that connects communities and victims of domestic violence with vital criminal justice information about individuals who have been charged with a domestic violence crime and prison inmates.

    ‘(c) NOTIFICATION-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- The VINE system shall have a system whereby information about such individuals and inmates, including the status of the prosecution of such individuals, the correctional status of such inmates, the availability of assistance from local law enforcement agencies and civil restraining orders upon the release of such inmates, the location of the nearest domestic violence center, and any information obtained in the course of a sexual offender registration, shall be available to individuals who contact the system.

      ‘(2) SPECIFIC COMPONENTS- Such a system shall include--

        ‘(A) information on the trail date for an individual charged with a domestic violence crime, the release date of a prison inmate, the location of the prison, if the inmate has not been released, the parole eligibility dates of the inmate, the date the imprisonment sentence expires, and any other relevant data respecting such inmate as may be developed under databases under State sexual offender registration programs under section 170101 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994;

        ‘(B) referrals of victims to appropriate law enforcement or victim service organizations;

        ‘(C) a toll free number which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year which a victim of domestic violence may use to receive the information described in subparagraphs (A) and (B);

        ‘(D) a procedure under which a victim may register with the system to receive automatic telephone notification when the inmate involved has a change in custody or other change, including court appointments, which may involve or threaten the victim; and

        ‘(E) the safeguards of the system to protect the confidentiality of victims calling the toll free number or receiving inmate information.’.

    ‘(d) OTHER ACTIVITIES- In establishing and operating a VINE system, the entity involved shall--

      ‘(1) establish a procedure whereby the VINE system is to receive on a regular basis information from the courts, corrections institutions, and law enforcement agencies, including law enforcement agencies which have information from a State program for the registration of sexual offenders, about individuals charged with domestic violence crimes and prison inmates;

      ‘(2) work collaboratively with the National Domestic Violence Hotline authorized under section 40211 of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (42 U.S.C. 10416) to create a system of automatic referral to the National Domestic Violence Hotline for information on the availability of shelters and services that support battered women in the caller’s area ; and

      ‘(3) in connection with the National Domestic Violence Hotline, employ, train, and supervise personnel to answer incoming calls and provide counseling and referral services to callers on a 24 hour-a-day basis;

      ‘(4) publicize the National Domestic Violence Hotline to potential users throughout the area the system is to serve.

    ‘(e) GRANTS- To be approved for a grant under subsection (a), an application for such grant shall--

      (1) contain such agreements, assurances, and information, be in such form and be submitted in such manner as the Attorney General shall prescribe through notice in the Federal Register;

      (2) include a complete description of the applicant’s plan for its operation in connection with the National Domestic Violence Hotline, including descriptions of--

        ‘(A) the training program for hotline personnel;

        ‘(B) the hiring criteria for hotline personnel;

        ‘(C) the methods for the creation, maintenance, and updating of a resource database;

        ‘(D) a plan for publicizing the availability of the hotline;

        ‘(E) a plan for providing service to non-English speaking callers; and

        ‘(F) a plan for facilitating access to the hotline by persons with hearing impairments;

      ‘(3) demonstrate that the applicant has nationally recognized expertise in the area of domestic violence and a record of high quality service to victims of domestic violence;

      ‘(4) demonstrate that the applicant has a commitment to the provision of services to ethnic, racial, and non-English speaking minorities, older individuals, and individuals with disabilities; and

      ‘(5) contain such other information as the Attorney General may require.

    ‘(f) DEFINITION- For purposes of this chapter, the term ‘prison inmate’ means a person who has been imprisoned for conviction of a crime involving domestic violence.’.

SEC. 3. STUDY.

    The Attorney General shall conduct a study about the integration of a national victim notification system with the National Domestic Violence Hotline, databases developed under State sexual offender registration programs under section 170101 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, and the National Crime Information Center. The Attorney General shall report the result of such study to Congress along with any recommendation for legislation arising from such study.