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Victim-Witness: Victim Notification System

The Department of Justice's Victim Notification System (VNS) is a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Attorney's Offices, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. This free, computer-based system provides federal crime victims with information on scheduled court events, as well as the outcome of those court events. It also provides victims with information on the offender's custody status and release. In addition to the written notifications generated through VNS, victims can obtain automated status information by calling the VNS Call Center at 1-866-365-4968 (1-866-DOJ-4YOU) or by accessing the VNS Internet site at https://www.notify.usdoj.gov/index.jsp. A Victim ID# and PIN# are required to access the VNS Call Center or VNS Internet site. For more information, please contact the Victim-Witness Coordinator.

COVID-19 UPDATE:

 

Letter notifications from the Victim Notification System (VNS) may be delayed as a result of the availability of staff at government agencies during the COVID-19 outbreak. The other methods of notification provided by VNS (email, the VNS Internet site, toll-free telephone number) will continue in operation and will provide timely information.

If you have not already done so, we suggest you access the VNS web site (https://www.notify.usdoj.gov) and enter a verified email address to receive email notifications from VNS.

Registrants of VNS with a verified email address will receive the same notification information via email as provided by the VNS letters. Instructions for entering a verified email address in VNS can be found at the bottom of this document.

If you plan to attend a court hearing, prior to the scheduled date of the event, be sure to contact the victim assistance staff at the United States Attorney’s Office or check the web site of the U.S. District Court where the hearing is being held (https://www.uscourts.gov) for any special guidelines on courthouse and/or courtroom access during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Please be aware that access may be limited based on government guidelines or restrictions in the local area. You may contact the VNS Help Desk at 866.625.1631 for assistance with the registration process or for other help with the internet system. You will need to provide your VIN and PIN when contacting the Help Desk.

Instructions for Entering a Verified Email Address in VNS https://www.notify.usdoj.gov

1. If this is the first time you have accessed this site:

a. You must enter the VIN/ID and PIN contained in the letter you received from the United States Attorney’s Office

b. You will also be asked to enter either your last name, or if a business, the business name. The name must be the same as contained in the notification letter.

2. After logging into VNS

a. Step 1 - Create a new password. This password can be used in lieu of the VNS PIN when accessing VNS in the future

1. VNS password must be at least 8 characters and may use letters, numbers, special characters or some combination.

b. Step 2 - Provide the answer to a security question

c. Step 3 - Enter and confirm your email address

i. A confirmation notice will be sent to the email you entered and your email will be “verified”

3. After completing the above steps, you can use your email address, and the password you created in Step 1, to access VNS in lieu of the VIN and PIN.

4. Entering a verified email address in VNS will eliminate letter notifications in the future and all   VNS notifications will be provided by email.

Pamphlet: The Department of Justice Victim Notification System

Updated March 30, 2020

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