North Carolina Department of Correction News

DOC offender information added to SAVAN

After a lot of hard work by DOC employees, the Department’s portion of SAVAN, the Statewide Automated Victim Assistance and Notification system, is now up and running. The addition of DOC’s data to SAVAN, makes North Carolina the first state in the nation where victims can get information on inmates, probationers and parolees by dialing a single number.

SAVAN is a fully automated toll-free hotline that provides victims with access to updated status information on offenders in jails, in the court system and now within DOC. By calling 1-877-NC-SAVAN (1-877-627-2826), individuals can use basic information such as an offender’s name to search the system’s database. If the offender is in prison, the victim will receive information on the offender’s location, custody level and projected release date. If the offender is on probation, parole or post-release supervision, the victim will be told the type of supervision and the county where the offender is supervised.

savan.jpg (9290 bytes)
Dale Burleson wtih MIS spent many long hours on the telephone testing SAVAN to make sure it works properly.
Callers may also choose to register to receive automated notification calls when an offender’s status changes.

Several DOC employees including Bob Brinson, chief of information resources; Dorothy Ledford, program director with DOP; Emily Garrett, division program consultant with the Office of Citizen Services; Karen Taylor George, victim services administrator; Tracy Little, director of the Office of Citizen Services; Mary Creech, former program manager for SAVAN; and Dale Burleson, manager of quality assurance, spent many long hours working to make SAVAN a reality within the Department.

Brinson said Burleson logged many of hours on the telephone testing the application to make sure the information was being reported correctly.

"This was tedious work, and Dale identified a number of errors that were missed by the vendor’s own quality assurance staff," he said. "Dale’s good work should result in pretty good odds that the system will operate correctly."

However, Brinson said getting the system up and running was only half the battle. Now it is up to DOC employees in the field to make sure SAVAN is a success.

Since SAVAN operates by linking information entered into OPUS to a telephone call center in Kentucky, Brinson said employees must enter the information in a timely manner in order for the system to work properly.

"This really opens our database up for public scrutiny more so than at any other point in the past," he said. "A year ago, if we were a little slow entering information into OPUS, it was all in the family. You may get scolded by your supervisor, but that was it. But now with SAVAN and the automatic transfer of information, if employees do not put information in the computer on a timely basis, it can cause real problems. If an offender absconds on Monday and you don’t enter it into the computer until Friday, then the call does not go out until Friday, four days later, and the victim will be upset."

Employees were given an introduction to SAVAN last November through two training sessions conducted via the N.C. Information Highway. Videos of the training sessions along with brochures and posters can be obtained by calling the Office of Citizen Services at 1-800-368-1985. u

NC DOC Homepage
E-mail NC DOC