A glitch at the state Pardon and Parole Board may have left crime victims and their families without an update on their case. The state Attorney General's office said the glitch wiped out data in the parole board's crime victim database.
When someone gets arrested and goes to jail, most crime victims and their families do everything they can to track the case. There are a couple of online resources that can help.
Victoria Knight was beaten and stabbed during a robbery in 2004 at a check cashing store where she worked. Anthony McClanahan was convicted of second degree murder in Knight's death four years later. Ever since, Knight's mother, Catherine Doak, has tracked McClanahan's movements in the state prison system using a notification program called VINE through the Oklahoma Attorney General's office.
"I found it quite interesting to know the man who murdered my daughter went from maximum security to medium security. I wanted to know why," Doak said.
Doak said the VINE system is a lifeline for family members of crime victims. It lets them know if the convict is moved from one prison to another, if they've been moved to a medical facility, even if they go up for parole on another case.
"We don't want an early release or a mistake, so if we're notified of any movement we can say, 'Hey, hey, hey wait a minute.' Or we can stop it," said Doak.
The Attorney General's office is encouraging anyone who had previously signed up with VINE to re-register. This comes after a glitch at the state pardon and parole board corrupted its crime victim database, meaning all the contact information the board had is now gone.
The AG's office said no personal information was compromised, but it's important for crime victims and their families to register again with the parole board as well as the VINE program.
Doak also wants to get the word out about the importance of the VINE program. She says families need to make sure they're signed up so they can stay on top of their case.
"It's imperative for the families to sign back up. We need to know what's going on. Mistakes are made in the system and we need to know what's going on, and this is the only way we know what's going on with the perpetrators of these crimes," said Doak.
You can contact the State Pardon and Parole Board at 405-602-5863 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.