The Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC) is expanding its automatic notification system to provide public alerts in the event of an inmate escape from a halfway house, Commissioner Jim Erwin announced today.
The department has already used the notification system, AlertXpress, for more than a decade, providing alerts in instances where an inmate escapes from a prison. By the end of this year, the system will also include all halfway houses in Kentucky. One halfway house is active now – Keeton Corrections in Paducah.
To receive notifications, residents only have to call a toll-free number, 1-866-445-2867, and register by the zip code of the facility. The automated service will call anyone registered with a pre-recorded message if an inmate escapes. It will call again when the escapee is back in custody.
“This is part of our ongoing commitment to public safety,” said Erwin. “We were able to make this happen quickly, at no expense to taxpayers, because of the excellent partnership we have with our Kentucky-based vendor, Appriss.”
Appriss is the developer of VINE, the department’s automated victim notification system. In 2004, the company provided AlertXpress to DOC as a statewide escape notification system. Since that time, individuals who live near Kentucky’s prisons have been able to register for notifications in the event of an escape from that institution.
The expanded service will now provide similar notifications if inmates escape from halfway houses. However, it does not cover parolees, who sometimes live at halfway houses but are not committed to secure custody like inmates.