Will I find out when the person who harmed me will be released from prison?

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You will learn about a program that will let you know (notify you) if the person who hurt you will be released from prison. Finding this out in advance will help you have plans in place. #3712EN

Please Note!

If you or someone you know is the victim of a crime, you can get help with expenses related to the crime. Learn more and apply for benefits on the WA Department of Labor & Industries website.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Yes, if both of these are true:

  • You are a survivor of certain types of violent crimes.

  • The person who hurt you is in a prison in Washington State.

You will learn about a program that will let you know (notify you) if the person who hurt you will be released from prison. Finding this out in advance will help you have plans in place.

It depends on the offense.  

You can get advance notification under this program if you are a survivor of one of these types of crimes:

  • Any violent, sex, felony harassment, or domestic violence offense

  • Violation of a domestic violence court order

  • Third degree assault

  • Unlawful imprisonment

  • Vehicular or substance abuse homicide, if you are next of kin of the homicide victim

You should sign up for the Advance Notification Program of the state Department of Corrections (DOC). It will tell you when a prison is going to let someone out.

  • Any victim of or witness to one of the types of crime listed above, where the person who did this to you was convicted, can sign up.

  • Any next of kin to a murder victim, including vehicular homicide and controlled substances homicide, can sign up.  

  • You can sign up if the prosecutor writes you to tell you that you can.

Yes. You can sign up for automatic notification through the Victim Information & Notification Everyday (VINE) system at vinelink.vineapps.com/search/WA. See How-to below.

If someone becomes eligible for release, the DOC will send you more information if you signed up for notification.

*If you might need safety planning, start now. Victim advocates across the state with training can help survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and violent crime. They can help you with safety planning and getting protection orders to help protect you and your family.

Under state law, you should get notice at least 30 days before their release.

The county where a jail is located decides releases from jail. Call the prosecutor's office handling the person's criminal case. Ask them to let you know if that person is going to be let out of jail.  

Domestic Violence Information and Referral

  • Visit domesticviolenceinforeferral.org for an advocate near you

  • Washington State Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-562-6025

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3244

Washington State Coalition against Domestic Violence (WSCADV)

Visit wscadv.org/washington-domestic-violence-programs. It lists domestic violence programs across the state.

Washington State Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs

Visit wcsap.org/help/csap-by-city. It lists sexual assault programs across the state.

Washington State Office of Crime Victims Advocacy

This Office supports survivors of all types of crime. They have a list of local agencies who support survivors.You can also call OCVA at 800-822-1067 or email ocva@commerce.wa.gov to get help with safety planning.

Northwest Justice Project (NJP)

NJP provides legal services and referrals for domestic violence and Victim of Crime Act help.

  • Outside King County: Call the CLEAR Hotline 1-888-201-1014 weekdays 9:15 am - 12:15 pm

  • In King County: Call 2-1-1, open weekdays 8:00 am - 6:00 pm

  • Seniors (age 60 and over) can also call CLEAR*Sr at 1-888-387-7111, statewide

Visit WashingtonLawHelp.org. It has free "know your rights" fact sheets, videos, court forms and do-it-yourself packets covering many legal issues. These include protections for domestic violence and family law.

You can also find free packets for protection orders and instructions for using them in the "Personal Safety" section.

  • You do not have to pay to file for or have served a civil domestic violence or sexual assault protection order in the state of Washington.


  1. Click on the arrow next to the blank next to I am searching for. Pick an offender/defendant. A set of search options will appear.

  2. Make sure the space next to located in reads "Washington."

  3. Click on the arrow next to whose. Choose Name to search for an offender by name. If you know the offender's ID number with DOC, you can search that by choosing ID number.

  4. Type the offender's or defendant's first and last name in the boxes that appear after you choose name. If you do not know both names, or are not sure how to spell them, type what you know and check the box next to partial name.

  5. Check I am not a robot. Click the search button. VINE will take you to a new page. It will have a list of offenders and defendants whose names match what you searched for or are close to what you searched for if you checked partial name.

  6. Pick the offender or defendant for whom you want notifications. Click Get Notified under their name. Click add.

  7. VINE sends notifications by email, automated phone call, text message, or teletypewriter.  Pick how you want to be notified. Check the box next to the option. You can set up more than one notification by different options.

  8. Follow the onscreen instructions to set up your notification. VINE will try to contact you by the option you chose. This is to make sure the notification system is working. If you do not get a confirmation, contact VINE Help. 

  9. Repeat these instructions to set up other notifications.

VINE might lose touch with a prison or jail. If you sign up to get notice about someone in a prison in the VINE system, you should also get notice about when notifications are not happening. If you get one of those notifications, it will say how to follow up about the status of that offender or defendant.

Washington VINE: (877) 846-3492; TTY: 1-866-847-1298

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Last Review and Update: Jun 22, 2022
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