Crime victims in Iowa have a new tool to help them keep track of their attacker. The Iowa VINE system allows registered users to go on-line or call a toll-free number, anytime, and learn the custody status of an offender.

One crime victim, identified as Rhonda, talked about the system Wednesday at the Iowa Attorney General’s office. She says the program gives her a sense of "taking power back from her attacker" and "regaining control of her life."

The automated system can also notify users by email or phone when a specific inmate is released or transferred to another jail. Rhonda says before she registered with the system, her attacker was released and she didn’t know.

"I was just completely terrified when I found out, I was overwhelmed just thinking that person was free and I didn’t even know it," she added, "so knowing (Iowa VINE) will call me is very comforting."

Attorney General Tom Miller says the system is currently only in place in 23 counties, but he hopes it will be statewide next year. Iowans can register on-line at or by calling 1-888-7-IAVINE.

Audio: Radio Iowa’s Pat Curtis reports. :52 MP3