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"Crime watchers"

The Justice Department now has a Web-based system to notify victims of federal crimes about changes in the status of their cases, AT&T announced April 15.

The national Victim Notification System is a collaborative effort among the FBI, the U.S. Attorneys' offices and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Victims of crime can register with the system to receive notification about such things as court proceedings and information about the release of a defendant.

Justice awarded the contract to GRC International Inc., an AT&T subsidiary, in August 2000. An automated call center that is part of the project opened last year.

The new Web-based system includes a secure intranet site for the federal victims and witness coordinators to enter information. It also has a centralized system to provide automated notification to the victims by letter, e-mail, fax or pager.

Automating these functions will provide more time for the coordinators to work with victims and other agencies, according to AT&T.

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