Current Missouri law notifies crime victims by phone of changes to their case when the offender is locked up. House Speaker Pro Tem Mike Henderson, R-Desloge, is proposing to add e-mail to the notification list, citing how often people change their number while a particular e-mail address might not change. He tells Missourinet that House Bill 196 is aimed at giving victims a little bit more peace of mind.

“Let’s say for example, I am assaulted and the person that assaults me is put into the system, maybe put into prison,” he said. “So, I sign up to be able to be notified when something happened changes with their situation such as a parole hearing comes up, or they’re going to be paroled, or they’re going to be moved from one place to another, and I can ask to be notified because I’ve been a victim of a terrible crime.”

Several changes were added to the bill, including about earned discharge and the supervision of parolees.

Henderson explained that his bill makes it easier for crime victims to stay up to date.

“All it does is add in that they can be notified by email,” according to Henderson. “So, it brings it into the 21st century. Currently, they have to be, if they’re not in MoVANS, they have to be notified by certified letter or by phone call. Well, we know that a lot of victims of crime, change your address and change your cell phone number because they’re afraid people will find them but we also know that most of them seem to keep their email address.”

It previously passed the House and the bill could be deliberated on the Senate floor soon. The final day of the Legislative Session is on Friday.

Click here for more information on House Bill 196.

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