Alan Matheney used an eight-hour pass from prison in 1989 to travel more than 100 miles to ex-wife Lisa Bianco’s home in Mishawaka and bludgeon her to death with a shotgun while their two daughters fled in terror.

An automated system now in place across Indiana might prevent such future violence. The Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification Service, or SAVIN, will automatically call or e-mail victims or others generally within 15 minutes of convicts’ transfers, upcoming parole hearings, releases or other changes in status.

Bianco had not been alerted to Matheney’s release even though he was serving an eight-year prison term for beating her in 1987. He had served two years. Once furloughed from Pendleton's Correctional Industrial Facility to go to Indianapolis, he went instead to Mishawaka and killed her. The state executed him for Bianco’s murder on Sept. 28, 2005.

Laura Berry Berman, executive director of the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said the Matheney-Bianco case led lawmakers and other state officials to look at ways to notify victims if convicts were released or had other changes in their custody status.

“That’s where all of this started,” Berry Berman said.

SAVIN now tracks more than 27,000 state prisoners and inmates housed in the Marion, Warrick, Floyd, and Henry county jails, the Indiana Department of Correction announced Tuesday.

Indiana residents can register to be notified about an inmate’s placement, release, transfer or other change by calling 1-866-959-VINE (1-866-959-8463) or by logging onto

The system went online at the end of April, DOC spokeswoman Java Ahmed said.

“By 2008, all 92 counties will be online and integrated into the automated system,” Ahmed said.

SAVIN, which is used in all or parts of 40 states, has proven more reliable for victims than depending on state corrections staff or jailers to call. The automated system will keep trying to contact victims until it receives verification that they’ve been notified.

“It really can help victims plan better for their safety,” Berry Berman said. “It will also will ensure victims are notified, which is crucial.”

SAVIN is available free of charge around the clock, seven days a week, and operators speaking both English and Spanish are available to answer questions or assist callers. Callers can remain anonymous when using the service.

Gov. Mitch Daniels announced plans for SAVIN in January. The DOC announced it was online as part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

“One of the rights of crime victims is the right to information and notification,” Correction Commissioner J. David Donahue said in a statement.

Indiana received $1.25 million in federal funds for SAVIN and matched it with approximately $950,000 from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and the DOC.

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