Clery Act

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Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act[1]
Great Seal of the United States.
Long title Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act
Nickname(s) Clery Act
Enacted by the  101st United States Congress
Citations
Public Law Pub.L. 101–542
Codification
Act(s) amended Higher Education Act of 1965
Title(s) amended 20
U.S.C. section(s) amended 20 U.S.C. § 1092, et al
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the Senate as "Student Athlete Right-to-Know Act" (S. 580) by Bill Bradley (D-NJ) on March 15, 1989
  • Committee consideration by: Senate Labor
  • Passed the Senate on February 22, 1990 (voice vote)
  • Passed the House as the "Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act" on June 5, 1990 (without objection)
  • Reported by the joint conference committee on October 16, 1990; agreed to by the House on October 22, 1990 (voice vote) and by the Senate on October 24, 1990 (voice vote)
  • Signed into law by President George H. W. Bush on November 8, 1990
Major amendments
Pub.L. 102–26
Pub.L. 102–325
Pub.L. 105–244
Pub.L. 106–386

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act or Clery Act is a federal statute codified at 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f), with implementing regulations in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations at 34 C.F.R. 668.46.

The Clery Act requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses. Compliance is monitored by the United States Department of Education, which can impose civil penalties, up to $35,000 per violation, against institutions for each infraction and can suspend institutions from participating in federal student financial aid programs.

The law is named for Jeanne Clery, a 19-year-old Lehigh University freshman who was raped and murdered in her campus residence hall in 1986. The backlash against unreported crimes on numerous campuses across the country led to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.[2] The Clery Act, signed in 1990, was originally known as the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act.

Requirements of act[edit]

Annual security report[edit]

By October 1 of each year, institutions must publish and distribute their Annual Campus Security Report to current and prospective students and employees. Institutions are also allowed to provide notice of the report, a URL if available, and how to obtain a paper copy if desired.

This report is required to provide crime statistics for the prior three years, policy statements regarding various safety and security measures, campus crime prevention program descriptions, and procedures to be followed in the investigation and prosecution of alleged sex offenses.

Crime log[edit]

The institution's police department or security departments are required to maintain a public log of all crimes reported to them, or those of which they are made aware. The log is required to have the most recent 60 days' worth of information. Each entry in the log must contain the nature, date, time and general location of each crime and disposition of the complaint, if known. Information in the log older than 60 days must be made available within two business days. Crime logs must be kept for seven years, three years following the publication of the last annual security report.

Timely warnings[edit]

The Clery Act requires institutions to give timely warnings of crimes that represent a threat to the safety of students or employees. Institutions are required to publish their policies regarding timely warnings in their Annual Campus Security Report. The institution is only required to notify the community of crimes which are covered by the Clery statistics.

Crime statistics[edit]

An institution must keep the most recent eight years (as of 2012) of crime statistics that occurred: on campus, in institution residential facilities, in noncampus buildings, or on public property. The report must also indicate if any of the reported incidents, or any other crime involving bodily injury, was a "hate crime." The following offenses, as defined by the UCR [3] are required to be included in the institution's Annual Security Report (ASR) as well as sent to the U.S. Department of Education annually:

Institutions are required to indicate if any of the crimes, or any other crime involving bodily injury, was a "hate crime".

These statistics are not the state crime definitions but rather Federal crime definitions. This may lead to discrepancies in data reporting. In cases of forcible sexual offenses, there have been reports of colleges questioning accounts of alleged victims, further complicating documentation and policing of student assaults.[4][5]

Notable incidents[edit]

From 2008-2012, 14 higher education institutions were fined for Clery Act noncompliance.[6]

Clery Act Reports[edit]

Reports on complaints of Clery Act noncompliance are available from the Federal Student Aid (FSA) website.[7] Federal Student Aid, an office of the Department of Education, conducts reviews to evaluate compliance with the Clery Act.[8] According to the Federal Student Aid (FSA) page on Clery Act Reports, "The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act is a federal statute requiring colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid programs to maintain and disclose campus crime statistics and security information. The U.S. Department of Education conducts reviews to evaluate an institution's compliance with the Clery Act requirements....Once a review is completed, the Department issues a Final Program Review Determination. Although regular program reviews may contain Clery Act findings, this page includes only those program reviews that were focused exclusively on the Clery Act. Below, you can access these reports as well as accompanying documentation which may include the complaint, school response, or fine action that resulted from the program review." [9]

Eastern Michigan University[edit]

The case involving the highest fine imposed on an institution occurred in 2008. Eastern Michigan University was fined $357,500 for failing to warn the campus of a student's assault and death that occurred in 2006. Beyond reporting the incident, the school was fined for violating federal crime-reporting laws.[10][11][12] The Laura Dickinson incident has been seen as a wake-up call on how universities report and display statistics on crimes that occur on university campuses. The incident brought forth university-wide changes in campus safety and safety notifications. The incident also brought changes in university administration, including the dismissal of the university's president, John A. Fallon.

Penn State University[edit]

The U.S. Department of Education is investigating Penn State over the Penn State sex abuse scandal. Their investigation arises from the university administration's alleged failure to report allegations of sex offenses on campus by a former school official as being a violation of the Act. Former Penn State Defensive Coach Jerry Sandusky has been convicted of sexually abusing several young boys over several years, including incidents on campus.[13] A campus safety advocacy group called the scandal "the most extensive investigation the Department of Education has ever conducted".[14]

Virginia Tech[edit]

In the final report regarding the April 16, 2007 Virginia Tech massacre issued on Thursday, December 9, 2010 by the U.S. Department of Education under Arne Duncan, Virginia Tech was said to have violated this Act.

Additionally the Department of Education fined the University $55,000 on March 29, 2011 for "failure to issue a timely warning" in response to the shootings at West Ambler Johnston.[15] The university appealed the fine arguing that actions were in compliance with guidelines distributed to schools by the Department of Education in a handbook. And on March 30, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s administrative law judge ruled in favor of the University, saying in a statement: “This was not an unreasonable amount of time in which to issue a warning. …. if the later shootings at Norris Hall had not occurred, it is doubtful that the timing of the email would have been perceived as too late.”[16][17][18][19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Originally, the Student Right-To-Know and Campus Security Act
  2. ^ Gross, Ken (1990-02-19). "After Their Daughter Is Murdered at College, Her Grieving Parents Mount a Crusade for Campus Safety". People.com. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  3. ^ "Clery Act Compliance". Clery Center for Security On Campus. Retrieved 2013-09-22. 
  4. ^ "Feds launch investigation into Swarthmore's handling of sex assaults". Philadelphia Inquirer. 2013-07-16. 
  5. ^ "Annual campus crime report may not tell true story of student crime". Daily Nebraskan. 2013-07-16. 
  6. ^ http://educationlaw.ncbar.org/newsletters/educationlawnov2013/clery
  7. ^ https://studentaid.ed.gov/about/data-center/school/clery-act
  8. ^ https://studentaid.ed.gov/es/sites/default/files/fsawg/datacenter/cleryact/CleryDataCenterv3.pdf
  9. ^ https://studentaid.ed.gov/about/data-center/school/clery-act
  10. ^ http://chronicle.com/article/Education-Dept-Imposes/10648/
  11. ^ http://www.roanoke.com/news/breaking/wb/281580
  12. ^ http://articles.mcall.com/2010-12-11/news/mc-virginia-tech-clery-20101211_1_timely-warning-clery-act-student-financial-aid
  13. ^ http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-investigate-penn-states-handling-sexual-misconduct-alleg
  14. ^ "Penn State could incur steep penalty in probe of unreported crime". Reuters. July 19, 2012. 
  15. ^ Potter, Dena (March 30, 2011). "Virginia Tech fined $55K for response to shootings". Forbes. Retrieved March 30, 2011. 
  16. ^ Virginia Tech statement on ruling overturning findings of the U.S. Department of Education [1]
  17. ^ The Handbook for Campus Crime Reporting, updated February 2011
  18. ^ Bell, Craig; CNN Wire Staff (March 30, 2011). "Virginia Tech fined $55,000 in 2007 shooting rampage". CNN. Retrieved March 30, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Virginia Tech's Clery Act hearing opens". Roanoke Times. 

External links[edit]

Laws and regulations[edit]

Crime statistics[edit]

Other information[edit]

Top CleryAct Software[edit]