College Safety: The Clery Act

The federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act better known as the Clery Act requires that all university and colleges whether private or public that receive federal funding to disclose all campus safety information and also imposes some basic requirements on the handling of sexual violence and emergency situations. It is confined to crimes within campus, adjacent to the campus or even off campus when associated with an institution. The Clery Act was named after Jeanne Clery who was raped then murdered in her residence hall by a student who she did not know on 5th April 1986. The Act’s obligations and requirements include;

Recording of Campus Crime Statistics

Campus crimes that are reported should be recorded in the daily crime log which should be updated in two days unless it jeopardizes an ongoing police investigation. Annual Security Report should be availed on the school’s website. The Annual Security Report should be released in October and should contain the last 3 years of reported crimes within campus. Crimes to be listed include; stalking, date violence, intimidation, domestic violence, hate crimes and sexual assault. The log should only indicate the date of the report, date of crime and general location. The victims identifying information should not be included.

Timely Warnings

If there is a campus crime that is an ongoing threat to the community, the university and college should provide a timely warning including information of the crime to prevent such crimes.

Policies on Crime

Each year the university or college has to provide an Annual Security Report that details the campus policy on some topics including;

  • How the school works to prevent crime
  • What the school is doing to encourage reporting of crimes
  • Who receives crime reports in campus
  • How does the school issue timely warnings
  • Campus procedures followed after a crime is reported
  • Remedies and accommodation available to victims

Schools Policy on Prevention Education

In the Annual Security Report, the school must indicate the policy about awareness programs for the incoming employees and students and also ongoing prevention as well as awareness campaigns. Topics covered by the campaign and program include;

  • Definition of sexual assault, stalking, dating violence and domestic violence
  • Risk reduction by recognition of warning signs of abusive behaviors and a potential attack
  • Security procedures on campus and practices for personal security
  • Procedures victims should follow to preserve evidence

Disciplinary Procedures

Each college and campus should have policies on disciplinary proceedings for date violence, domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault. The policies should cover the initial investigation, hearing and the final resolution. The disciplinary proceedings should be impartial, prompt and fair. They should also be adjudicated by officials who have received annual training on issues regarding date violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The officials should also receive annual training on how to conduct an investigation and hearing that promoted victims safety and accountability.

Both the victim and the accused have procedural rights such as an equal opportunity to present their witnesses, simultaneously receive written notifications, and the opportunity for them to be accompanied by an advisor.

Victims Support

According to the Act the institution must provide options to the survivors of the crime such as changes to transportation, academic, living or working conditions. They should also offer them assistance in notifying local law enforcement if the victim chooses to.

Clery Act Online Training