Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jeanne Clery Act

By Sabrina Sadler, Social Outreach Intern

A special thanks to S. Daniel Carter from Security on Campus, I came across this article, recognizing the Jeanne Clery Act. It introduces the origins of the Act and how it has helped protect college students. Some questions to consider while reading…

As parents, do you assume that when your child goes to campus he/she is safe?

As a result of the Jeanne Clery Act, colleges now have to publish crimes on college campuses. As parents/students do you take a look at these statistics?

Now that colleges are required to publish crime statistics, do you think crime on campus has decreased or increased? What do you think caused the decrease or increase?

Child Safety 101: What is The Jeanne Clery Act and how does it protect college students?
July 20, 10:22 AM

When parents send their children away to college, they assume that their child is entering a relatively safe and secure environment. But what legal protections exist to make sure that parents and prospective students are apprised of campus crime, so they can use this information to make informed choices about what school they will select.

In 1986, Jeanne Clery was a 19 year old Lehigh University freshman. That April, while asleep in her dorm, she was raped and murdered by a fellow student she did not know.

At the time, neither Jeanne nor her parents, Connie and Howard Clery, were aware that there had been 38 violent crimes on the Lehigh campus in the preceeding three years.

After Jeanne's death, the Clery's partnered with other campus crime victims to secure passage of The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, originally known as the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990. The Act requires colleges to disclose to students information regarding crimes on and around campuses. Here is a summary of the provisions of the Act, from the SOC website:
"Institutions must publish an annual report disclosing campus security policies and three years worth of selected crime statistics.

Institutions must make timely warnings to the campus community about crimes that pose an ongoing threat to students and employees.

Each institution with a police or security department must have a public crime log.

The U.S. Department of Education centrally collects and disseminates the crime statistics. Campus community sexual assault victims are assured of certain basic rights.

Institutions that fail to comply may be fined or lose eligibility to participate in federal student aid programs."

The Jeanne Clery Act was amended several times since 1990 to add additional safeguards, including sex offender notification and ensuring certain rights for victims of sexual assault. In August of 2008, in response to the Virginia Tech shootings, the requirement of a campus emergency response plan was added. Included is a requirement that the students and staff be notified immediately when there is an emergency on campus.

Students and employees should automatically receive copies of the campus annual security report. Prospective students and parents can (and should) request a copy, as well. Compliance with the Act is tied to participation in federal student aid programs.

The Clery's also founded Security on Campus, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to campus safety and security. SOC offers resources, trainings, high school outreach programs, victim advocacy, and more.

Prospective students and their families should be sure to research crime statistics and safety programs and procedures at any college they may attend.

No comments: