The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) is a federal mandate requiring all institutions of higher education (IHEs) that participate in the federal student financial aid program to disclose information about crime on their campuses and in the surrounding communities. The Clery Act affects virtually all public and private IHEs and is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education. Campuses that fail to comply with the act can be penalized with large fines and may be suspended from participating in the federal financial aid program.
The Clery Act, formerly known as the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act, was signed in 1990 and is named after 19-year-old Jeanne Clery who was raped and murdered in her Lehigh University residence hall in 1986. Clery's parents lobbied Congress to enact the law when they discovered students at Lehigh hadn't been notified about 38 violent crimes that had occurred on campus in the three years prior to Clery's murder.
The Clery Act was amended in 2008, and the Security on Campus Website includes a summary of those amendments HERE
.Compliance with the Clery Act
The Clery Act requires IHEs to provide timely warnings of crimes that represent a threat to the safety of students or employees and to make their campus security policies available to the public. The act also requires IHEs to collect, report, and disseminate crime data to everyone on campus and to the Department of Education annually. To be in full compliance with the law, IHEs must do the following:
- Publish and distribute an Annual Campus Security Report to current and prospective students and employees by October 1 of each year. The report must provide crime statistics for the past three years, detail campus and community policies about safety and security measures, describe campus crime prevention programs, and list procedures to be followed in the investigation and prosecution of alleged sex offenses.
- Provide students and employees with timely warnings of crimes that represent a threat to their safety. IHE police or security departments must also keep a detailed public crime log of all crimes reported to them in the past 60 days. Crime logs must be kept for seven years, and logs older than 60 days must be made available within two business days upon request.
- Keep the past three years of crime statistics detailing crimes that have occurred: on campus; in IHE residential facilities; in public areas on or near campus; and in certain non-campus buildings, such as fraternities/sororities and remote classrooms. Schools must also report liquor and drug law violations and illegal weapons possession if they result in a disciplinary referral or arrest.
The Office of Postsecondary Education of the U. S. Department of Education developed the Campus Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool. This analysis cutting tool was designed to provide rapid customized reports for public inquiries relating to campus crime data. The data are drawn from the OPE Campus Security Statistics Website database to which crime statistics are submitted annually, via a Web-based data collection, by all postsecondary institutions that receive Title IV funding (i.e., those that participate in federal student aid programs) as required by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. Access the tool at the Campus Security Data Analysis Website or by calling 1-800-435-5985.
For more information on the Clery Act and how IHEs can comply with the Act, please see the U.S. Department of Education's Campus Security page HERE.
Dartmouth's Annual Clery Report
Click HERE to view Dartmouth College's most recent Clery report.
It's important to clarify that the annual Clery report has it's limitations and only reflects the number of incidents that are actually reported to a Campus Security Authority (CSA) and meet Clery's classification requirements. The numbers are captured annually based on the date of the report, not the date of the actual incident. Unfortunately, additional criminal acts, especially sexual assaults are occurring on college campuses that are not always captured in Clery numbers because victims don't feel ready to come forward to report the incident. Since sexual assault is the most under reported crime in the United States, reports of sexual assaults made to a CSA or other law enforcement only represent a small portion of the amount of assaults that actually occur. With that being said, there is a unanimous agreement across the board among sexual assault prevention educators, advocates, and researchers that a report of higher incidents does not necessarily indicate that there is more violence happening on one campus versus another but that a higher number of reports suggest survivors feel more safe coming forward and using the resources to report the incident in the first place.