Summary of the Jeanne Clery Act
Campus Crime Data
The Jeanne Clery Act, a consumer protection law passed in 1990, requires all colleges and universities who receive federal funding to share information about crime on campus and their efforts to improve campus safety as well as inform the public of crime in or around campus. This information is made publicly accessible through the university's annual security report.
Support for Victims
Under the Act, institutions must provide survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking with options such as changes to academic, transportation, or living, or working situations, and assistance in notifying local law enforcement, if the student or employee chooses to do so. It also provides both parties in a campus disciplinary process certain rights.
Policies & Procedures
Colleges and universities must outline specific policies and procedures within their annual security reports, including those related to disseminating timely warnings and emergency notifications, options for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, and campus crime reporting processes.
- REQUIREMENT: Institutions have ongoing reporting obligations. When an incident occurs, they must determine if a timely warning or emergency notification must be disseminated to the campus community.
- POLICIES: Institutions should have specific policies for both timely warnings and emergency notifications. They should not conflate the two in their policies or in any description of their policies.
- CHALLENGES: Some institutions found to be out of compliance did not have required policies in place, or incomplete policies. In other cases, only a limited audience received timely warnings, which should be distributed to everyone within the campus community.
- SOLUTIONS: Institutions should document the decisions they made and keep a record of this information for at least 7 years. (ex: What were the factors that led an institution to send or choose not to send a timely warning?)
- HANDBOOK: Chapter 6 of the Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting has specific information on timely warnings and emergency notifications. Chapter 5 of the Handbook speaks to daily crime log requirements. Chapter 7 discusses how a timely warning policy should be reflected within an institution's annual security report.
- REQUIREMENT: Under Title IX and the Clery Act, institutions must provide specific information, options, and resources to survivors in cases of sexual violence. Institutions must have a prompt and equitable process for resolving complaints.
- POLICIES: Institutions should have policies that are in compliance with both Title IX and Clery. For example, policies should address possible accomodations and interim measures the institution can implement to help ensure the safety of someone reporting and have disciplinary procedures that ensure a prompt, fair, and impartial process. For more, please see this chart outlining the intersections between Title IX and the Clery Act, disseminated by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.
- SOLUTIONS: Colleges and universities should review their policies from both a Title IX and Clery lens to ensure that practices in place address requirements under both laws.
- RESOURCE: The Violence Against Women Act amendments checklist, developed by the Clery Center, highlights Clery Act specific requirements. The updated Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting (release from the Department of Education is still pending) will address the most recent amendments that influence university policy related to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault.
Annual Security Report
- REQUIREMENT: Institutions must disseminate an annual security report by October 1 of each year. Institutions should use their annual security report as an opportunity to powerfully communicate about all their campus safety and security efforts.
- POLICIES: The annual security report should be disseminated to all current students and employees by October 1, with a direct link to the report. Prospective students and employees should be given information on the annual security report and how to access it.
- CHALLENGES: Institutions were found to be out of compliance by not creating an annual security report, not publishing it by the due date, not providing a direct link to the report when disseminating, or by neglecting to include key policy statements (the Clery Center developed a detailed overview of the necessary ASR policy statements for an ASR).
- SOLUTIONS: Institutions should be sure to include all the required policy statements within the ASR.
- HANDBOOK: Chapters 7 - 10 of the Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting address specific policy statement requirements under the Clery Act.
- REQUIREMENT: Institutions gather Clery Act statistics from both local law enforcement and campus security authorities (such as resident assistants, a dean of students, coaches, and other individuals with significant responsibility for student and campus activities).
- CHALLENGES: Common noncompliance findings related to collecting statistics include no audit trail to substantiate crime reports and no documentation of requests to local law enforcement for statistics.
- SOLUTIONS: Institutions should establish a process for identifying and training campus security authorities on what information they need to share. Reporting forms help ensure consistent documentation, as does training officers writing crime reports. Institutions should maintain documentation on crimes reported as well as notifications to campus security authorities and local law enforcement.
- HANDBOOK: Chapter 4 of the Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting addresses the collection of crime statistics.
Title IX | Title IX is a federal, civil rights law that prohibits gender discrimination in education. Title IX ensures that universities are proactive in handling gender discrimination, have established procedures for handling gender discrimination, harassment, and violence, and provide support for survivors. Learn more >>
Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act | FERPA protects privacy of students' educational records. Public disclosures under the Clery Act do not include any personally identifiable information. Learn more >>
Violence Against Women Act | Enacted in 1994, VAWA is a landmark federal law that provides comprehensive provisions to improve the criminal justice response to violence against women, specifically related to sexual and domestic violence. In 2013, section 304 of VAWA amended the Clery Act to add additional reportable crimes. Learn more >>
Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act | DFSCA requires colleges and universities to establish drug and alcohol abuse prevention programs for students and employees. Learn more >>