What is the Jeanne Clery Act?
The Jeanne Clery Act is named in memory of 19-year-old Jeanne Ann Clery, a Lehigh University freshman who was raped and murdered in her residence hall room on April 5, 1986. Jeanne’s parents, Connie and Howard, learned that Lehigh University students had not been informed of the 38 violent crimes that occurred on the Lehigh campus in the three years before her murder. They eventually persuaded Congress to enact a law that would help mitigate future tragedies. The Clery Act is a consumer protection law that aims to provide transparency around campus crime policy and statistics.
What does Georgia Tech have to disclose under the Clery Act?
- Georgia Tech must publish and disseminate an Annual Security Report (ASR) by October 1st of each year. The ASR must contain specific policy language regarding emergency notifications, alcohol and illegal drugs, sexual assault prevention and awareness training programs, fire safety, missing students, and Clery Act crime statistics from the previous three calendar years. The ASR can be found here.
- The Georgia Tech Police Department (GTPD) must also maintain a public crime log of all reported crimes. The Daily Crime Log can be found here.
What are the ‘Clery Act crimes’ that must be disclosed?
- Murder/Non-negligent Manslaughter
- Negligent Manslaughter
- Sexual Assault
- Forcible Fondling
- Statutory Rape
- Aggravated Assault
- Domestic Violence
- Dating Violence
- Motor Vehicle Theft
- Destruction of Property/Vandalism (only if hate crime)
- Intimidation (only if hate crime)
- Larceny/Theft (only if hate crime)
- Simple Assault (only if hate crime)
Which schools must comply with the Clery Act?
All institutions of postsecondary education, both public and private, that participate in federal student aid programs (via Title IV) must comply with the Clery Act.
Is there anyone on campus I can report a crime to confidentially?
- Confidentiality is limited to that provided by law. Because police reports are public records under state law, GTPD cannot hold reports of crime in confidence. Confidential reports, for purposes of inclusion in the annual disclosure of crime statistics, can be made to Campus Security Authorities (as identified above) — excluding sworn members of the GTPD. Accurate and prompt reporting will facilitate timely initiation of warnings and other appropriate emergency response procedures, and will also help ensure the accuracy of crime statistics compiled in compliance with the Clery Act.
- Persons Exempt from Reporting Clery Reportable Crimes Pastoral counselors and professional counselors, as defined below, when acting as such, are not considered to be Campus Security Authorities and are not required to report crimes. The Institute encourages them, if and when they deem it appropriate, to inform persons being counseled of the procedures to report crimes on a voluntary basis for inclusion in the annual crime statistics. A pastoral counselor is an employee of the Institute who is associated with a religious order or denomination, who is recognized by that religious order or denomination as someone who provides confidential counseling, and who is functioning within the scope of that recognition as a pastoral counselor. A professional counselor is an employee of the Institute whose official responsibilities include providing psychological counseling and who is functioning within the scope of his or her license or certification.
- Effective July 1, 2012, Georgia state law requires all Institute employees and volunteers who, in the course of their duties, suspect that a child has been abused on or off campus to report that abuse immediately to the GTPD in person or by phone at 404.894.2500 or 404.894.GTPD. Employees and volunteers must also report suspected child abuse to their supervisor, program director, or a Georgia Tech official as soon as possible. For more information, see the Georgia Tech Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse Policy in the Georgia Tech Policy Library.
What is the difference between a "Timely Warning" and an "Emergency Notification"?
- The Georgia Institute of Technology has a Georgia Tech Emergency Notification System (GTENS), which is activated during emergencies to provide the campus and the community with a prompt notification of a confirmed situation and to provide instructions for taking action if needed.
- Emergency Notification: The Institute will immediately notify the campus community after confirming that a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students, faculty, staff or visitors is occurring on the campus. In those instances, the Institute will, without delay, and taking into account the safety of the community, determine the content of the notification and activate the notification system.
- However, if in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, issuing an emergency notification would compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to or otherwise mitigate the emergency, the notification may be delayed. In those cases, the Institute’s Chief of Police, or the ranking Police Department officer in charge during his/her absence, will be notified, and once the potentially compromising situation has been addressed the emergency notification will be issued immediately.
- Timely Warning: The Institute will notify the campus community of any Clery Act crime as soon as the information is available to enable people to protect themselves and/or their property from similar crimes only under the following conditions as determined by the Police Department:
- There is a serious or continuing threat to the campus community AND
- Issuing the timely warning will not compromise law enforcement efforts to address the crime.
- All available information, both public and confidential, will be taken into consideration when determining if a serious or continuing threat exists. Those considerations include, but are not limited to, the relationship between victims and perpetrators, whether an arrest has been made that mitigates the threat and the amount of time that has passed between the commission of the crime and Police being notified of the crime. Although each case will be evaluated on an individual basis, in general a report that is filed more than five days after the date of the alleged incident may not allow Police to post a “timely” warning.
- If, in the professional judgment of the Police Department, issuing a timely warning notification would compromise efforts to address the crime, the notification may be delayed or information may be limited. In those cases the Institute’s Chief of Police, or the highest-ranking officer in charge, will be notified. Once the potentially compromising situation has been addressed, the timely warning notification will be issued immediately if the serious or continuing threat still exists.
- The Georgia Tech Police Department may not necessarily issue timely warnings for every Clery Act criminal incident that is reported since that specific incident may not pose a continuing threat to the community. Individuals should exercise due care and caution to avoid being victimized. Check out the crime prevention tips posted by the Georgia Tech Police Department to deter these crimes or attend one of our crime prevention informational sessions. For more information on our crime prevention programs, click here.
Do school officials other than law enforcement have reporting obligations under the Clery Act?
- Yes. All institutional officials with significant responsibility for campus and student activities are considered to be Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) and have reporting obligations under the Clery Act. That is, they are required to report all crimes or incidents to the Police Department for data gathering purposes. These individuals have been notified of this responsibility and specialized training has been created to assist them in understanding their role. The following list denotes the positions at Georgia Tech thought to meet the definition of a CSA. This list is intended to be comprehensive, but certain positions may not be specifically listed.
- All sworn members of the GTPD.
- All academic deans, associate deans, and assistant deans.
- All deans and directors, associate deans and directors, and assistant deans and directors in the following units of the organizational area of the Division of Student Life: The Office of the Vice President of Student Life and the Office of the Dean of Students.
- The director of Title IX Compliance of the organizational area of Legal Affairs and Risk Management.
- Campus victim-survivor advocates.
- The vice president, associate vice president, executive directors, and assistant director of the organizational area of the Office of Institute Diversity.
- All directors, associate directors, resident advisors, and peer leaders of the organizational area of Residence Life.
- All directors and associate directors of the organizational area of the Student Center.
- The associate vice president, senior directors, and directors of the organizational area of the Office of Human Resources.
- All directors, associate directors, and all head coaches in the Athletic Association.
- The director of Stamps Health Services.
- All advisors to student clubs and organizations.
- Examples of individuals who DO NOT meet the criteria for being a CSA include a faculty member who does not have any responsibility for student and campus activity beyond the classroom, clerical staff, custodians and maintenance personnel, and dining facility staff. A pastoral or professional counselor on campus does not have significant responsibility for student and campus activity and are exempt from reporting crimes to the police.
Will reporting a crime/incident to a CSA mean the police will get involved?
Not necessarily. Although we strongly encourage victims of any crime to seek assistance from law enforcement whenever possible, a report from a CSA will not necessarily result in a police investigation. There are many reasons why a report might not result in a law enforcement action. For example, in many cases the Police Department cannot initiate an investigation without victim assistance. As another example, if a report is about an incident that occurred outside of the Georgia Tech Police Department’s jurisdiction, the matter would be referred the matter to the authority having jurisdiction.
How are hate crimes classified?
A hate crime is defined as any crime that manifests evidence that a victim was selected because of his/her actual or perceived race; gender; gender identity; religion; sexual orientation; ethnicity; national origin or disability. A hate crime is not a separate, distinct crime, but is the commission of a criminal offense which was motivated by the offender's bias. If the facts of the case indicate that the offender was motivated to commit the offense because of his/her bias against the victim's perceived race; gender; gender identity; religion; sexual orientation; ethnicity; national origin or disability, the crime is classified as a hate crime. For more information on the definition and classification of hate/bias crimes, see the FBI's Data Collection Manual.
How is data recorded temporally?
Each incident is recorded in the calendar year it was reported – not in the year it occurred.
Are there other violations that must be included in the report?
- The Clery Act requires that schools provide statistics for the following categories of arrests or, if an arrest was not made, referrals for campus disciplinary action:
- Liquor Law Violations
- Drug Law Violations
- Illegal Weapons Possession
- The Clery Act requires that, if a person is both arrested and referred for disciplinary action for the same violation, only the arrest should be reported. Citations, criminal summonses, and notices to appear are also considered to be “arrests.” According to federal offense definitions, neither driving under the influence nor drunkenness is considered a “liquor law violation.”
Where does the Clery Act say these crimes must occur in order for them to be disclosed?
- On Campus: (I) any building or property owned or controlled by an institution of higher education within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area of the institution and used by the institution in direct support of, or in a manner related to, the institution’s educational purposes, including residence halls; and (II) property within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area of the institution that is owned by the institution but controlled by another person, is used by students, and supports institution purposes.
- On campus includes (1) all property of the Georgia Tech, and other campus buildings); (2) all Institute owned or controlled property reasonably contiguous to central campus that is used in direct support of, or related to, its educational purposes. The Clery Act requires crime statistics for residence halls to be included in the “on campus” statistics. Because of this, statistics for housing are reported as a sub-set of the “On Campus” crimes.
- Non-campus building or property: (I) any building or property owned or controlled by a student organization recognized by the institution; and (II) any building or property owned or controlled by an institution of higher education that is used in direct support of, or in relation to, the institution’s educational purposes, is used by students, and is not within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area of the institution.
- Public property: all public property that is within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area of the institution, such as a sidewalk, a street, other thoroughfare, or parking facility, and is adjacent to a facility owned or controlled by the institution if the facility is used by the institution in direct support of, or in a manner related to the institution’s educational purposes.
- The crime statistics in this report for public property include the Georgia Tech Police Department and Atlanta Police Department’s statistics for public property on the campus as well as public property surrounding the campus. In addition to statistics on crimes occurring in the listed locations above, the statute also requires statistics on arrests for liquor law violations, drug-related violations, and weapons possession. It also requires statistics on persons referred for campus disciplinary action for liquor law violations, drug-related violations, and weapons possession.
Does someone have to be convicted of a crime before it is reportable under the Clery Act?
No. Crimes are counted when they are reported regardless of prosecution.
Who enforces the Jeanne Clery Act and what are the penalties for noncompliance?
The United States Department of Education is tasked with enforcing the Jeanne Clery Act and may level civil penalties against institutions of higher education up to $35,000.00 per violation or may suspend them from participating in federal student financial aid programs.