Clery, the federal act requiring colleges to make campus crimes public, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month.
The law, which famously led to an investigation of Penn State University following the arrest of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on allegations of sexual abuse of 45 boys at the school, celebrated its anniversary in Washington, D.C. with an event, titled “Looking Back, Moving Forward.”
The Penn State Clery investigation, one of several inquests at the Pennsylvania school, was launched after an earlier probe into the Sandusky case revealed that members of the school’s administration may have known about the incidents but never reported them.
The Jeanne Clery Act, a federal statute passed in 1990 requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and make public information about crime such as sex offenses, homicides, robberies and other felonies, on and near campus. Schools found in violation could lose federal funding.
Recognition of this anniversary comes at a time when colleges across the country have been forced to do a better job of reducing campus crime particularly sexual assaults. That focusing of a national spotlight on sexual assault at colleges and university followed reports that many campus rapes had gone unreported, many were not adequately investigated and penalties for sexual assaults were weak and ineffective.
Campus Safety an online news magazine, reported that Alison Kiss, executive director of the Clery Center. said “campus security continues to be a relevant issue today as much as it was 25 years ago as we join many to rightfully question the safety on our college campuses.
“We must continue our efforts to create safer campuses and advocate for public policy initiatives that to promote campus safety,” Kiss said.