Clery Act

Learn About the Clery Act

The Jeanne Clery Act is a federal statute that requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses. Compliance is monitored by the United States Department of Education, which can impose civil penalties, up to $35,000 per violation, against institutions for each infraction and can suspend institutions from participating in federal student financial aid programs.

The law is named for Jeanne Clery, a 19-year-old Lehigh University freshman who was raped and murdered in her campus residence hall in 1986. The backlash against unreported crimes on numerous campuses across the country led to the policy.

The Clery Act Requires Colleges and Universities To:

  • Publish an Annual Security Report (ASR) by October 1, documenting three calendar years of select campus crime statistics including security policies and procedures and information on the basic rights guaranteed victims of sexual assault.
  • The law requires schools to make the report available to all current students and employees, and prospective students and employees must be notified of its existence and given a copy upon request.
  • Institutions with a police or security department are required to maintain a public crime log documenting the "nature, date, time, and general location of each crime" and its disposition, if known. Incidents must be entered into the log within two business days. The log should be accessible to the public during normal business hours; remain open for 60 days and, subsequently, made available within two business days upon request.
  • The Clery Act requires reporting of crimes in seven major categories, some with significant sub-categories and conditions:
    1. Criminal Homicide 2. Sex Offenses 3. Robbery 4. Aggravated Assault 5. Burglary, where: 6. Motor Vehicle Theft 7. Arson

  • Schools are also required to report statistics for the following categories of arrests or referrals for campus disciplinary action (if an arrest was not made):
    1. Liquor Law Violations 2. Drug Law Violations 3. Illegal Weapons Possession
  • Hate crimes must be reported by category of prejudice, including race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and disability. Statistics are also required for four additional crime categories if the crime committed is classified as a hate crime:
    1. Larceny/Theft 2. Simple Assault 3. Intimidation 4. Destruction/Damage/Vandalism of Property
  • Issue timely warnings about Clery Act crimes which pose a serious or ongoing threat to students and employees. Institutions must provide timely warnings in a manner likely to reach all members of the campus community.
  • Institutions are required to inform the campus community about a “significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on the campus."
  • Compile and report fire data to the federal government and publish an annual fire safety report. Similar to the ASR and the current crime log, institutions with on-campus housing must report fires that occur in on-campus housing, generate both an annual fire report and maintain a fire log that is accessible to the public.
  • Enact policies and procedures to handle reports of missing students. This requirement is intended to minimize delays and confusion during the initial stages of a missing student investigation. Institutions must designate one or more positions or organizations to which reports of a student living in on-campus housing can be filed if it’s believed that student has been missing for 24 hours.

Training Seminars

The Clery Center for Security On Campus is the nonprofit leader in Clery Act compliance training. We conduct nationwide training seminars on best practices in Clery Act compliance both online and in person.

The seminars also incorporate the most recent changes to the Clery Act within the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) amendments to Clery, which expand the Act to include domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. They highlight how institutions can make a “good faith” effort to comply with the statutory requirements and expectations for when the final regulations will go into effect.