United States General Accounting Office GAO Report to Congressional Requesters March 1997 CAMPUS CRIME Difficulties Meeting Federal Reporting Requirements GAO/HEHS-97-52 United States GAO General Accounting Office Washington, D.C. 20548 Health, Education, and Human Services Division B-276054 March 11, 1997 The Honorable James M. Jeffords Chairman, Committee on Labor and Human Resources United States Senate The Honorable Bill Frist United States Senate The Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act was enacted in 1990 partly in response to a steady rise in violent crime reported on some college campuses. Recent slayings of professors and students and incidents of rape are among criminal occurrences that have caused growing concern in the college community. At the time of the law’s enactment, less than 5 percent of postsecondary schools1 participated in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) voluntary crime reporting system. The law and its implementing regulations encourage the development of security policies and procedures on all college campuses participating in federal student aid programs—including policies and procedures to address sexual assaults and to bring about uniformity and consistency in reporting campus crime statistics to students, parents, and employees. Advocates for this legislation hoped more complete reports would prompt actions that would reduce the incidence of crime, as well as allow individuals to better protect themselves. During the past year, however, concern surfaced that colleges were not fully complying with campus security requirements and that the Department of Education was not doing enough to monitor and enforce compliance. Bills were introduced in the 104th Congress that would have required colleges to maintain an easily understood daily log of all crimes reported to campus police or security departments—a requirement that goes beyond the current law’s requirements and is similar to those of laws enacted by several states. These state laws are referred to as “open campus crime log laws.” In support of what they saw as the need for additional federal legislation, proponents of these bills pointed out that the statistics that colleges publish to conform with existing law do not provide enough information and that they are only required to be published once a year. 1 In this report, we refer to all postsecondary institutions as “colleges.” Page 1 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security B-276054 You asked that we provide you information that would help the Congress assess the progress made under the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act and a description of the contents of states’ open campus crime log laws. In response, we developed information on • how the Department of Education has implemented and monitored compliance with the act; • the kinds of problems, if any, colleges are having in complying with the act; and • the requirements of state laws related to public access to police records on reported crimes on campuses. To develop our information, we reviewed Department of Education regulations and other policy guidance and interviewed Department officials at headquarters and regional offices. We also analyzed campus security reports of 25 colleges and interviewed campus officials of these and other colleges. We also analyzed state statutes and spoke with representatives of campus safety and related interest groups. (See app. I for details of our scope and methodology.) Although colleges are having difficulty complying with the act, the Results in Brief Department only recently began a systematic effort to monitor compliance. Starting in 1991, the Department of Education issued policy guidance to colleges for implementing the law’s crime reporting requirements. Since that time, the Department has also provided technical assistance to individual colleges upon request. This assistance has taken the form, for example, of responding to telephone inquiries to the Customer Support Branch of the Department’s Office of Postsecondary Education. Although the Department began issuing implementing guidance to colleges less than a year after the law was passed, the Department has only recently begun to develop procedures for its program reviewers and auditors that systematically address monitoring compliance with these requirements. Moreover, citing resource limitations, the Department delayed preparing a report on campus crime statistics for which the law prescribed a September 1995 issuance date. The Department issued the report in February 1997. At the campus level, colleges are finding it difficult to consistently interpret and apply some of the law’s reporting requirements. For Page 2 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security B-276054 example, our analysis showed considerable variation in colleges’ practices for deciding which incidents to include in their reports and what categories to use in classifying certain crimes. Areas of difficulty included deciding how to include incidents reported to campus officials other than law enforcement officers, interpreting federal requirements for reporting sexual offenses, and reporting data on hate crimes. Federal legislation proposed in the 104th Congress would have augmented available information on campus crime by requiring that campus police records be open to the campus community. Similar laws exist in eight states. Three laws contain a specific requirement that colleges maintain daily logs. Most laws protect the identity of victims and informants from disclosure and ensure that any information that might jeopardize an ongoing investigation also remains confidential. The state laws vary in many details, such as whether identification of juvenile offenders is required and whether noncompliance by the college can result in penalties. These laws differ from the 1990 act in requiring year-round access to campus police reports rather than annual summary statistics. The Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 and its Background implementing regulations require colleges, as a condition for participating in federal financial aid programs authorized under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended,2 to publish and distribute an annual security report that includes statements about campus3 law enforcement policies, security education and crime prevention programs, alcohol and drug policies, sexual assault education and prevention programs, procedures for reporting sexual assaults, procedures explaining how reports of sexual assaults will be dealt with, and annual statistics on crime incidents. The law also requires colleges to provide timely warning to the campus community about crimes that are considered to represent a threat to other students and employees. The law requires the collection of data on campus crime, distinct from state or local data, and that information on the incidence of campus crime 2 Title IV authorizes the major federal student loan and grant aid programs. All colleges participating in title IV programs must sign a Program Participation Agreement certifying that they are in compliance with various requirements, including disclosure of campus security policy and crime statistics. 3 Department regulations define “campus” as (1) any building or property owned or controlled by the college within a reasonably contiguous area and used by the college in direct support of, or in a manner related to, the college’s educational purposes; (2) any building or property owned or controlled by a student organization recognized by the college; or (3) any building or property controlled by the college but owned by a third party. Page 3 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security B-276054 and of colleges’ security policies and procedures be available. The statistical reporting provision requires colleges to annually compile and report to the campus community statistics on reported crimes, such as murder and robbery, and on arrests for such crimes as liquor law violations. As the agency administering title IV programs, the Department of Education is responsible for issuing guidance to implement the law, monitoring colleges’ compliance with its requirements, and issuing two reports: a compilation of exemplary campus security practices and a report to the Congress on campus crime statistics. Procedures for monitoring compliance with title IV requirements include program reviews of selected colleges, annual independent audits of all colleges participating in title IV, and compliance reviews in response to complaints received. According to a 1996 publication of the Student Press Law Center,4 11 states have laws requiring schools to compile and release statistics on campus crime. Two bills—H.R. 2416 and S. 2065—introduced in the 104th Congress would have required more detailed and current campus security records to be made accessible to the public. Although a hearing was held in the House, no further action was taken before the session’s end. Had the bills been enacted, they would have applied to colleges with police or security departments and required the colleges, in addition to reporting annual crime statistics, to maintain open-to-the-public, easily understood daily logs that chronologically recorded all crimes against persons or property reported to college campus or security departments. The bills were modeled after a law that has been in effect in Tennessee since 1994. Department implementation of the Crime Awareness and Campus Security The Department Has Act’s reporting requirements has included issuing regulations; Been Slow to Monitor disseminating policy guidance to colleges; providing technical assistance Compliance and to colleges and outreach to campus law enforcement organizations; and, to a limited extent, checking whether colleges have prepared crime Report to the statistics reports and what procedures they have used for disseminating Congress the reports. However, because of resource constraints, the Department has only recently expanded its monitoring efforts by initiating program reviews that specifically address compliance with the act’s reporting 4 The Student Press Law Center, Covering Campus Crime: A Handbook for Journalists (Arlington, Va.: The Student Press Law Center, Inc., 1996). Page 4 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security B-276054 requirements. Moreover, the Department was late in issuing a required report to the Congress. Regulatory Guidance Was Following enactment of the law in 1990, the Department issued various Issued, and Technical policy guidance documents on campus security to help colleges meet the Assistance Was law’s requirements, as summarized in table 1. Most of the guidance was issued as Department letters. Final implementing regulations took effect in Emphasized July 1994. Table 1: Department of Education Policy Guidance to Implement the Date Type of guidance provided Campus Security Act March 1991 Department letter notifying colleges to prepare, publish, and disseminate campus crime statistics (required by original statute) August 1991 Department letter revising effective date for colleges to begin compiling statistics and changing colleges’ reporting period (required by statutory amendment) July 1992 Department letter expanding definition of sexual offenses category and permitting disclosure of law enforcement- related student records (required by statutory amendment) July 1994 Regulations (34 C.F.R. part 668) specifying statistical reporting requirements, deadlines, and definitions of crimes and including—for three of the categories—a requirement to report statistics on crimes evidencing prejudice (required by statutory amendment) May 1996 Department letter further clarifying reporting requirements and providing information on obtaining technical assistance and filing a complaint of noncompliance (Department initiative) The Department supplemented its policy guidance with technical assistance provided upon request by its Customer Support Branch. To help colleges achieve compliance, the Department emphasizes providing such assistance, rather than imposing sanctions. Under Department policy, the Secretary imposes sanctions only if a college flagrantly or intentionally violates the regulations or fails to take corrective action when required to do so. Available sanctions include fines or limitation, suspension, or termination of participation in federal financial aid programs. Department officials told us that although the Department and independent auditors had identified violations at 63 colleges since the law’s enactment, as of January 1997, the Department had not imposed sanctions against any college found in noncompliance with campus security requirements. Page 5 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security B-276054 Monitoring Compliance Although the Department began issuing guidance to colleges on complying Has Been Slow, and Some with the law in 1991, guidance for monitoring program compliance came Problems Remain much more slowly. The Department did not issue its first program review guidance specifically addressing campus security until September 1996. Until this recent incorporation of campus security in program review guidance, the Department’s program reviewers had not emphasized monitoring campus security reports in their title IV reviews, focusing instead on compliance with other provisions of title IV. Although most of the nearly 2,800 title IV program reviews conducted between September 1992 and May 1996 found noncompliance with some title IV program requirements, only 24 of these reviews identified campus security violations.5 Department officials told us that monitoring had generally been limited to checking whether colleges published a campus security report and had procedures for its distribution. Since no review guidance for monitoring campus security was available until September 1996, it is unlikely that the reviewers checked whether the reports contained all the required information or whether information was accurate. Under the new monitoring guidance, program reviewers must check a college’s crime report for all required information and should attempt to evaluate the procedures used to collect crime data. The accuracy of crime statistics need not be verified unless it becomes apparent from a complaint or some other source that the security report may be incomplete or inaccurate. In such cases, the Department is to take appropriate action to ensure compliance, including more thoroughly examining the statistics and, if warranted, taking formal administrative action. As of January 1997, the Department had received five complaints of noncompliance: one precipitated an in-depth campus security compliance review; the other four complaints are still being investigated. Even with the new guidance, however, program review officials told us that staff are still having some difficulty monitoring compliance. Reasons for the difficulty include reviewers’ limited experience in dealing with law enforcement matters, uncertainties about how to interpret certain definitions of reportable crimes, and differences among campuses that make evaluation difficult under a single set of program review guidelines. In the case of urban campuses, for example, reviewers may have difficulty in determining which facilities are campus related. The difficulties involving definitions and differences among colleges are discussed in more detail later in this report. 5 Department officials said that, between May 1996 and January 1997, an additional 27 program reviews identified violations. Page 6 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security B-276054 The Department has yet to issue guidance for independent auditors who conduct federally required annual audits of all colleges participating in title IV programs. The Department’s June 1995 independent audit guide does not provide guidance to auditors on checking for campus security compliance. As of August 1996, only six audits had documented noncompliance on security matters since the act took effect, and a Department official said that most auditors participating in training sessions held in regional Inspector General offices were unaware of campus security reporting requirements, further suggesting that auditors may not be routinely scrutinizing campus security reports.6 The Department plans to issue an updated audit guide that will explicitly refer to campus security compliance and instruct auditors to ensure that campus security reports are prepared and distributed according to federal requirements. A Department official responsible for writing the audit guide expects it to be issued some time in 1997. Required Report to the Although the Department issued a required report on exemplary campus Congress Was Late security practices in September 1994, the Department was more than 1 year late in issuing a report on campus crime statistics to the Congress. The law required the Department to review campus crime statistics and issue a report to the Congress by September 1, 1995. Citing limited resources to perform such a review, the Department postponed issuing the report until February 1997. As the basis for the report, the Department conducted a national survey on campus crime and security. A representative sample of 1,500 colleges was surveyed to establish baseline information on crime statistics by such attributes as type of school (such as 4-year public or 2-year private), nature of the campus (such as urban or rural and residential or commuter), and types of public safety employees providing campus security. Having compiled and reported the survey results, the Department plans to evaluate whether additional actions are needed at the federal level. 6 In addition, Department officials said that campus security is not generally included in the Department’s quality control reviews of independent audits. Page 7 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security B-276054 Our review of selected colleges’ campus security reports and our Colleges Are Having interviews with selected campus officials indicate that colleges are having Difficulty Applying difficulty applying some of the law’s reporting requirements. As a result, Regulatory Criteria colleges are not reporting data uniformly. Of the 25 reports we reviewed, only 2 provided information in all the prescribed categories. Table 2 and Are Not Reporting summarizes the principal problems colleges are having. Uniformly Table 2: Colleges’ Principal Problems in Reporting Crime Statistics Problem Reason Excluding crimes reported to campus Details of crimes reported to academic officials other than campus security officials officials, such as counselors, are protected from disclosure, and some campus safety officials are reluctant to report numbers they cannot verify. Using incorrect categories to report Crimes to be reported in this category sex-related offenses were amended in 1992 to provide different reporting systems for sex offenses. Using an incorrect category to report murder Some colleges are reporting deaths as homicides, which can include deaths from negligence, rather than just murders. Omitting information on hate crimes Some colleges reported that they were unaware of this requirement, which is not mentioned in the Department’s letters to colleges. Excluding information on crimes reported to Local police records do not always lend local police themselves to identification and categorization of incidents at college-related facilities (such as fraternities or sororities). Using arrest data to reflect reported liquor, Such factors as whether the campus drug, and weapons possession violations police department has arrest power can affect the number of arrests reported by the school. Excluding Crimes Campus law enforcement officials differ as to whether their reported Reported to Campus statistics must include crimes reported to them by other campus Officials Other Than Law authorities without information identifying the persons involved in the reported incidents. For example, according to comments the Department Enforcement Officials received during rulemaking, students are sometimes more comfortable reporting incidents—particularly sex-related offenses—through academic rather than law enforcement channels. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) generally prohibits the disclosure of education records or information from education Page 8 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security B-276054 records, which originally included personally identifiable details on crime incidents. As a result of a 1992 amendment to FERPA, however, reports of incidents maintained by campus law enforcement officials for law enforcement purposes are not now classified as education information and, therefore, may be disclosed. Even incidents reported to campus authorities other than law enforcement officials may be included in the campus crime statistics as long as information identifying the persons involved is not disclosed. But reporting such incidents in the statistics is not required under a Department interpretation of the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act. According to that interpretation, colleges may exclude from their statistics those incidents that campus law enforcement officials cannot validate because, for example, the parties’ names were not disclosed.7 The fact that the incidents need not be reported is reflected by variations in campus security reports, as some reports excluded information from non-law-enforcement sources for which no personally identifiable information was provided. Our review of 25 reports prepared by colleges showed that some of the data may have been incomplete or incompatible because of differences in safety officials’ access to information, insistence on verifiable data, or both. Six reports showed direct and varied attempts to address these differences—for example, by supplementing required crime categories with explanatory subcategories, adding a column showing incidents reported to other officials, or adding footnotes. When we asked campus law enforcement officials at the 25 colleges how they treated such cases, we found an even greater variation in their responses than in the reports. For example, nine said their numbers included incidents reported to campus officials who were not law enforcement officials without any notation to that effect, and four said their numbers excluded incidents they could not verify. Some were concerned about reporting incidents for which no details were provided because, without details on specific cases, they were unable to verify that a crime had occurred, had been properly classified, or had been counted only once—if, for example, a crime had been reported to more than one office. At some colleges, security officials do not receive even unverifiable statistics from counselors: Officials at five colleges said counselors are not required to or generally do not report incidents to them, and the general counsel of one state’s higher education organization concurred in that interpretation. 7 The preamble to the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act regulations states that reported crimes need not be disclosed unless appropriate law enforcement officials are able to conclude, with the same degree of certainty they would require under the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting System, that a crime has occurred. Page 9 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security B-276054 Using the Wrong Although colleges’ statistical reports included most of the prescribed Categories in Reporting criminal reporting categories, reporting officials appeared to have Sex-Related Offenses and difficulty principally with two categories: sex offenses and murder. Murder In 60 percent of the reports we reviewed, colleges had difficulty complying with the reporting requirement for sex-related offenses. Colleges are required to report statistics on sexual offenses; they are not required to distinguish between forcible and nonforcible offenses.8 Of the reports we reviewed, 15 incorrectly categorized offenses. For example, several colleges listed incidents as “rape” or “attempted rape,” both of which are less inclusive than the term “forcible sexual offense.” We also noted a discrepancy in how colleges reported the number of murders. Seven of the reports we reviewed labeled incidents resulting in death as homicides, but the law requires the term “murders.” According to the Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook, homicide can also include killings that result from negligence, whereas murder refers to willful killings. Because homicide is not as specific a term, the use of this broader category could obscure the actual number of murders. Omitting Hate Crimes The Department’s regulations for the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act require colleges to report statistics on murders, forcible rapes, and aggravated assaults that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, as defined in the Hate Crimes Statistics Act. However, of the reports we reviewed, only five included this information. Eleven of the 16 officials we asked about the omission told us they were unaware of the requirement, which was not mentioned in the Department’s letters explaining the statistical reporting requirements. Another two said they lacked direction on how to report these crimes. Excluding Information on Although the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act requires that Crimes Reported to Local crime statistics include on-campus occurrences reported to local police, Police our interviews with college officials and review of their statistical reports suggest that colleges vary in their inclusion of incidents reported to local police. Of the 25 reports we reviewed, 1 specifically stated that it did not include incidents reported to local police, and a second stated that it included such incidents when available. In contrast, six reports indicated 8 Forcible sex offenses include forcible rape, forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling. Nonforcible sex offenses comprise incest and statutory rape. Page 10 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security B-276054 that incidents reported to local police were included. According to a law enforcement official we contacted and our analysis of a Department program review, reporting such incidents can be difficult. For example, record systems of some local police departments do not lend themselves to converting the incidents to the categories required for campus security reports. Moreover, identifying incidents at college-related facilities can be a problem when a campus is dispersed throughout a large urban area. Using Arrest Data for For three crime categories—liquor, drug, and weapons possession Three Reporting violations—the law requires statistics on the number of arrests, rather Categories than on the number of reported crimes. For these categories, uniformity of statistics can be affected to some degree by school policies and type of authority of the campus security department. For example, one campus security report we reviewed contained a footnote to the effect that liquor-law violations were frequently adjudicated through campus judicial procedures and, therefore, would not be included in the arrest statistics. Three law enforcement officials told us that offenses are less likely to result in arrests on campuses that do not have security departments with the power to make arrests. We identified eight states that require public access to campus police or States’ Open Campus security department records on reported crimes: California, Crime Record Laws’ Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Provisions Vary and West Virginia. In all but Minnesota, the laws in general apply to all institutions of higher education, public and private. Minnesota’s law applies only to public colleges. Three of the eight states (Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee) have laws specifically requiring campus safety authorities to maintain daily logs open to public inspection. The remaining five, while not prescribing the log format, require disclosure of information similar to that required to be kept in the logs. Certain provisions are common to a number of these state laws. For example, they generally contain a provision exempting disclosure that is otherwise prohibited by law. Many prohibit publication of the names of victims or of victims of sex-related crimes. Many also include some type of provision protecting witnesses, informants, or information that might jeopardize an ongoing investigation. Several law enforcement officials emphasized to us the importance of including such a provision. Page 11 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security B-276054 The laws also differ in a number of other respects, such as the following: • California, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma specifically provide for penalties for noncompliance; the other states do not specify penalties. • Only California includes a specific reference to occurrences involving hate; in fact, California’s law requires inclusion of noncriminal hate-related incidents. For more information on the eight laws, see appendix II. We also agreed to determine whether any legal challenges had been raised to state open campus crime log laws and whether the effectiveness of such laws had been studied. We did not find any reported cases challenging these laws or any studies of their positive or negative effects. In addition, according to the Student Press Law Center’s Covering Campus Crime: A Handbook for Journalists, all 50 states have open records or “sunshine” laws, most of which require public institutions’ records to be open to the public unless they are specifically exempted. Generally, public colleges are covered by those laws. For example, Colorado’s open records law declares that it is public policy that all state records be open for inspection, including all writings made, maintained, or kept by the state or any agency or institution—which would include state colleges.9 These laws generally provide that if records are kept, they must be open; the laws are not intended to impose a new recordkeeping requirement. The consistency and completeness of campus crime reporting envisioned Conclusions under the act have been difficult to attain for two primary reasons. First, the differing characteristics of colleges—such as their location in an urban or other setting or the extent to which complaints may be handled through campus governance rather than through police channels—affect the colleges’ ability to provide a complete and consistent picture of incidents that occur on their campuses. Second, some confusion exists about reporting requirements, particularly about how certain categories of crimes are to be classified. The Department originally relied mostly on its regulations, letters to colleges, and technical assistance to implement the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act. Its continued efforts in providing technical assistance to school officials, as well as its recent issuance of monitoring 9 Colo. Rev. Stat. secs. 24-72-201 to 24-72-309. Page 12 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security B-276054 guidance to Department officials and its current work to update audit guidelines for independent auditors, may achieve more consistent reporting and compliance with the law by colleges. For example, these efforts may improve consistency in categories used and type of crimes reported. However, inherent differences among colleges will be a long-term obstacle to achieving comparable, comprehensive campus crime statistics. Although a federal open crime log law could offer more timely access to information on campus crime and a means of verifying the accuracy of schools’ statistical reports, such logs would continue to reflect the inherent differences among colleges apparent in the summary statistics currently required by the act. For example, such logs might not include off-campus incidents or, without an amendment to FERPA, incidents that students report through non-law-enforcement channels. On February 12, 1997, the Department of Education provided comments Agency Comments on a draft of this report (see app. III). The Department generally agreed with our basic conclusions and provided us a number of technical comments, which we incorporated as appropriate. We are sending copies of this report to the Secretary of Education, appropriate congressional committees, and other interested parties. Please call me at (202) 512-7014 or Joseph J. Eglin, Jr., Assistant Director, at (202) 512-7009 if you or your staff have any questions about this report. Other staff who contributed to this report are listed in appendix IV. Carlotta C. Joyner Director, Education and Employment Issues Page 13 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security Contents Letter 1 Appendix I 16 Scope and Methodology Appendix II 18 Provisions of State Open Campus Crime Record Laws Appendix III 22 Comments From the Department of Education Appendix IV 24 GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments Tables Table 1: Department of Education Policy Guidance to Implement 5 the Campus Security Act Table 2: Colleges’ Principal Problems in Reporting Crime 8 Statistics Abbreviations FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation FERPA Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act IACLEA International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators Page 14 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security Page 15 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security Appendix I Scope and Methodology To determine the actions the Department of Education has taken to implement and monitor compliance with the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act, we interviewed officials at the Department’s headquarters and regional offices and analyzed pertinent regulations, policy guidance, and other documents. To identify difficulties colleges were having in complying with the act, we interviewed officials at 27 colleges selected from a judgmental sample of colleges from the following four groups. Members of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA)—Ten Colleges. Our initial college law enforcement contact was the Director of Police at the University of Delaware, also a past president of IACLEA and a recognized authority on the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act. He provided us with the names of chief law enforcement officials at eight IACLEA member colleges, one in each of the eight states with open campus police log laws. These officials, in turn, referred us to two additional member colleges. Non-IACLEA Members in States With Open Log Laws—Eight Colleges. Using a list of non-IACLEA colleges provided by IACLEA, we selected six 4-year and two 2-year colleges representing all eight states with open log laws and spoke to their heads of campus security. All eight colleges had an enrollment exceeding 1,000 students. Colleges in States Without Open Log Laws—Seven Colleges. From a universe of colleges representing all states, we randomly selected colleges, with enrollments exceeding 1,000 students, that participated in title IV programs from the Department’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, stratified by type of college (such as 4-year private or 2-year public) and geographic region. The chiefs of campus security at these seven colleges composed the third group of officials interviewed. Colleges Involved in Complaints About Crime Statistics—Two Colleges. We included two other colleges for information on complaints regarding crime statistics. We included the first of these because a complaint had been lodged against that college. We included the second college because it was subject to the same state crime reporting system as another college—the only one that has undergone an in-depth Department review as a result of a crime statistic complaint. In addition, we asked the campus security officials interviewed to send us a copy of their most recent campus security statistics. We received Page 16 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security Appendix I Scope and Methodology statistical reports from 25 colleges and evaluated them to determine the extent to which the reports conformed to crime reporting requirements prescribed in the act. We did not trace the numbers to source documents to check their accuracy or completeness. We also searched the literature and reported case law to determine whether any studies had been done on the effects of or legal challenges to state open log laws. We analyzed state statutes and spoke with representatives of campus safety and other interest groups as well as faculty specializing in criminal justice. We performed our work between June 1996 and January 1997 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Page 17 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security Appendix II Provisions of State Open Campus Crime Record Laws Officials Identification to be involved/required Information to be provided/ State Date Institutions covered actions/penalties covered individuals exempted California 1992 Community colleges, Police or campus Financial aid Financial aid the U. of Calif., Calif. security or safety colleges: occurrences colleges: identity and Calif. Ed. Code secs. State U., the Hastings authorities: compile reported to campus description of 67380 and 94380 School of Law, and all records and make police, security, or persons arrested and colleges receiving information available, safety authorities; of victims, except public funds for within 2 business days arrests for campus name and address of student financial aid after the request, to the crimes involving victims of sex-related college’s students, violence, hate crimes unless with Excludes public and employees, applicants violence, theft, consent and not if it private colleges with for admission, or the property destruction, would endanger the <1,000 full-time media illegal drugs, or person or the students and alcohol intoxication; successful community colleges For private colleges and acts of hate completion of the unless legislature other than those listed, violence for which a investigation or a provides the funding appropriate officials shall written record is related investigation to implement make information prepared even if not available on request of criminal Other private students, employees, or colleges: records of applicants for admission Other private all reported colleges: same, occurrences and Penalty: civil damages except no mention of arrests for crimes not to exceed $1,000 if hate violence involving violence, information is not made theft, destruction of available property, illegal drugs, or alcohol intoxication that happen on campus Massachusetts 1991 Each college or Campus enforcement Easily understood Names and university with officers deputized by the chronological, daily addresses of arrested Mass. Gen. Laws enforcement officers state: make log available log, including persons and charges Ann. sec. 41:98F deputized by the state to the public without responses to valid against them charge during business complaints; reported hours and at other crimes; and names, Exempts from reasonable times addresses, and disclosure incidents charges filed against involving certain arrested persons types of handicapped persons, which are to be separately maintained (continued) Page 18 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security Appendix II Provisions of State Open Campus Crime Record Laws Officials Identification to be involved/required Information to be provided/ State Date Institutions covered actions/penalties covered individuals exempted Minnesota 1993 Public educational Providers of security Date; time; place; Name, age, sex, and agencies and services at public events in brief, address of adults Minn. Stat. Ann. secs. institutions campuses and U. of including resistance arrested and names 13.32, 13.82, and Minn. police: make encountered and and addresses of 13.861 available as public weapons involvement; victims, witnesses, records law enforcement names and and casualties unless records that are kept addresses of separate from education witnesses, victims, —incident involved records and maintained and casualties, sexual misconduct, solely for law except for protected enforcement purposes, categories; and —need to protect including response or names and locations informant or incident data and arrest of any health facilities undercover agent, or information to which injured parties were taken —need to protect victim or witness when victim or witness requests privacy and convinces police disclosure poses a threat Oklahoma 1991 (under Public and private Commissioned campus Chronological list of Persons arrested or the state campuses (under the police officers: specified incidents including convicted Okla. Stat. 1051 secs. Open state’s Campus law enforcement records offense, date, time, 24A.2, 24A.3, 24A.8, Record Law, Security Act, private must be open to any general location, Identification of other and 24A.17; rather than colleges’ police person for inspection officer, brief summary than the person Okla. Stat. 74 sec. an open log departments are and copying during of what happened, arrested is required 360.17 law) public agencies for regular business hours and circumstances of only as required by the limited purpose of the arrest; another law, if the crime enforcement) Public body or public arrestee description, court finds it in the official shall not be civilly including public interest, or if liable for damages for demographics, and another individual’s providing the required conviction information interest outweighs the access to public records reason for denying access Penalty: violation punishable by fine not Records of the Office over $500, imprisonment of Juvenile Systems not over 1 year, or both, Oversight are exempt and reasonable attorney unless disclosure is fees court ordered Records must be open, if kept; the intent is not to impose a new recordkeeping requirement (continued) Page 19 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security Appendix II Provisions of State Open Campus Crime Record Laws Officials Identification to be involved/required Information to be provided/ State Date Institutions covered actions/penalties covered individuals exempted Pennsylvania 1994, All higher education Campus police or Chronological, daily Names and effective institutions security officers: log of valid addresses of arrested Penn. Consolidated 1/11/95 chronological logs to be complaints, reported persons and charges Stat. Ann. 2502-3 and public record, available crimes and against them 2502-5 for inspection without responses, charges charge to the public filed, and disposition Identification during business hours of charges, if specifically not and at other reasonable reasonably available required: any names times; may charge a or addresses other reasonable fee for than those of persons copies arrested Local and state police Juveniles must be must provide arrest identified only if information for the adjudicated as adults college to include in the log Penalty: attorney general may bring action to compel compliance for willful violation or failure to comply promptly with a court order to comply; civil penalty of not over $10,000 Tennessee Effective All higher education Each higher education Chronological daily Names and 1/1/94 institutions with a institution with a police or log of all reported addresses of persons 49 Tenn. Code Ann. police or security security department crimes against arrested 7-2206 department composed of state, persons or property, private, or contract date, time, general Information employees: keep and location, charges specifically not maintain an easily filed, and names of required unless understood, arrested persons otherwise provided by chronological daily log; law: names of entries are public persons reporting, records and are to be victims, witnesses, or available free during uncharged suspects business hours and at or other information other reasonable times related to investigation for inspection by the public (continued) Page 20 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security Appendix II Provisions of State Open Campus Crime Record Laws Officials Identification to be involved/required Information to be provided/ State Date Institutions covered actions/penalties covered individuals exempted Virginia Private Public and private Campus police (who Criminal incident Names and colleges: higher education must meet training and information containing addresses of persons Private colleges: 1994; public institutions other requirements for date, time, and arrested for felonies 23-232.2 Code of Va; colleges: state law enforcement general location of or misdemeanors public colleges: 1992 officers and, in the case alleged crime; involving assault, under Va. Freedom of of public colleges, may charges filed against battery, or moral Information Act [COV exercise police power arrested persons; and turpitude 2.1-342] over any property owned injuries, damages, or or controlled by the property loss suffered Identification not institution and adjacent specifically required rights of way): maintain when disclosure is adequate arrest, prohibited by law or investigative, reportable when the information incident, and noncriminal is likely to jeopardize incident records; records an ongoing criminal to be open, during investigation or an regular business hours, individual’s safety or to state citizens, result in destruction of students of the college, evidence or flight of a students’ parents, and suspect the media West Virginia 1992 All institutions of Security officer or any Nature, date, time, Identification required higher education other officer of the and general location is not specified. W. Va. Code 18B-4-5a institution: provide of the criminal offense information to the public Information may be within 10 days on any withheld upon properly reported, certification of need to credible, alleged crimes protect the (as defined in the federal investigation, but in Crime Awareness and no event after the Campus Security Act), or arrest. crimes reported by the local police as having Identification occurred on the specifically not college’s property required: name of victim Page 21 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security Appendix III Comments From the Department of Education Page 22 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security Appendix III Comments From the Department of Education Page 23 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security Appendix IV GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments Charles M. Novak, Evaluator-in-Charge, (206) 287-4794 GAO Contacts Susie Anschell, Evaluator, (206) 287-4828 The following staff made significant contributions to this report: Meeta Acknowledgments Sharma, Senior Evaluator; Stanley G. Stenersen, Senior Evaluator; and Roger J. Thomas, Senior Attorney. (104860) Page 24 GAO/HEHS-97-52 College Campus Security Ordering Information The first copy of each GAO report and testimony is free. Additional copies are $2 each. Orders should be sent to the following address, accompanied by a check or money order made out to the Superintendent of Documents, when necessary. VISA and MasterCard credit cards are accepted, also. Orders for 100 or more copies to be mailed to a single address are discounted 25 percent. Orders by mail: U.S. General Accounting Office P.O. Box 6015 Gaithersburg, MD 20884-6015 or visit: Room 1100 700 4th St. NW (corner of 4th and G Sts. NW) U.S. General Accounting Office Washington, DC Orders may also be placed by calling (202) 512-6000 or by using fax number (301) 258-4066, or TDD (301) 413-0006. Each day, GAO issues a list of newly available reports and testimony. To receive facsimile copies of the daily list or any list from the past 30 days, please call (202) 512-6000 using a touchtone phone. A recorded menu will provide information on how to obtain these lists. For information on how to access GAO reports on the INTERNET, send an e-mail message with "info" in the body to: email@example.com or visit GAO’s World Wide Web Home Page at: http://www.gao.gov PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER United States Bulk Rate General Accounting Office Postage & Fees Paid Washington, D.C. 20548-0001 GAO Permit No. G100 Official Business Penalty for Private Use $300 Address Correction Requested
Campus Crime: Difficulties Meeting Federal Reporting Requirements
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-03-11.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)