New Legislation Introduced to Replace Clery Act
Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill has introduced pending legislation in the Senate called the Campus Safety and Accountability Act (CASA), intended to supplant or simplify the Clery Act.
Any college or university taking part in federal financial aid programs must comply with the Clery Act. Institutions must track and release crime statistics recorded on or near campus. The Department of Education handles oversight, and can levy fines of up to $35,000 for noncompliance, or suspend a school’s participation in aid programs.
Speaking at the Campus Safety National Forum on June 25, McCaskill said CASA could provide “more due process, real accountability and access to a confidential adviser for sexual assault victims.” Advisers would explain prosecutorial and Title IX options to victims. CASA would also raise the maximum to $150,000. It would would require the hiring of advisers.
McCaskill instigated a nationwide sexual assault study of 440 college campuses. The data indicated that athletic departments were involved in 22 percent of investigations, and a third of campus police departments had no sexual assault response training.
The study also revealed that 40 percent of colleges hadn’t investigated a sexual assault in the previous five years. McCaskill suggested such a statistic shouldn’t be possible.
However, the Clery Center pointed to the information now available to students and parents, including crime statistics and the ability of universities to warn of dangers on campus.