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Department of Justice Releases Report on Promoting Effective Criminal Investigations of Campus Sex Crimes

IACLEA Announcement

Anne P. Glavin, President January 3, 2013

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has released a 53-page report titled, "Promoting Effective Criminal Investigations of Campus Sex Crimes," which was based on the findings of a Campus Sex Crimes Forum held on January 25, 2012, in Washington D.C. The DOJ's Office for Victims of Crime and its Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) teamed with IACLEA and the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to conduct the forum. Convened at the request of IACLEA on behalf of campus public safety agencies, the forum's purpose was to discuss ways to enhance criminal investigations of campus sex crimes. IACLEA President Anne P. Glavin thanked the Obama Administration for supporting IACLEA's request to sponsor the forum and in particular, Vice President Joseph Biden and Lynn Rosenthal, While House Advisor on Violence Against Women. Glavin also thanked OVC Acting Director Joye Frost, the COPS Office, and the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights. She recognized then Immediate Past President Phillip Johnson for initiating a dialogue with the IACLEA leadership in June of 2011 on the issue of campus sex crimes investigations and incoming President Paul Verrecchia and senior staff for following through on the initiative with federal officials. Participants included representatives from campus public safety agencies, student affairs, campus sexual assault victim services, government agencies, national organizations that focus on campus safety and organizations that provide legal counsel or risk management resources for colleges and universities. Suggestions that emerged from the forum participants included: " Build campus public safety capacity for investigating sex crimes. o Customize each campus public safety agency's response to sex crimes for its specified role within the institution, while maintaining compliance with all relevant laws. o Sustain a customized approach by institutionalizing policies and practices within the campus public safety agency and its institution, in conjunction with relevant local agencies. o Assess the students' comfort level regarding reporting incidents and seeking services. o Encourage further dialogue to clarify what campus public safety agencies should do with information about a sex offense if a victim discloses an incident, but does not want to officially report a crime, be identified, or be involved in a criminal investigation. " Strengthen the institutional response to campus sex crimes. o Educate upper-level campus administrators on the complexities or responding to campus sex crimes. Urge them to support effective campus-wide action to respond to and prevent sex crimes. o Promote education on sex crimes for students, faculty and staff. o Encourage campus public safety agencies to actively support school-based sex crime prevention efforts. " Enhance coordination among campus public safety officers, other campus responders, and local responders. o Recognize the essential roles that coordination and communication among campus and local responders plan in effective criminal investigations of campus sex crimes. o Encourage dialogue on coordination and communication issues among institutional leaders, campus public safety agencies, victim advocates, and local law enforcement representatives and prosecutors who regularly work with colleges and universities. o Seek guidance from OCR on the mechanics of conducting parallel investigations, including how the "immediate action" requirements affect criminal investigation procedures. o Promote the development of memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with relevant entities to clarify roles and coordination responsibilities. MOUs should be signed by agency leaders who have the power to make or change their agency's policies. o Support the use of formal structures to facilitate a coordinated team approach among campus and community partners to responding to campus sex crimes [e.g., sexual assault response teams (SART) and policy or resource teams]. o Provide the multidisciplinary training necessary to promote coordination and communication among responders. " Increase training opportunities for campus public safety officers. o Train campus public safety officers in how to respond to sex crimes. o Encourage each institution to have at least one officer in its campus public safety department with specialized training and experience on responding to sex crimes. A copy of the report has been placed online in the Resource Library in the Sexual Assault Prevention/Education library. A copy is also available on the OVC website at: ------------------------------------------- Christopher Blake Int'l Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators Chief Staff Officer 860.586.7517 (565) West Hartford CT United States

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