The Catholic University of America

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Miscellaneous Laws Affecting Students

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Crime Prevention Officer

Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act

Pub. L. No. 106-386

42 U.S.C. § 14071; 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f)(1)(I); 20 U.S.C. § 1232g(b)(7)(A)

This law amends Section 170101 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act requires sex offenders, who must register under state law, to provide notice of enrollment or employment at any institution of higher education (IHE) in that state where the offender resides, as well as notice of each change of enrollment or employment status at the IHE. In turn, this information will be made available by the state authorities to the local law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction where the IHE is located. The IHE is not required to request this data from the state, but the IHE must issue a statement (see the reporting requirement in 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f)(1)(I)) advising the campus community as to where information concerning registered sex offenders can be obtained.

The statutory language added to the list of information required to be disseminated pursuant to the program participation agreements reads as follows:

"A statement advising the campus community where law enforcement agency information provided by a State concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained, such as the law enforcement office of the institution, a local law enforcement agency with jurisdiction for the campus, or a computer network address." 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f)(1)(I))

This law was signed on October 28, 2000, and became effective on October 27, 2002. Notification may be accomplished by adding the statement to the Annual Security Report required by the Campus Security Act of 1990.

On Oct. 31, 2002 the U.S. Department of Education issued final regulations at 67 Fed. Reg. 66519 clarifying the requirements for educational institutions under the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act. The regulations are quite short and simply state that beginning with the annual security report distributed by Oct. 1, 2003, the educational institution must provide a statement advising the campus community where law enforcement agency information provided by a State regarding registered sex crime offenders may be obtained. Examples given are the law enforcement office of the institution, a local law enforcement agency with jurisdiction for the campus, or a computer network address.This provision of the CSCPA amends the Clery Act, and is administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is amended (§ 1232g(b)(7)(A)) to make it clear that FERPA does not prohibit release of data on registered sex offenders under this law. See the Family Policy Compliance Office guidance entitled Disclosure of Education Records Concerning Registered Sex Offenders. The guidance states in relevant part:

"Thus, nothing in FERPA prevents an educational institution from disclosing information provided to the institution under the Wetterling Act concerning registered sex offenders, including personally identifiable, non-directory information from education records that is disclosed without prior written consent or other consent from the person. The authority of educational institutions to make such disclosures extends both to information about registered sex offenders made available by a State in carrying out the specific requirements of the CSCPA (42 U.S.C. § 14071(j)), and information about registered sex offenders that may otherwise become available to educational institutions through the operation of State sex offender registration and community notification programs."

See the CUA Department of Public Safety Annual Report for an example on how to accomplish compliance under this law. (scroll down to Where to Find Information on Registered Sex Offenders)

The mechanics of how the law is implemented depend to some extent on state law and regulations. For example, see the DC Sex Offender Registration Act, DC Code 22-4001 et seq., and accompanying regulations, published in the Dec. 22, 2000 DC Register, and codified at Ch. 4, Title 6A of the DCMR.

 

Updated 2/14/13 CCR