Chicago Campuses May Experience More Violent Crime than Reported

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Illinois violent crime statistics,When high school seniors choose which university to attend, the safety of the campus is an important factor to consider. Thanks to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, more commonly called the Clery Act, most American universities are required to report any violent crime that occurs each year on campus. The data, which includes the number of rapes, incidents of stalking, and assaults and other violent crimes that occur on campus, is accessible to students and parents to review when selecting a college to attend. As a recent report shows, however, six Chicago area universities, and potentially many more across the country, may be more dangerous than their reported numbers portray.

Location Matters

The Clery Act, named in honor of a student who was murdered on a Pennsylvania campus in 1986, mandates that any college in America that receives any type of federal aid must provide a yearly report of crime on campus, campus being the key word. In December 2014, a 23-year-old student of Loyola University was fatally shot one block off of the university’s main campus. When Loyola released their 2014 crime report, the number of homicides was listed as zero. This is, as a university spokesperson reported, due to the fact that the Clery Act only requires that schools report on crimes that happen within a certain geographic location. “The crime occurred near Albion and Lakewood, which per the Clery Act, is not within the university’s reportable geographical boundaries.”

While the Clery Act does cover any location on campus and in student housing, it does not require universities to report crimes that happen off campus, even a short two blocks away. NBC 5 Chicago investigated further, and compared the reports provided by six Chicago universities, including DePaul University and The University of Chicago, to police reports that included crimes committed in a two block perimeter around the campuses. By including crimes that happened within a two block radius of the college campuses, investigators found quite a substantial increase in crime.

In 2014, there were 84 reports of violent crime that occurred within two blocks of the Loyola campus, over four times what the university reported. Many other universities showed the same thing. DePaul university reported 60 violent crimes last year, while including the two blocks surrounding campus showed a much larger 187 violent crimes. Similarly, the University of Chicago reported 64 violent crimes, while NBC 5 found there were 233 when including the area within two blocks of campus.

While the Department of Education says they hope universities across the country go above the minimum they are required to report, most colleges in America are in compliance with the Clery Act. “Of course, the Department encourages institutions to exceed minimal requirements and to provide the safest possible environment for students, employees, and the wider campus community,” says a spokesperson. Students and parents are concerned, as safety is a big factor to weigh when choosing which university to attend. The Department of Education says they will continue to monitor universities across the country and make sure they are following the law.

Accused of Committing a Crime on Campus?

If you are facing criminal charges, campus related or not, you need the help of a qualified Chicago criminal defense attorney. Be it weapons, drugs, or violence charges, the team at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney will provide aggressive and affordable representation. We have years of combined experience, and Mr. Garfinkel himself is a former prosecutor who knows how to navigate the complex Illinois legal system. Do not leave your future in jeopardy. Call 312-270-0999 to schedule your free consultation immediately.

Source:

http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Crime-Reports-Dont-Reflect-Violent-Crime-Near-6-Chicago-Universities-368234761.html

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