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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Law - "On Campus, a Law Enforcement System to Itself"

Nina Bernstein of the NY Times reported Nov. 11, 2011 this story on campus police forces that is relevant to a number of earlier ILB entries. The focus of the NYT story is "The Penn State scandal is emblematic of a parallel judicial universe favoring college athletes." Some quotes:

But the [Penn State]case is also emblematic of a parallel judicial universe that exists at many of the country’s colleges and universities.

On most of these campuses, law enforcement is the responsibility of sworn police officers who report to university authorities, not to the public. With full-fledged arrest powers, such campus police forces have enormous discretion in deciding whether to refer cases directly to district attorneys or to leave them to the quiet handling of in-house disciplinary proceedings. * * *

But many serious offenses reach neither campus police officers nor their off-campus counterparts because they are directly funneled to administrators. * * *

Separately, the scandal puts Penn State on the radar of the department’s Civil Rights division, which this April issued a tough letter to all 6,000 colleges and universities that accept federal money, spelling out how they must handle cases of sexual violence under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act to prevent the creation of “a hostile environment” for accusers that would violate equality of access to education.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 3, 2011 01:20 PM
Posted to General Law Related