Alabama Colleges: Crime Is A Presence On State Campuses But Few Are Aware Of Mandatory Reports

Monday, November 7, 2011

More people have been robbed on campus at Ala­bama A&M and Alabama State in recent years than at any other schools in the state, according to a Bir­mingham News analysis of the last six years of crime data reported by Alabama colleges and universities.

The University of Ala­bama had the most alco­hol- and drug-related ar­rests, and students at UA, the University of South Ala­bama, A&M and Birming­ham- Southern College re­ported the most sexual offenses on campus, the data shows.

Overall, the 11 schools in the state that enroll the most students claimed 170 robberies, 119 aggravated assaults and 97 forcible sexual offenses on campus from 2005 through 2010. Under a federal law called the Clery Act, colleges and universities around the country must report their campus crime data to the U.S. Department of Educa­tion annually and are also required to distribute cam­pus security reports to students and employees by Oct. 1 every year.

For some parents, safety may be paramount when it comes to picking a college. But few see the Clery reports or understand how to read crime data, said John J. Sloan III, a sociology professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and co-author of the book "The Dark Side of the Ivory Tower: Campus Crime as a Social Problem."

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