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NCJ Number: 77159 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Campus Safety and Security - An Increasing Responsibility
Journal: Journal of Security Administration  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:(1981)  Pages:32-38
Author(s): J Thomas; J Bogan
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Legislation and judicial decisions which bear upon the responsibility of universities and colleges to provide a safe and secure environment for students are examined.
Abstract: For State colleges and universities in the first half of the 20th century, the doctrine of sovereign immunity provided the best defense against negligence suits, thus avoiding the factual issue of responsibility. Recognizing the inequities of sovereign immunity in tort liability suits, a number of State legislatures have waived their immunity in certain instances. In addition, within the past 2 decades, numerous State appellate courts have rejected the doctrine. A review of recent judicial action shows that the defense of sovereign immunity previously available to State institutions of higher education soon will disappear. What sovereign immunity has been to the public colleges and universities, charitable immunity has been to the private ones. This immunity exists in a limited fashion in only a few States. Another trend has been to abandon the distinction between invitee, licensee, and trespasser in favor of a single standard of care dependent upon 'the likelihood of claimant's presence at the particular time and place of injury, and the foreseeable harm.' In another legal development, there has been a trend away from the defense of contributory negligence. The defense of contributory negligence holds that if the victim was negligent in any way which contributed to the injury, then recovery for damages is barred. Some States by statute and a few courts have moved toward the concept of comparable negligence, which bases damages on a determined degree of responsibility for the injury held by the plaintiff and the defendant. Fortunately for most colleges and universities, the common defense of 'assumption of risk' is still viable and will likely remain so. Also, comprehensive insurance plans minimize the educational institution's financial liability. Overall, the responsibilities of colleges and universities to provide safe environments for students, faculty, staff, and visitors will continue to increase in the future, providing a safer but more costly educational environment. Ten footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Campus Security; Judicial decisions; Legislation; Negligence; Sovereign immunity; Torts
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