National Criminal Defense College Policies For Directors, Staff, Faculty, and Program Participants

 Prohibition of Harassment and Discrimination

National Criminal Defense College (“NCDC”) is committed to fostering a work and learning environment free of harassment, discrimination, intimidation and insult. NCDC expects that all directors, staff, faculty, and program participants will treat each other and anyone else with whom they interact in connection with NCDC with fairness and respect. Harassment or discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender identity, genetic information, disability, or any other basis of harassment or discrimination prohibited under federal, state or local law, will not be tolerated and is strictly prohibited.  Harassment and discrimination of this type is illegal, and contrary to the policy of NCDC. 

Discrimination and harassment do not require the intent to offend.  Thus, inappropriate conduct or language meant as a joke, a prank or even a compliment can lead to or contribute to harassment.  This includes communications in person or by email.

NCDC will not tolerate harassment, intimidation or discrimination against any employee, faculty member or participant.  Any employee, faculty member, or participant who believes that he or she has been discriminated against or harassed in violation of this policy should immediately file a complaint with one of the Co-Deans (Natasha Perdew Silas or Karen Smolar) or a member of the Board of Regents, whomever you feel most comfortable contacting under the circumstances.

Please come forward if you have suffered or witnessed what you believe to be harassment, intimidation, or discrimination – the problem cannot be addressed unless we are aware of it.  Moreover, NCDC will not tolerate, engage in or allow retaliation against any individual who reports misconduct pursuant to this policy, assists or participates in an investigation, or files an administrative charge or lawsuit alleging harassment of discrimination.

All reports will be responded to promptly and thoroughly, with an impartial investigation conducted where needed to confirm facts or resolve disputed facts.  All complaints will be handled as confidentially as possible and information will only be shared on a “need to know” basis.  Immediate and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against any employer or faculty member who violates this policy, up to and including termination or removal.)  

See, Complaint Procedure, Investigation and Confidentiality, below.

 

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a specific type of discriminatory harassment.  According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) guidelines, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when 1) submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or 3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.  NCDC prohibits such conduct and any other conduct that constitutes or could lead or contribute to sexual harassment. 

Examples of such conduct include, but are not limited to:

(a)         Unwanted or unwelcome physical contact or conduct of any kind, including, patting, pinching, brushing up against, hugging, cornering, kissing, fondling, or any other similar physical contact;

(b)        Verbal abuse of a sexual nature, including sexual flirtations, advances, propositions, sexual innuendoes, sexually suggestive, insulting or graphic comments, noises, or sounds;

(c)         Sexually explicit, suggestive or offensive jokes;

(d)        Demeaning, insulting, intimidating, or sexually suggestive comments about an individual’s dress, body, appearance, or personal life;

(e)         The display or distribution in the workplace or at an NCDC program of demeaning, insulting, intimidating, or sexually suggestive objects or pictures, including nude photographs, drawings, or magazine pictures;

(f)         Demeaning, insulting, intimidating, or sexually suggestive written, recorded or electronically transmitted messages; and

(g)         Offering an employment or other benefit (such as discussion of a recommendation and/or a promise to join faculty, a raise or promotion or assistance with one’s career) in exchange for sexual favors, or threatening an employment or other detriment (such as termination, demotion, disciplinary action or refusal to support a recommendation to join faculty or assist with one’s career) as a result of a participant’s or employee’s failure to engage in sexual activity.

If you have questions about what constitutes harassment, or what conduct is prohibited by this policy, please discuss this with one of the Co-Deans.

Any director, staff member, faculty member or program participant who experiences or observes harassment, discrimination, or retaliation should report it using the steps set forth below.

 Prohibition of Sexual Relationships Between Faculty and Program Participants

Intimate or sexual relationships between program participants and faculty with whom they have an academic or evaluative relationship are fraught with the potential for exploitation. The respect and trust accorded a faculty member by a program participant, as well as the power exercised by the faculty member in an academic or evaluative role, make voluntary consent by the program participant suspect. The unequal position of the parties presents an inherent element of risk and may raise sexual harassment concerns if the faculty member has the actual or apparent authority to evaluate, counsel, coach, or otherwise make decisions or recommendations as to the program participant in connection with his or her further legal employment and the possibility of an invitation to ascend to a faculty role at NCDC.

Sexual relations between persons occupying asymmetrical positions of power, even when both consent, raise suspicions that the person in authority has violated standards of professional conduct and potentially subject the person in authority to charges of sexual harassment based on changes in the perspective of the individuals as to the consensual nature of the relationship. Similarly, these relationships may impact third parties based on perceived or actual favoritism or special treatment based upon the relationship. 

                        

Therefore, it is the policy of the NCDC to prohibit sexual relationships between faculty and program participants or staff during NCDC training programs (including after program hours). Any reports of a violation of this policy will be investigated as indicated in the Complaint Procedure below, and, if confirmed, can form the basis for removal of the violator from the faculty.     

 Complaint Procedure, Investigation and Confidentiality

Any person who believes that he or she is the victim of any type of harassment or discriminatory conduct, or an inappropriate relationship with faculty, or any other violation of these policies should bring that conduct to the immediate attention of one of the Co-Deans or a member of The Board of Regents. The person reporting the conduct can identify him- or herself or report the conduct anonymously.  NCDC will conduct a confidential, prompt and as thorough an investigation as possible of all circumstances surrounding the alleged incident.  If the investigation reveals that an individual has committed an act of discrimination or harassment or any other violation of these policies, that individual will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination or termination of the individual’s affiliation with NCDC.  

Any actions that may violate our policy no matter how slight the actions may be should be reported. Complaints will be kept confidential to the extent possible. Directors, staff, faculty and program participants should cooperate fully with any investigation under these policies. If any individual chooses not to identify him/herself or chooses not to participate in an investigation under these policies, NCDC will conduct an investigation to the extent possible and determine whether action should be taken and what action should be taken.  No person will be forced or pressured to participate in an investigation.

 Prohibition of Retaliation

NCDC will not retaliate against any director, staff, faculty, program participant, or other individual because of complaints of harassment or discrimination or because of cooperation with any investigation.  Retaliation in any form against an individual who complains of discrimination, harassment or any other violation of NCDC policy is strictly prohibited and will result in appropriate disciplinary action.  Further, any supervisory employee or management volunteer who fails to take appropriate action to resolve a complaint that was made to them will also be disciplined, and his or her affiliation with NCDC may be terminated.

Any individual who believes retaliation has resulted from either the reporting of a complaint or from participation in an investigation should immediately report this to one of the Co-Deans or the Board of Regents[1]

[1] The Co-Deans are Natasha Perdew Silas (tasha@ncdc.net) and Karen Smolar (Karen@ncdc.net).  The Board of Regents includes David Lewis (dlewis@lewisandfiore.com), Tina Hunt (tina_hunt@fd.org), Jeff Robinson (jrobinson@@aclu.com), Herschella Conyers (herschella_conyers@law.uchicago.edu), Cathy Bennett (cbennett@publiccounsel.net), Martin Sabelli (msabelli@sabellilaw.com), Ron Tyler (rontyler@law.stanford.edu), Sam Dennis (sam@samdennislaw.com), and Jon Sands (Jon_Sands@fd.org).