skip to main content
Home  /  Resources  /  Institute Policies  /  Violence Prevention

Violence Prevention

Table of Contents

Download PDF
Approved by Thomas F. Rosenbaum, President; Sonja and William Davidow Presidential Chair; Professor of Physics

1.0 Policy

It is the policy of Caltech to provide a safe and secure environment for all members of the Caltech community and to prohibit all forms of violence on its premises or in any of its programs or activities. Caltech promotes measures aimed at reducing incidents of violence and the management of situations that may lead to violence. All members of the Caltech community shall cooperate to maintain a safe environment and shall comply with this policy.

2.0 Scope

2.1 Prohibited Conduct

Caltech does not tolerate violence, threats of violence, child abuse, child neglect, or stalking on any Institute premises or in any Institute activity or program. All weapons are banned from Institute premises and at Institute activities and programs as set forth below.

2.2 Reporting Violence

Any individual who experiences or observes a threat or act of violence, or a weapon on Institute premises or at an Institute activity or program must immediately notify Campus Security or JPL Protective Services Division, or law enforcement. An individual at a non-campus or non-JPL location must immediately notify local law enforcement.

Campus Security (626) 395-5000
JPL Protective Services Division (818) 393-3333

If an individual becomes aware of behavior that they find concerning, the individual should notify one of the following individuals or offices:

Campus and Lab resources Phone number
Employee's supervisor/management
Campus Human Resources - EOD (626) 395-8039
Dean of Students (626) 395-6351
Dean of Graduate Studies (626) 395-6346
Provost Office (626) 395-6320
Assistant Vice President for Equity and Equity Investigations, Title IX Coordinator (626) 395-3130
Campus Security (626) 395-5000
Caltech Hotline (anonymous) (626) 395-8787 or (888) 395-8787
JPL Human Resources (818) 354-4447
JPL Protective Services Division (818) 354-3530
JPL Workplace Violence Hotline (818) 393-2851
JPL Ethics Office (818) 354-6338
JPL Ethics Help Line (anonymous) (818) 354-9999 or (866) 405-7536

Caltech will handle all reports of violence in a confidential manner, with information released as determined to be appropriate by Caltech. Managers are required to immediately report any violation or suspected violation of this policy to Caltech Security, JPL Protective Services Division, Human Resources, the deans or the provost, whether the violation is observed on Institute premises or at any Institute activity or program. Caltech policy prohibits retaliation against any faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholar, student, or third party who, in good faith, reports a violation or suspected violation of this policy.

Caltech will not tolerate intentional false reporting of incidents. A good faith complaint that results in a finding of "no violation" is not considered a false report. However, when a complainant or third party is found to have fabricated allegations or to have given false information with malicious intent or in bad faith, they may be subject to disciplinary action.

2.3 Reporting Child Abuse or Child Neglect

Every member of the Caltech community who knows of or reasonably suspects child abuse or child neglect has a personal responsibility to report to Caltech Security or the JPL Protective Services Division immediately.

Certain members of the community—known as mandated reporters—have a legal responsibility to act. A mandated reporter is a Caltech employee who meets one of the following definitions:

(a) holds a job recognized by the State of California as one that is legally required to report child abuse or neglect no matter where it occurs; or (b) engages in duties that bring them into contact with children on a regular basis or who supervises those whose duties bring them into contact with children on a regular basis, and thus are required to report child abuse or neglect occurring on Caltech premises or at an official activity of, or program conducted by, Caltech. All athletic coaches, including assistant coaches and graduate assistants involved in coaching, are mandated reporters under part (a) of the definition above and must report child abuse or neglect no matter where it occurs. Certain other professionals at Caltech, such as medical and mental health professionals, are also mandated reporters under part (a).

Mandated reporters must report child abuse and neglect whenever, in their professional capacity or within the scope of their employment, they observe or reasonably suspect it. A mandated reporter should reasonably suspect child abuse or neglect whenever "it is objectively reasonable … to entertain such a suspicion, based upon facts that could cause a reasonable person in a like position, drawing, when appropriate, on their training and experience, to suspect child abuse or neglect." (Penal Code § 11166(a)).

Mandated reporters have the additional responsibility to report immediately or as soon as practicably possible by telephone and to submit a written follow-up report within 36 hours of receiving information concerning the incident to the LA County Child Protection Hotline (800) 540-4000 (or from out of state (213) 639-4500) or to the Pasadena Police Department 911 (for emergencies) or (626) 744-4241 (for non-emergencies), or to another local police department. A Suspected Child Abuse Report (SCAR) can be completed online (where the initial report was made to the LA County Child Protection Hotline) at Mandated reporters will be provided the opportunity for training by Caltech and must sign an "Employee Acknowledgement of mandated reporter status."

2.4 Definitions

Acts of violence include any physical action, whether intentional or reckless, that harms or threatens the safety of another individual at Caltech.

A threat of violence includes any behavior that by its very nature could be interpreted by a reasonable person as intent to cause physical harm to another individual.

Child means a person under the age of 18 years.

Child abuse includes physical injury inflicted on a child by another person, serious endangerment of a child's physical or mental health due to injury by act or omission, sexual exploitation of a child (including sexual intercourse between a child under 16 years of age and a person 21 years of age or older), lewd or lascivious acts, and child molestation; and unlawful corporal punishment.

Child neglect includes negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child under circumstances indicating harm or threatened harm to the child's health or welfare.

Stalking is a course of conduct directed at an individual that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or safety or the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress. Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person or interferes with the person's property. Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.

Stalking that is sex or gender-based should be reported and will be handled pursuant to the

Sex-and Gender-Based Misconduct policy and applicable procedures. Stalking that is not sex or gender-based is covered by this policy. Making an audio or video recording of an individual without their consent is prohibited and may constitute stalking under this policy or the Sex- and Gender-based Misconduct Policy.

Weapon is defined as a firearm, ammunition, BB or pellet gun, paintball gun, stun gun, compressed air gun, or any replica firearm, martial arts weapon, fireworks, explosives, dangerous or highly flammable chemicals, dirk, dagger, ice pick, or knife having a blade longer than 2 1/2 inches (except for a knife or ice pick used for food preparation or consumption or for a lawful use in or around a residence), razor with an unguarded blade, razor blade, or box cutter (except for a razor, razor blade or box cutter for lawful use in a residence), or any object when used in a manner or under a circumstance that potentially may or does result in an act of violence or threat of violence.

An object otherwise defined above as a weapon is excepted when used for a lawful purpose within the scope of the person's employment or academic activities when approved by Caltech.

2.5 Investigating Prohibited Conduct

Reports of conduct that may violate any aspect of this policy will be taken seriously, properly investigated, and dealt with accordingly. Individuals who are found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment, student expulsion, or being permanently excluded from Caltech-controlled premises. Additionally, when such acts potentially violate state or federal laws, the matter may be referred to law enforcement agencies for investigation.

3.0 Resources

The Staff and Faculty Consultation Center and the Student Counseling Center at campus or Empathia/Life Matters at JPL may provide resources such as intervention, consultation, or referral for clinical evaluation or treatment, including arranging for counselors to work with at-risk individuals and victims and observers of an incident. In addition, training is available from Human Resources regarding violence prevention, public safety awareness, and child abuse.

Contact information for these and other resources are:

Location Resource Phone number
Campus Staff and Faculty Consultation Center (626) 395-8360
Human Resources - EOD (626) 395-8039
JPL Human Resources (818) 354-4447
Empathia/Life Matters (800) 367-7474

last updated August 2023