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The Florida Senate

CS/CS/SB 936 — Persons with Disabilities

by Appropriations Committee; Criminal Justice Committee; and Senators Ring and Evers

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Criminal Justice Committee (CJ)

The bill provides that a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or public safety officer shall, upon the request of an individual with autism (or an autism spectrum disorder) or his or her parent or guardian, make a good faith effort to ensure that a psychiatrist, psychologist, mental health counselor, special education instructor, clinical social worker, or related professional is present at all interviews of the individual. The bill describes the qualifications the professional must have to serve in this capacity. In addition, the bill provides that the failure to have a professional present at the time of the interview is not a basis for suppression of the statement or the contents of the interview or for a cause of action against the officer or agency. The bill requires that law enforcement agencies develop appropriate policies to implement the bill’s provisions and that officers be trained based on these policies.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2016, except where otherwise provided.

Vote: Senate 32-2; House 115-1