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Civil Citation Programs, Criminal Justice Data Collection Among New Fla. Laws Now In Effect

A boy in black sitting on a ledge with his legs hanging down
Redd Angelo

A new Florida law took effect Sunday requiring the creation of civil citation programs across the state.

The civil citation program requirement only applies to juveniles. Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) authored that part of the law during this past legislative session.

“So, it’s something that we’ve been working on for a long time,” he said. “What’s the net in between a warning and an arrest? And, this is that in-between mechanism, which is a civil citation, that allows someone to avoid arrest, but also have some level of accountability. And, we set each one of those up by circuits. So, each one of those circuits gets an opportunity to implement a civil citation plan.”

The new law also encourages circuits across the state to adopt similar programs for adults. In addition, it directs the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to collect criminal justice data from law agencies across the state to put in one centralized location on its website. The data may include what crimes people are usually imprisoned for, who is sent to probation and for how long, and if and when probationers return to prison for repeat offenses.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.