On Tuesday, July 11, The Arc coordinated public testimony for our priority legislation, “An Act relative to Criminal Justice Training Regarding Autistic Persons” (S 1443/H 2139).
This bill was filed by Senator Mike Moore, Chair of Public Safety and Homeland Security, and Representative Paul Tucker, a former Police Chief and also a member of the same committee. The bill will establish a mandatory training of law enforcement officers and corrections officers in appropriate and safe interactions with individuals with autism.
Along with The Arc’s Government Affairs Director, Maura Sullivan, Bill Cannata provided expert testimony regarding the ALEC program [Autism Law Enforcement Education Coalition]. This legislation will codify the existing ALEC program and allow for expansion.
Ilyse Levine Kanji, representing Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts (AFAM), provided strong support for the bill and the committee heard powerful personal stories from Susan Senator and Jill Scibelli.
The Arc appreciates the hundreds of individuals who reached out in concern about this issue. Stay tuned for the next steps after the committee takes the time to review the bill.