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First Coast Connect
0000017b-82f4-dd8b-a7fb-82ffe48f0000Florida's public radio stations are teaming up to bring you comprehensive, statewide 2016 election coverage.

11/2/2016: Disenfranchised Voters; 'Angola'; Humana Bold Goal; Jewish Film Festival

On First Coast Connect Wednesday we talked about voter disenfranchisement in Florida with local author Devin Coleman, who due to a long past felony conviction is unable to vote. He was joined by Natisha June, head of the Greater Jacksonville chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, and Folio Weekly Editor Claire Goforth. University of North Florida criminology professor Dr. Michael Hallett spoke about his new book, “The Angola Prison Seminary: Effects of Faith-Based Ministry on Identity Transformation, Desistance and Rehabilitation.” Host Melissa Ross also spoke with Humana’s Laura Nolan and local doctor John Montgomery about the Humana Bold Goal project, and we heard about the upcoming Jacksonville Jewish Film Festival with HOBNOB owner Ellen Cottrill and Jewish Community Alliance board member Sunny Gettinger. 


Disenfranchised Voters

In 2016, more people were disenfranchised from voting in Florida than in any other state. Ten percent of all Florida adults are prevented from casting a ballot this election due to a felony conviction on their record. According to the Sentencing Project, 1/4 of all the people in America who have lost their right to vote under disenfranchisement laws live in Florida. Coleman, June and Goforth spoke about the issue and a possible a constitutional amendment to automatically restore rights to nonviolent felons who have completed all the terms of their sentences to be on the 2018 ballot.            


A recent, three-year study of America’s largest maximum-security prison, Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as “Angola,” explores the rehabilitative power of religious faith in America’s toughest prison. Angola is the only prison in America that allows inmates to run their own churches. Hallett will discuss “The Inmate Church at Angola Prison” at 6 p.m. Thursday on the University of North Florida campus. He worked with a team of researchers anchored out of Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion, was lead author of the study.


Humana Bold Goal

The goal is to improve the region’s overall health by 20 percent by 2020. Humana Bold Goal is kicking off the effort with a clinical town hall Nov. 17 at UNF’s Herbert University Center.


Jacksonville Jewish Film Festival

The film festival will run Nov. 13-17 and will include seven documentaries with ties to Jewish culture. Included in the films is "Very Semi-Serious," directed and co-produced by Jacksonville native Leah Wolchok, which takes a quirky look at the humor, art and genius of the single-panel cartoon. The event is at the Jewish Community Alliance on San Jose Blvd.      



Producer Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.


Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.