Civil Citation

Five-hundred religious leaders and activists are convening Tuesday in Jacksonville to push for a state law aimed at leniency for minors accused of nonviolent crimes.

Two local advocates say reform is long overdue. They appeared Monday on WJCT’s First Coast Connect.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Two Republican candidates squared off in a debate Wednesday at a meeting of the Southside Business Men’s Club — but they’re running for different offices.

Florida Senate

A new Florida law is aimed at keeping young people out of jail.

Jacksonville Democratic State Senator Audrey Gibson sponsored the Juvenile Justice legislation.

She says it allows police to issue more civil citations for juvenile offenders instead of locking them up. Gibson also says police will have more latitude dealing with minors who’ve committed nonviolent misdemeanors.

“The bill says that an officer can simply call a parent if they think that would be beneficial to that young person,” she said.  

Rhema Thompson

There’s something universally jarring about the sound of shackles. It’s slow and, while high-pitched, carries a timbre of gloom.

It’s especially unnerving when those shackles are chained to the feet and arms of a slight, young man, like the one who stood in front of an audience on a recent evening.

“At the end of the day, y’all are going home. I’m still locked up,” he told the group of young men sitting before him.

His words were quiet, but he had their full attention.

Marquise Hardrick / Facebook

Taking a proactive stance rather than reactive stance on the city's most pressing issues was the message relayed to about 3,000 attendees at the annual ICARE Nehemiah Assembly Monday night.