JSO patrol vehicle in a parking lot

The Fourth Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office have agreed to build an adult civil citation program to keep low-level offenders out of the criminal justice system. 


Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Diana Greene has committed to ensuring that principals and administrators at each school receive restorative justice training by the next school year.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams (left) and State Attorney Melissa Nelson (right).
Ryan Benk / WJCT News

People from more than 38 Duval County religious congregations are expected to come together Monday night to push city officials on criminal justice reform at the Sheriff’s Office, the State Attorney’s Office and in public schools.


Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment (ICARE) members Pastor Bruce Havens of Arlington UCC Church and Pastor Tan Moss of Greater Grant Memorial AME Church about ICARE’s upcoming meeting regarding Jacksonville’s criminal justice system (01:14).

We spoke with author Maia Szalavitz who will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming 2018 Exchange Club Family Center Child Abuse Prevention Conference (28:19).

Cultural Council President Tony Allegretti and Lloyd Washington from the Durkeeville Historical Society told us about the upcoming LaVilla Jazz Festival (46:00).

  Wednesday on “First Coast Connect” we met members of the Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment; Pastor James Wiggins from St. Paul Lutheran Church, Nancy Ricker from Arlington Congregational Church and Pastor Phillip Baber from Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville talked about Monday’s annual Nehemiah Assembly. We also heard from Mary Ann Myler, U.S. Green Building Council Florida coordinator and Downtown Vision CEO Jake Gordon about the upcoming Green Lion Festival. We were told about the upcoming “You Don’t Know Me” reading to fight sexual abuse with writer Diana Herman, Program Director Robin Graber and Nassau County Advocate of the Women’s Center of Jacksonville Lori Armstrong. University of Florida’s Nola Miyasaki told us about Thursday’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium.      

The Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment held its annual Nehemiah Assembly at the Abyssinia Baptist Church, where more than 1,500 Jacksonville residents addressed the need to pursue social justice concerns Monday.

ICARE Assembly
Michelle Corum / WJCT News

More than 1,500 people were at Abyssinia Missionary Baptist Church in Jacksonville on Thursday for an assembly of the Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment, which continues to apply pressure to leaders about community problems.

Tuesday on “First Coast Connect” we discussed the future of Jacksonville’s waterways with City Council President Lori Boyer and Downtown Investment Authority CEO Aundra Wallace. Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation & Empowerment co-President Geneva Pittman, former ICARE President Pastor Bruce Havens and Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth discussed a dispute between the organization and Mayor Lenny Curry, and local authors Brenda Jackson and V. Brooks Dunbar joined the show to talk about Saturday’s Jax Book Fest at the Main Library.   


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.

Guest host Ryan Benk was joined Monday by Florida Times-Union reporter Tessa Duvall, who wrote a story about how, despite the Supreme Court’s ruling life prison sentences for minors are unconstitutional, it could take years for some convicted in Duval County to see any change in their sentences.

We were also joined by Pastor Phillip Baber and Nancy Ricker of I-CARE, which is pushing to increase the use of civil citations in Jacksonville.

Author Ebony Payne-English spoke about her new book of poetry, “The Secrets of Ma’at.”

And Kim Bynum and Michele McManamon from the group ONECOR924 told us about their program to help former athletes. 

Media Roundtable Week in Review

We discuss the week's top news stories with our roundtable of local journalists: Larry Hannan, Florida Times-Union reporter; Claire Goforth, Folio Weekly editor; Fred Matthews, Examiner blogger; and Tim Gibbons, Jacksonville Business Journal editor.

Topics include the future of U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw's (R-Florida) seat in Congress, the interfaith group I.C.A.R.E. pressing Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry to address the city's homelessness issues, and more.

Cathedral Arts Project


The interfaith group ICARE, or Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment, held its 2016 Nehemiah Assembly Monday night.

The group pressed city and community leaders, including Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, Sheriff Mike Williams, and Duval County Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, to address a variety of issues. Their four areas of focus: wealth building in Northwest Jacksonville; reopening the homeless day resource center; ex-offender re-entry and restorative justice and civil citations.


They’re a group of hundreds of local faith leaders who have come together to create urgency around solutions to serious community problems. 

ICARE, the Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment, is working to mobilize Jacksonville residents to stand up for systemic change.

Thursday night, ICARE will host a rally which will address everything from jobs to homelessness, to the criminal justice system in Northeast Florida, and how to reintegrate ex-offenders.

Hundreds of faith and community leaders are expected to meet at Jacksonville’s Potter’s House Church Monday to press city officials about Jacksonville’s crime problem, along with discussing other campaign issues like education, jobs and mental health. The event is sponsored by ICARE, the Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment. We speak with ICARE members Rev. Bruce Havens, of Arlington Congregational, and Rev. James Wiggins, of St. Paul Lutheran Church.

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.

Rhema Thompson / WJCT

It was supposed to be a meeting between the State Attorney Angela Corey and members of the Jacksonville Clergy to address the county’s civil citation track record. But it didn’t last for long.

Wikimedia Commons

Jacksonville's interfaith coalition focusing on issues of poverty, crime, social justice and more has some new leadership for 2014.

Duval Schools Expand ICARE Program To Keep Kids Out Of The System

Nov 9, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

The Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment (ICARE) has joined the effort to stop the criminalization of first-time juvenile offenders in Jacksonville.

Publik15 / Flickr

The calls for juvenile justice reform in Florida are  growing, as advocates turn to research to prove that more robust juvenile diversion programs for first-time offenders can prevent kids from dropping out of school. 

The local interfaith coalition ICARE is one of the local advocates pushing diversion, not jail, for juvenile first-time offenders.

They say such an approach is especially needed in Duval County, where one in three high school kids don't make it to graduation.