ICARE News – 2017 Nehemiah Assembly Edition

From: ICARE <icarejax@gmail.com>
Date: Sunday, April 2, 2017 at 3:36 PM

Great Nehemiah Assembly. Thank you to all of the leaders who helped with logistics, spoke on stage and brought people to pack the house. We won and celebrated a lot of great things. Below are a list of what we won and didn’t win.

1. All schools are now using restorative justice. That is at least 160. Suspensions and code of conduct violations are down because of restorative justice. We thank Principal Smith and Mr. Taylor for their testimonies.

2. $900,000 has been allocated to the Jacksonville Reentry Center and six new staff persons have been hired and more people are being served because of it. Darian Jones spoke eloquently about his experience with the Reentry Center and an article on it is below.

3. Sheriff Williams committed to issue civil citations to 90% of eligible youth by March 27th 2018. He also committed to working with Teen Court and State Attorney Nelson to find funding for three more neighborhood accountability boards.

4. State Attorney Nelson committed to divert youth post arrest to restorative justice programs and work with judges on this as well. She also agreed to work towards funding.

5. Neither State Attorney Nelson nor Sheriff Williams committed to support Senate Bill 196 although State Attorney Nelson shared that she would be okay if it passes. Some things to note about Sheriff Williams pushbacks.

– He is not at 83% of eligible youth into the program under the state’s standards. He was at 28% as of last year. He is increasing, but his data is based on what Jacksonville deemed eligible under our old State Attorney which didn’t include battery.

– We are not taking away officer discretion, we are limiting it because 9000 youth were arrested. Because of unlimited discretion and blacks were twice as likely to be arrested. Officers still have discretion to arrest if someone is injured and they can detain without arrest if the youth need to calm down.

– He stated that other jurisdictions should be held accountable. That is what the law does. He is only accountable because thousands of people through ICARE have been holding the Sheriff’s office accountable for five years. We are not in every county.

6. Our Mayor did not show and sent many of you the same scripted response. A few things about his response.

– When we met with him in February he never mentioned a “long standing family event”. Many of our leaders were there with their families and expected to see the Mayor at the largest gathering in the city around issues of homelessness.

– We know about the homeless task force and are meeting with people on that task force about the day center. But our city has studied the problem of homelessness before so we will have to hold the Mayor accountable to actually implementing solutions and not just talking about them. Remember, the last taskforce from 2004 issued a number of recommendations and none of them happened. Any comprehensive plan on homelessness must include a day center.

– We support the work of the homeless providers of Jacksonville. All of those that we have met with so far agree that there is a need for day time services. ICARE is pushing for those to be in one location. We stand behind Clara White Mission’s proposal for the $311,000 day center at their location.

Below are the articles about our assembly


Missing mayor casts shadow over Jax ICARE event

Upcoming Events and Announcements
House Bill 205 is being heard in the House on Monday the 3rd at 3:00pm please call the following legislators and ask for their support in getting our civil citation language back in the bill. We also believe our bill will be heard on April 13th at 9am in the Senate. If you can come with us to Tallahassee that day. Please respond back to this email.

Rep. Cord Byrd (850) 717-5011
Rep. Kimberly Daniels (850) 717-5014
Rep. Clay Yarborough (850) 717-5012

“I am calling you to ask that you help ensure that House Bill 205 gets through the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee.  Additionally I am asking to help ensure that House Bill 205 is changed to more closely reflect its companion bill Senate Bill 196. Senator Bean and Gibson are highly supportive of Senate Bill 196. It is essential that we give all children in the state equal access to civil citations and other non-arrest diversion programs. 95% of children who get a civil citation learn from their mistakes and never get in trouble again. Plus the state saves $4,500 for each child not arrested.  Please help ensure that a strong companion bill for Senate Bill 196 gets passed in the house”