Faith leaders call for change after Jacksonville surpasses 100 murders in 2023

The city of Jacksonville once again reached the 100-murder mark last week, and faith leaders are calling for action from city leaders to curb the violence.

“Over 80% of the victims are African American. Around half of them will never live to see their 30th birthday. This is a horrific tragedy for our community,” ICARE said in a news release.

ICARE is the Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation & Empowerment.

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Pointing to success stories in Boston, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Miami, ICARE is asking Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters to contract with the National Network for Safe Communities to bring them back to the city.

ICARE touted the success of an approach called Group Violence Intervention, which brings together local and federal law enforcement, city government, social services, nonprofits and community leaders to deliver a clear message that the shooting must stop.

“While the Group Violence Intervention approach was introduced to Jacksonville as far back as 2016, a lack of key community partnerships has caused the program to falter,” ICARE said.

ICARE hopes the National Network for Safe Communities will provide a professional assessment of the community’s program and help improve its approach.

ICARE leaders are hosting a Community Problems Assembly at 7 p.m. Monday at Christ the King Catholic Church at 742 Arlington Road North.

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