Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Change is coming to Dozier, officials say

The Florida School for Boys did not have fences in the 1950s and 1960s. As a result, boys would frequently run away, but they were usually caught by guards, dogs or townspeople.

Edmund D. Fountain | Times (2009)

The Florida School for Boys did not have fences in the 1950s and 1960s. As a result, boys would frequently run away, but they were usually caught by guards, dogs or townspeople.

TALLAHASSEE — With lawmakers questioning its future, a top official with the Department of Juvenile Justice made assurances Wednesday that change is coming to the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna.

"What we are seeing is a great deal of progress," said Rod Love, the department's deputy secretary in a presentation to a House criminal justice committee.

The brief remarks appeared to satisfy lawmakers who asked no questions.

"Nothing has sent up any red flags," said Rep. Sandy Adams, the committee chairwoman. "We are continuing to monitor them."

The reform school is shrouded by allegations of abuse and mismanagement dating back decades. The facility has seen six superintendents forced out in the previous eight years.

State officials are eagerly awaiting an outside consultant's assessment and another quality review after the facility failed an evaluation last year.

Love said preliminary indications show Dozier will "pass and exceed the minimum requirements."

The final outcome is likely to weigh heavily on lawmakers as they decide the future of the school. A report prepared by Love said the current capacity of Dozier is 103 and that the school's budget is $10 million.

Gov. Charlie Crist supports the thorough review, saying this week it may well be time to shutter the facility.

Rep. Darryl Rouson, a St. Petersburg Democrat, made a surprise visit to Dozier before the committee meeting to see for himself the issues faced by the school.

He left a chief cheerleader for keeping the facility open.

"I was very impressed with what I saw," he said in an interview after meeting with some of the boys. "I left there believing that what is occurring at Dozier is a new day."

Times staff writer Waveney Ann Moore contributed to this report. John Frank can be reached at [email protected] or (850) 224-7263.

Change is coming to Dozier, officials say 03/10/10 [Last modified: Friday, December 12, 2014 12:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Drug czar nominee Marino withdraws name amid report he weakened DEA

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says the Pennsylvania congressman he chose to be the nation's drug czar is withdrawing from consideration for the job.

    U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., left, sponsored the law that weakened the DEA's enforcement abilities. Seen with Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., in 2015, Marino is nominated to be the nation's drug czar. [Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg]
  2. Photo of the Day for October 17, 2017 - Urban possums

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Roger Kimble of Tampa, FL.

  3. Exposé 'Champions Way' uses FSU to illustrate bad behavior in college programs

    College

    While the entire college football universe was focused on a sexual assault allegation against quarterback Jameis Winston during Florida State's 2013 national title run, another off-field scandal was playing out quietly.

     Jameis Winston (5) warms up before the game between Florida State Seminoles and the University of Miami Hurricanes at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla. on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013.
  4. How a group of Florida tomato growers could help derail NAFTA

    Agriculture

    Tony DiMare, a third-generation Florida tomato grower, has spent two decades contending with cheap Mexican imports, watching his neighbors abandon crops in their fields and sell off their farms when they couldn't match the price of incoming produce.

    Workers fill a trailer with tomatoes as they harvest them in the fields of DiMare Farms in Florida City. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images(2013)]
  5. Pinellas deputies go door-to-door at dawn to arrest unlicensed contractors

    Crime

    Pinellas deputies began pounding on doors at 5 a.m. Tuesday, part of a widespread roundup of contractors accused of working without licences and workers compensation.

    Pinellas Sheriff deputies J. Short, left, and T. Festa, right, arrest suspect Randy Ronchi, center, in Largo early Tuesday, as part of a joint roundup of unlicensed contractors. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]