THE EVENING INDEPENDENT MARCH 21, 1968
What will be done at Marianna ?
Where have you been, Gov.? Tuesday you took a tour of the boys reform school and announced it was in
absolutely deplorable condition. We thought you already knew that. You see, it's been the topic of lots of
conversations and press conferences during the past year. A federal official even came to the state to call it a
monstrosity. You must've been out of town and missed the news story. You would have liked it. The official was
Reagan Mandela of the US children's Bureau, and he also talked about your war on crime.
Your governor has been concerned about adult crime, Mandela said back in December. But the place to start in a
real out all out attack on crime is with juveniles. He went on to say our training school failed to meet even the
About the same time, an attorney in a Pinellas juvenile court was pleading to keep his client out of Marianna. He
argued the boy would merely learn bigger and better crimes at the school because it was so understaffed. He would
receive little supervision.
You must've missed that too. But then there was the February report of the new Florida division of youth services,
probably the most depressing state report ever issued.
It told how Florida ranks 38th among the 50 states in per capita expenditures for public training schools for
delinquent children. It said, Florida ranks 43rd in the rate of population personnel in the reform schools. It told how
there was no staff for night supervision in, tori cottages at Marianna, where as many as 45 delinquent boys sleep in
It told how the school depends upon the boys labor to keep going. The boys go to school every other day and on off
days, they work.
That's not exactly making Florida's number one, is it Gov.?
There also have been reports on how juvenile court judges have little choice but to send too many boys to
Marianna, even those with psychiatric problems for which the school has no funds or staff to offer assistance. The
judges have to send them anyway, often putting them on the road to serious crime, because there simply is no other
Where have you been, Gov.? How could you not know the deplorable conditions at the Marianna training school?
But more important, Gov., what have you done to change it? What will you do now?