The Evening Independent April 4, 1970
News from Marianna on an encouraging note
Things are looking up at the Marianna's Arthur G. Dozier boys training school.
Group therapy has replaced Cpl. punishment. Inmates and staff moral more owl is up, runaway
rates are down. The superintendent once fired by his boss and reinstated over the boss's
objection reportedly has the confidence of his superiors now and is enthusiastically overseeing
the changes and modifications am in emanating aiding from above.
More than a year ago OJ Keller, state director of the division of youth services, decided he no
longer wanted Lex to Williams as superintendent of the Marianna facility. He cited a lack of
confidence in William's ability and administration.
Williams appealed his dismissal and managed to get reinstated over Keller's objections.
Encouraging the, Keller said this at this time: if Mr. Williams can live up to our expectations,
then I'll be the first to root for him. We want to make a fresh start.
Keller told the evening independent this week that Williams returned in an un-swaggering
manner and has exhibited a very healthy and cooperative attitude. He has been very helpful
Williams said many upgrading changes are underway at his school, that runaways in 1970 are
down to a 10th of what they were the first three months of 1969, and there's enthusiasm here
both in staff and kids as there never was before.
The innovative group therapy is with one obvious reason. A substitute for hard leather
paddles, it has the 500 boys divided into 50 groups that meet for an hour each day.
Encouragement of discipline, through talk fests, is one of its functions, and it apparently has a
retarding of fact on escape ideas too.
After hearing a federal officials say three years ago, that Dozier school was one of the
countries worst juvenile institutions coupled with the accounts of last year's flap, the news from
Marianna certainly is improving