The U.S. Justice Department is blasting the state for not properly treating and
protecting children housed at the Dozier School for Boys.
TALLAHASSEE --
The state of Florida is dealing with an abuse allegation at a state-operated reform
school.

And according to federal officials, children at other state facilities could be in danger.

Bay News 9's partner newspaper the St. Petersburg Times is reporting the U.S. Justice Department is blasting the
state for not properly treating and protecting children housed at the Dozier School for Boys.

The reform school closed in June after 111 years in operation.

The Department of Justice found the staff used excessive force, youths were often disciplined for minor infractions
through inappropriate uses of lengthy and unnecessary isolation, the safety of youths was compromised and staff
were not appropriately trained and had a generally "laissez-faire attitude" toward suicidal youth.

The department also is concerned that other programs in the state have similar problems.

The report urges the state to overhaul the oversight process with better hiring, training and accountability.