Dozier school gets better marks in latest audit
April 12, 2010 07:00:00 AM
CHRIS SEGAL / News Herald Writer


MARIANNA — The Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys received satisfactory remarks following a review from the
Department of Juvenile Justice, just months after failing a 2009 evaluation.

An onsite re-review was conducted March 29-30 at the school for high-risk males. The resulting performance review
was rated “acceptable.”

The school provides a 9- to 12-month stay for high-risk males ages 13-21 and provides educational, vocational and
recreational activities for the population, school Superintendent Michael Cantrell said.

The DJJ audited the school and produced a quality assurance report, 90 days after an unfavorable report showed
weaknesses in security and health care services.

“A core group of staff members created new systems and put them in place,” Cantrell said.

The school received an overall score of 74 percent. It was audited in security, health care services, management
accountability, case management and delinquency intervention services and mental health and substance abuse.

“I think the staff worked extremely hard to turn it around in 90 days,” Cantrell said. “I think it sparked inside them to
get even better.”

To improve the score in the health care services category, a full-time doctor and dentist were hired, effective Dec. 1,
2009, a move made before Cantrell assumed the top administrative position.

More thorough processes and reviews also were put into place to deal with health services.

One of the security concerns for the school was that there were 80 sets of keys leaving the campus every night, now
there are no keys that leave campus, Cantrell said.

The unfavorable 2009 evaluation found that seven of nine boys interviewed by investigators said guards threatened
students and they said that they felt supervision was lacking.

Coaching has been implemented for employees and additional video surveillance has been added to ensure the
safety of the students and employees.

“I think it’s important for people to know that we are focusing on our future,” Cantrell said.