Dozier passes quality review
By ASHLEY McKEEN
Floridan Staff Writer
Published: April 7, 2010
The Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys has officially seen a turnaround after a review of past failures were recently
deemed “acceptable” and even “exceptional” in some areas, based on an evaluation conducted last Thursday.
In December 2009, Dozier failed the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice’s annual evaluation, the Quality
Assurance Report. The report consists of an on-site review of all policies and procedures, as well as the overall
effectiveness of the program.
In December’s review, the program was cited for failure in two important areas, including safety and security, and
health care services. These two shortcomings lead to an overall failure of the program, with a score of a 56 percent.
Due to December’s failure, DJJ ordered the agency that conducts the review, the Bureau of Quality Assurance, to
review the program in six months from the failure date.
New Superintendent Michael Cantrell, who promised reform upon accepting the position immediately following Dozier’
s failure, said Tuesday that he preferred to take immediate action.
“Honestly, the department gave us six months to turn some things around, but I felt like that was too long for the staff
to be constantly under pressure,” Cantrell said. “So we worked hard to put things in place so that we could see a
turnaround right off the bat.
“One of the reviewers even used the word ‘amazing’ last week. They were amazed that we were able to accomplish
what we did in 90 days.”
The recent review only consisted of an evaluation of the two standards failed last December — health care services,
and safety and security.
Cantrell said that with the hiring of a full time, on-site physician, and the implementation of new protocols for security,
the program was able to make a difference in its scores.
In December, the program received a failing score of zero for failing to provide youth with a health care professional
to act as the “designated health authority,” or DHA, and failing to provide oversight for all medical services.
By April, the program went from a zero to the highest score of 10 for hiring a full-time on-site health care professional.
The recent report states that since the time of the DHA’s hire, “he has completed an in-depth comprehensive review
of all youth medical records.”
In addition, all documents found in individual youths’ records were initialed by the DHA, confirming this review. The
DHA also made clear written notations regarding medical conditions and treatments to be provided for all youth at
December’s review states the youth were not routinely being checked for sexually transmitted diseases; and those
who were did not have their STD screen reviewed by a doctor. April’s review states that all youth reviewed “had
received testing for sexually transmitted diseases, even though it was not required. For one youth who required
treatment, follow-up testing was ordered by the DHA to confirm that the medication regime had resolved the disease
December’s review noted the nurse was discontinuing medication without a physician’s order. In addition, there were
numerous incidents of missed doses of ordered medications, and errors in dosage of prescription medication
administered. April’ review stated that the program had fixed these issues and met all requirements. Dozier’s score
advanced from a five in December to a seven in April.
The program’s other area of failure — safety and security — also received multiple zeros in various standards in
• Staff were consistently observed sending youth from one location to another, and the receiving staff were not in
place to maintain constant supervision.
• The program does not currently have a master key inventory that includes every key ring, every key in the facility,
and what they fit.
• Many of the permanent key rings issued to staff are not sealed or tamper proof.
• Some staff take unauthorized keys home to provide easier access to the facility each morning.
• There was no inventory for any of the chemicals stored in the carpentry class.
• Paint cans in the horticulture classroom were found to be unsecured and there was no inventory.
Of all the failings listed under safety and security in December, all the scores of zero received upwards of a seven in
April’s review, with some receiving a 10. The April report states that all of program’s past shortcomings have been
addressed and Dozier is now meeting all requirements set by DJJ, with some areas exceeding expectations.
A new inventory protocol has been implemented, along with a serious tightening of all staff with youth supervision,
Cantrell said Tuesday.
“I really have to commend the staff on this,” Cantrell said. “They worked hard, did what I asked and have really
accomplished this on their own.
“After seeing what we can accomplish in just a few months, I think my staff now sees how attainable our goal of being
a national model school truly is.”
When asked about past reports of continued mistreatment of youth at the facility, Cantrell said his new system of
checks and balances seems to be working.
“We have supervisors evaluating the deputy officers, and the deputy officers evaluating the supervisors,” Cantrell
said. “Everyone is watching everyone, which is then reviewed by me. We’ve had no problems thus far.”
Cantrell said he believes it “all comes back to accountability” and is confident the program will continue to make