Kottkamp visits Dozier School

Posted: Feb 10, 2010 06:13 PM EST

Updated: Feb 10, 2010 06:13 PM EST

A reform school in Marianna with a history of abuse, received a vote of confidence February 10th from Florida
lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp. February 10th Kottkamp visited the Dozier School for high risk boys.

While there have been cases of abuse verified in the past, the school's new superintendent, Michael Cantrell says
it's time to look towards a positive future for the school and the boys. He showed Kottkamp the facilities they used
and how they plan on helping the young men there to re-enter society and the workforce.

Also, the school has apologized for the severe beatings that happened there in the 1950s and 60s.


Lt. Governor Visits The Dozier School
02/10/10 - 06:59 PM

Marianna, Fla:

Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkampgot a quick tour of the Dozier school for boys Wednesday.  The reform school
was Kottcamp’s first stop on a tour of several sites in Marianna.  Superintendent Michael Cantrell said he was happy
to receive the visiting dignitary.

“I think it was good for him to get out here, and see the different opportunities we’re providing to the young people
here,” Cantrell said of the reform school.  “I wanted him to hear what our vision is for the future.”

Kottkamp said he liked what he saw.

“You get a sense from the people that work here that they are very dedicated to their mission,” Kottkamp said.

“They are very dedicated to these young men, and realize in many instances that this is [the inmates’] last best

The school has recently made headlines for allegations of child abuse and neglect, and continues to operate under
rumors of closure.  When asked if Dozier could be closed in the future, Kottkamp said that wasn’t a part of his
current focus.

“Right now,” he said, “We’re just looking at turning around the lives of these young men.”
Cantrell said he too had his eyes on the future, and ridding the school of its tainted reputation.

“[We’ll] get out of that stigma by being open and honest about what’s going on here,” Cantrell said.  “I can promise
you that if we make mistakes while I’m here, we’ll stand up and admit those mistakes and learn from them.”