This is an original newspaper report.....Date at present unknown.....
Condition barely readable but I have the copy and typed it up for you,
the reader....note the amounts of goods that were produced in one year
then add 108 more years. The dollar amount would be in the millions.
We know that boys were used as slave labor in the fields of Marianna's
farms, how much money really exchanged hands under the table?
Note: At the top of this article was a picture of Arthur Dozier, probably in his thirties.
What is Success?
The committee which was appointed for the purpose of visiting the Florida
State Reform School located at Marianna, beg leave to make the following
report and ask that same be spread upon the Journal?
The senator explained that the committee found the two brick buildings in
good repair, 600 acres of land, five mules and all the necessary implements
for cultivating the land.
But we regret to say that the present management of the school does not
come up to our committee's expectations.
The inmates of said school number 44, five white, the others colored, two
being female. We found them in irons just as common criminals, which in the
judgment of the committee is not the meaning of a State Reform School. We
have no hesitancy is saying under its present management is nothing more
than more or less than a prison where juvenile prisoners are confined.
The committee made recommendations for auditing and bookkeeping.....and
that the inmates be more humanely treated and the superintendent be
required to remove the shackles from inmates of said school.
The shackles were removed and several years later another committee found
Marianna a humane institution where "in our opinion all persons under 18
should be sent instead of the chain gang. But it voiced concern that the
boys hired out to work with the state convicts and forced to work with
hardened criminals.......and recommended that windows where prisoners are
confined at night should be made more secure, as it is easy for them to
bend the bars and escape.
Emphasis on rehabilitation was aborning. The committee also recommended
that it become the duty of the committing court to furnish a case history
of the child as far as possible ......Parents, places of birth, disease if
any and such items.
By 1913 the old tumbled down stockade had been removed and a fence
.......more in harmony with the reformation was installed.
Instead of 44 children, Florida today has four training schools, two for
girls, two for boys, with a capacity for 1,463 children. There were 1,517
at close of the year's first quarter with 59 accepted but not delivered and
a waiting list of 261.
National standards recommends no more than 150 children to an institution.
Okeechobee School for Boys....the state's newest.....has 415.
As for Marianna, this June finds it a far cry from that of June of 1903.
Instead of nine mules there are tractors. There is a poultry division with
10,000 chickens, a modern dairy with Hereford cattle, a food processing
plant which last year handled 111,000 pounds of pork, 7,450 pounds of duck
and even 4,080 pounds of rabbit.
It has a truck farm which produced $9,000.00 worth of vegetables, a cane
mill which spilled out 5,000 gallons of syrup. It has a school, a chapel, a
clinic, a recreational program and rudimentary training in some 42 trades.
It also has 830 boys.
That is 5.5 times the National Standards: This was the era where the Judges, Senators and Governors ruled
the place "A Disgrace" "An Abomination" and "1400 Acres of Hell"
And no one to make rehabilitative miracles.
NEXT: Why is the repeater rate so high