For 109 years, Florida has sent bad boys to the Florida School for Boys in the city of Marianna. Boys have been sent there for rape or assault, but also for skipping school or smoking cigarettes, or running from broken homes, says the St. Petersburg Times. Some were tough, some confused and afraid; all were treading through their formative years in the custody of the state. They were as young as 5, as old as 20, and they needed to be reformed.
The Times reports on abuse at the school, where it says “for more than a century, boys went in damaged and came out destroyed.” The state is investigating unmarked graves at the facility. Reports of abuse have been made for decades at the facility, now called the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys and housing 130 kids. From July 2004 to March 2009, the state investigated 316 allegations of abuse at the school; 17 were verified, and 33 “some indicator” of legitimacy. The newspaper conducted more than 100 hours of interviews with 27 men who were sent to the Florida School for Boys in the 1950s and ’60s.