Florida’s troubled Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys failed its annual evaluation, showing that the reform school, with a 100-year history of abusing and neglecting boys, still can’t keep them supervised or safe, reports the St. Petersburg Times. Gov. Charlie Crist called the failure “inexcusable.” Yesterday, the state appointed a new superintendent and established a support team of juvenile justice leaders across the state to help him.
A state review found that seven of nine boys surveyed said guards have threatened them or they have heard guards threaten other boys; five of the nine said they did not feel safe. Youth surveys showed “an alarming number of youth that felt supervision was lacking.” Investigators saw guards send boys from place to place without watching to make sure they arrived. Guards often transported boys alone in a van, though two staffers are required. They lost their keys regularly, didn’t frisk boys properly and failed to keep track of dangerous chemicals. Boys submitted an average of 100 grievances a month, many complaining of mistreatment by guards. Nurses missed giving boys their medicine or gave them the wrong amount.