Dozier School for Boys

Remains Of Dozier Victims Could Go To Tallahassee

Aug 22, 2016
Pool/Edmund D. Fountain / Tampa Bay Times

The remains of dozens of boys who were victims of beatings and abuse at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys should be reinterred in Tallahassee, the city where lawmakers and governors were responsible for the now-closed reform school, a state task force decided Friday.

Pool/Edmund D. Fountain / Tampa Bay Times

Florida investigators over the last two years quietly launched new probes into murder and sexual abuse allegations associated with a shuttered Panhandle reform school.

But State Attorney Glenn Hess in late May concluded there wasn't any way to prosecute any alleged crimes because either there was not enough evidence or that too much time had passed to charge anyone.

Dozier Task Force Holds Contentious First Meeting

Aug 3, 2016
Pool/Edmund D. Fountain/Tampa Bay Times

The Dozier Task Force held an organizational meeting in the Panhandle town of Marianna Wednesday.

Lawmakers created the task force to work on issues related to the Dozier School for Boys, a shuttered reform school that has been at the center of allegations about abuse and deaths of youths.

The task force is charged with coming up with a plan to create a long-term memorial to those who died at the school, as well as deciding what to do with the unclaimed remains of some children.

"Deadly Secrets: The Lost Children of Dozier" debuts Friday, June 3, at 8 p.m. on LMN.
LMN / Part2Productions

The University of South Florida's lengthy investigation of the Dozier School for Boys is the subject of a national TV documentary debuting Friday night, June 3.

"Deadly Secrets: The Lost Children of Dozier" takes an in-depth look at the more than 100-year history of the Florida Reform School, decades of allegations of abuse, and the mysterious deaths of dozens of students.

A new Florida law allows the state to pay for the reburial of boys’ remains found on the grounds of the now-defunct Dozier School for Boys as well as helps take care of the unclaimed remains.  Some stakeholders are now looking toward next steps associated with the new law.

Governor Gives Backing To Dozier ‘Justice’ Bill

Mar 31, 2016

Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday signed a bill addressing what one lawmaker described as a "dark chapter" in Florida history at a now-shuttered reform school.

USF Department of Anthropology

The Tampa Bay History Center recently hosted a panel discussion on the now-closed Dozier School for Boys. The reform school in the Florida Panhandle has been known for decades for abuse, torture, and even murder.

This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, March 29 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 3 at 7:30 a.m.), we are bringing you highlights of the discussion moderated by Tampa attorney and History Center Trustee Bob Bolt.

Lawmakers Hope Dozier Bill Will Help Healing

Mar 8, 2016
Pool/Edmund D. Fountain / Tampa Bay Times

A measure intended to help heal a community and people who suffered at a former reform school where the remains of 51 boys have been unearthed is headed to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott.

The Florida Senate has passed a bill allowing the state to provide financial help to the families who want to rebury the remains of their loved ones, found on the Panhandle property of the former Dozier School for Boys. Its House counterpart is also heading to the floor.

Mark Schreiner/WUSF / WUSF 89.7 News

 Florida would pay to rebury students whose remains were once interred on the grounds of a now shuttered reform school, under a bill passed by the Senate.

Pool/Edmund D. Fountain/Tampa Bay Times

A relative of one of the boys buried at a shuttered reform school and a representative of Jackson County would be part of a task force that establishes a memorial and determines where unclaimed remains should be re-interned, under a proposal backed Thursday by a Senate panel.

Pool/Edmund D. Fountain / Tampa Bay Times


Florida may pay for burials of students whose remains were once on the grounds of the now shuttered Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys.

Loose Ends Remain After USF Issues Report on Dozier

Jan 22, 2016
Steve Cannon / AP Photo

University of South Florida researchers presented their final report on the Robert G. Dozier School for Boys to the state cabinet Thursday, and even though this closes one chapter in a lengthy saga, a number of loose ends remain.

Florida's Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys was a horror tale come to life.

"There's just too many stories," Roger Kiser, who was at the school in the 1950s, told NPR in 2012. "I know of one [boy] that I personally saw die in the bathtub that had been beaten half to death. I thought he'd been mauled by the dogs because I thought he had ran. I never did find out the true story on that. There was the boy I saw who was dead who came out of the dryer. They put him in one of those large dryers."

USF Department of Anthropology

The Dozier School for Boys in the Florida Panhandle town of Marianna closed in 2011, after allegations by former inmates of decades of torture and abuse.

University of South Florida researchers have been working for years to identify dozens of remains found in unmarked graves on the site, and they've just released their final report.

Cabinet To Get Final Report On Dozier School

Jan 14, 2016
Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

University of South Florida researchers next week will present a final report to Gov. Rick Scott and the state Cabinet about work at the shuttered Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

USF forensic anthropologists are getting extra money to crack cold cases. 

They've been awarded a $386,537 grant from the National Institute of Justice - the research wing of the U.S. Department of Justice - to examine 50 unsolved cases. 

Proposals Would Provide Aid to Dozier Families

Nov 3, 2015
Pool/Edmund D. Fountain / Tampa Bay Times

Two Democratic lawmakers filed bills Tuesday that would direct the Florida Department of State to preserve historical resources from the shuttered Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys and to provide money to help families reinter bodies of children found at the Jackson County site.

The bills (SB 708 and HB 533), filed by Senate Minority Leader Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, and Rep. Ed Narain, D-Tampa, come after extensive excavation work by University of South Florida researchers at the former reform school.

Scott, Cabinet Start Talks on Dozier Site Future

Sep 29, 2015
Edmund D. Fountain / Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet began discussions Tuesday on the future of the shuttered Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, a former state-run reform school where children are alleged to have been abused and died.

However, no decisions were made as the state officials agreed to await a final report expected in January from University of South Florida researchers, who excavated the 1,400-acre site about 70 miles west of Tallahassee and continue to try identify remains.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

In June of 2013, Robert Stephens of Tampa received a phone call from his sister. She told him that an uncle they had never met had died at the Dozier School for Boys in 1937 under mysterious circumstances.

She added that University of South Florida researchers wanted Stephens to submit a DNA sample to see if they could identify his 15-year-old uncle as one of the bodies believed to be buried in an unmarked graveyard on the now closed reform school’s grounds.

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