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Dozier School for Boys

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

A leader of a group of former students that spoke out about the violence at the Dozier School for Boys has died.

A bill opening the door to allow survivors of the infamous Dozier School for Boys to be later compensated unanimously passed its first committee Monday. That’s the now-closed North Florida reform school where former wards say they were physically and sexually abused decades ago.

Dozier Victims Measure Moves Forward

Jan 30, 2018

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee on Monday approved a bill that will create a process allowing the certification of victims of abuse at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna and a related juvenile facility in Okeechobee.

A bill funding a unique facility to help solve cold cases is starting to move forward in the Florida House.

Funding for a first-of-its-kind facility did not survive the Governor’s veto pen. That’s despite being named for an abused victim of the now-closed Dozier School for Boys.

Governor Rick Scott has signed a bill into law allowing for the creation of memorials for boys who died from the abuse at the now-closed Dozier School for Boys as well as the abuse survivors.

Dozier Memorial Bill Goes To Gov. Scott

May 19, 2017

A bill authorizing the creation of memorials for the victims of the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys was sent to Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday.

Last week, the Florida House formally apologized to the former wards of two now-closed reform schools for the abuse they say they suffered. Now, the Florida Senate is now doing the same.

Senate Apologizes For Dozier Abuse

Apr 27, 2017

With one senator pointing Wednesday to "violations of fundamental human decency," the Florida Legislature has formally apologized for the mistreatment of juveniles held at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna.

A bill formally apologizing to the victims of the now-closed Dozier School for Boys is now heading to the Senate floor, after passing its last committee Tuesday.

While the Florida Senate is on its way to that path, the House has officially apologized to the survivors of the infamous Dozier School for Boys. It’s for the abuse they suffered at the hands of staffers at the state-run juvenile reform school in North Florida decades ago.

Two bills offering a formal apology to former wards who say they were abused in a Panhandle reform school and creates memorials for those buried on the property passed their first House committee Thursday. After hearing some horrific stories, some Florida lawmakers issued apologies of their own.

Pool/Edmund D. Fountain/Tampa Bay Times

The state of Florida came a step closer Tuesday to formally apologizing for the abuse of hundreds of children over the course of a century at the state-run 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. 

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