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Feds: Florida's youth prisons are 'dangerous'

Dozier prisonFlorida’s youth-corrections system is so poorly administered that children are assaulted by officers, denied necessary medical care and punished harshly for minor infractions, a federal report released Friday concludes.

Conditions are so severe, the U.S. Department of Justice said, that they violate the Constitution.

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division released a scathing 28-page report Friday on conditions at two North Florida youth prisons, the Dozier School for Boys and the Jackson Juvenile Offender Center. Though the two camps were both shut down by state juvenile-justice administrators earlier this year, the report said the state’s “failed system of oversight and accountability” likely has resulted in dangerous conditions at youth prisons throughout the state.

“These conditions return youth to the community no better — and likely less-equipped to succeed than when they were first incarcerated,” Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez wrote in a Dec. 1 letter to Gov. Rick Scott, adding that such practices “erode public confidence in the juvenile justice system and interfere with the state’s efforts to reduce crime.” Miami Herald story by Carol Marbin Miller here.


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George Fuller

Perhaps we should make a mini country club setting ......bring in some girls...help these poor misguided mostly uneducated and unskilled punks to get through their sentences with the least amount of hassle......

Actually.......they should end up hating it so they don't break the law when they are out on the street...

Dave Gallagher

Heck why not just give em' the death penalty George.


Oone of the reasons why they are in poor shape is that the Republican legislature over the years have been closing mental hospitals and the patients, including young people, are being thrown into jails and prisons where they are mixed with violent inmates.
The state does hire psychiatrists to try to help them, but their hands are tied. The best they can do is to give them drugs with limited success. And then the Palm Beach Post accused these doctors of overdosing them and they want to practice to stop.


I think atleast two of the above comments, are missing the point entirely. Children do what they are taught. If they are taught abuse, most will continue that cycle. I spent 4 years (13-17) in one of these facilities. I was "reformed", but that didn't happen until after my release. The intention of incarceration for crime is to pay retribution to society and those harmed. And for the person to be released better than they came in. That rarely happens. Medicating kids to keep their behavior in line, is not fixing the problem, it is merely a bandaid. Medication as a means of control is sentencing them to a lifetime of incarceration, in their own minds and bodies. Teaching by telling and showing kids how to behave and get past the hurt and anger, goes a lot further. Give them a fish, they eat for a day. Show them how, they will eat for life. Same principle. It isn't easy nor quick, but worth it in the end. That's the problem, the state wants a quick and easy fix. If it isn't worth working for, it isn't worth having. People would do good to keep that in mind.

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