Jane Wood Miami News

Marianna's Two Faces

Airing Due on Beatings of Boys at Ideals School
First the series, by Jane Wood, reporter of the Miami News

Florida's Marianna Industrial School for Boys, where we send our hard-core juvenile delinquents, will be praised 
today as one of the best in the country at a one-day hearing of the U.S. Senate subcommittee on juvenile 
delinquency in Washington.

But there is a witness asked to testify who could tell the committee of the routine beating of boys at Marianna that 
caused seven psychologists to leave in a two-year period.

The witnesses Dr. Eugene Byrd, local psychologist, who says one of the reasons he left Marianna was because he 
could not condone the regular impersonal beating is part of the program.

The man who may have to digest conflicting testimony, Sen. Estes Kefauver. He has been appointed by Committee 
Chairman Sen. Thomas C. Hennings Junior, to preside at the station.

Improvement Sought

Purpose of the hearing is to explore ways in which the federal government may help states improve such institutions.

The man who could say Marianna is one of the best of such schools in the US is Ernest Mitler, special committee 
counsel, who has  investigated institutions for juvenile delinquents in the US and in Europe during the last year.

After his survey in the state earlier this year, he called the Florida school one of the countries most relaxed and 
wholesome, with a constructive work and sport program.

But Dr. Byrd, asked by the committee to testify as to his recommendations for a program for such schools, is one of 
a number of ex-staff psychologists at Marianna united in condemning beating of boys there as part of the discipline.

Routine Beatings

The routine beatings at Marianna are given on Saturdays, in the White House or Ice Cream Factory, the old solitary 
confinement building now used as a Boy Scout Hut.

A boy to be beaten must lie down on a narrow hospital bed, stretch his arms above his head, and hold on to the 
beds bars. He could bury his face in a pillow across his arm.

A staff member then beats him with a leather strap 22 inches long, 4 inches wide and a half inch thick.

The beatings are called paddling, Dr. Byrd explains, but the beating is delivered with the full force of a grown man. 
They wear the straps out on the boys.

Assistant superintendent R.W. Hatton does most of this, while superintendent Art Dozier or assistant superintendent 
HB Mitchell counts the blows.

Rhythm in Blows

Patton swings his arm back all the way over his head and down with force. There's a rhythm to the blows, comments 
Dr. Byrd.
Boys are hit on the buttocks. They must not turn lose bars or scream or move. If they do, the licks they have been 
given do not count. They are allowed to cry.

15 blows are usually given for a variety of rule breaking, such as fighting, and disobedience and smoking. 
Runaway's get more. The average number of white boys punished Saturday, says Dr. Byrd, is between 15 and 20.

Nobody denies this discipline goes on, but there is sharp disagreement about the severity and the necessity for it. 

Bleed after Paddling

Boys who have graduated from Marianna say sometimes fellows in tight Levi's bleed after paddling

Denying this, Mr. Mitchell says, I don't think you can paddled a boy hard enough to do any good without leaving 
some discoloration, but I know of no bleeding after paddling.

I see eye to eye with him Gene Byrd in his attitude on this paddling, comments Jim Morris, former staff psychologist 
at Marianna, and now on the staff of the Georgia State Hospital.

I didn't want any part of it. I left because it was part of the program and I could see no way to change. I had some 
good friends who quit because of  paddling.

Not Effective

Beside the danger of creating saddest masochistic relationships in teenage boys, (so that they like being beaten) 
Mr. Morris says the punishment is effective because the whipped boy can get the moral support of the group by 
acting manly about taking a beating.

Marching off the merits would be a much more wholesome form of punishment. Mr. Morris commented. Depriving rule 
breakers of reward can be used entirely to maintain discipline, he says

I have a lot of respect for Art Dozier, Superintendent, and I am surprised he allows this. Actually, the program is built 
on reward, except for this one form of punishment. Mr. Moore's comments.

Overall Control

The spanking are a thing I detest, I abhor in truth, says Mr. Dozier. But we do have the responsibility for the overall 
control of boys in an institution of this size, as well as doing the most possible for each youngster. After talking for 
years to superintendent from other institutions all over the country, I know of nothing better.

My experience evening in the best systems is that you will still find some youngsters who won't play the game. You 
come to the end of the road. There are two things you can do, Spank or lockup.

We had a lockup at one time. To me it was a disgrace, and we did away with it. A lockup boy becomes poisoned with 

Bullying Admitted

Now we are setting up and trying to staff a psychiatric unit, and we hope, though it, we can reach the difficult 
youngsters and minimize spanking. Everybody agrees there is no promiscuous bullying at Marianna. Hitting, kicking 
or slapping boys is grounds for instant dismissal of a staff member, Mr. Mitchell says.


The Miami news, March, 1958
by Jane wood

Beatings, Only Weapon Effective on Bad Boys

Psychologist leave Florida's Marianna industrial school for boys because they beat boys there, say the psychologists.

But some boys like this school for juvenile delinquents so much that they run away so they can be brought back to stay longer, say boy graduates. Some runaway just before their release because, though they are whipped must serve longer sentences, say their fellows.

He aborted beating boys, but doesn't know of anything better to do as a final punishment to maintain discipline, says superintendent Art Dozier.

With the completion and staffing of the schools psychiatric unit in the next 60 days, he says, he hopes to substitute psychiatric treatment for paddling with a leather strap, and minimize the paddling.

Marianna thus presents a clash in philosophies on the question of beating boys.

Law Bans Beatings

Florida law does not permit beating or Corporal punishment of adults in jail. It does allow children to be whipped, 
strapped and paddled.

Boys at the Dade County youth hall are beaten by guards with wooden paddle, when they misbehave. This is done, 
Judge Walter Beckham has said, under the law permitting Corporal punishment as "applied by a loving parent."

When big tough boys tear up the place, used foul language, attack the guards, and are uncontrollable, I don't know 
anything you can do with them except give them a whipping. After you whip them they cause no more trouble, says 
judge says juvenile judge Culbreath.

Corporal punishment should not be tolerated in any form, says the Children's Bureau of the US Department of 
Health, Education and Welfare, in preparing guides and goals for institutions serving delinquent children.

Fits Delinquent Pattern        

Corporal punishment fits much to neatly into the delinquents concept of dealing with his own aggression by sheer 
and overt attack, the bureau's publication said.

With the beatings, it is still easy to see why many boys like Marianna. Cottages and shops of the big institution are 
set among tall pines and remote rolling hill country, northwest of Tallahassee. Marianna is free from squalor. The 
atmosphere is relaxed, the academic and vocational programs are excellent, except for those boys who get 
assigned to kitchen and laundry details.

No militarism or regimentation exists. The food is good and plentiful. Staff members seem to like boys and be 
interested in them as individual. The crowd of Marianna boys is somewhat more orderly than, the average crowd 
school boys, the difference in appearance is in no other way.

Superintendent Dozier is a fair haired lad with the Florida Legislature, and has usually got much of what he asked 
for the institution he runs. Last year he was made director of the newly created state Child Training Division.

Spending not Stinted

Florida has instead of spending at Marianna. This year, $1,032,325 will go to the institution to care for the current 
enrollment of 777 Boys

The 435 white boys and 342 Negro boys are segregated. They live in 19 cottages, open, dormitories, with about 45 
boys to a cottage. Cottages are run by a cottage father, who gets $2400 a year, room and board. Average age of 
these fathers is about 30.

Homosexuality, is always a problem where one sex is in an institution, is kept at a minimum at Marianna, according to 
all reports of staff, graduates and critics of the institution.

Mr. Dozier says the problem is minimized by the use of open dorms, by careful placement of boys, and by intensive 
counseling of those who seem to have abnormal impulses.

Boys live at Marianna for an indeterminate period, under a complicated system of point, work, the merits and 
demerits. They can work their way out of school at their own rate, by behaving and avoiding demerits.

Some boys, under the complicated point system, can work their way out of Marianna by taking beatings.