Reform School Needs Reformation

April 9th 1915 The Evening Independent, the Tampa Times


The Tampa Times in its issue of Saturday, prints a genuine broadside at the management of the state reform school in Marianna. It is evident that there has been not only gross mismanagement but downright crime in the way this institution has been carried on. The charges presented by the times are some up as follows.


“Former inmates charged the most revolting practices and abuses, that girls sent to the home where debauched by employees of the state who had charge of the home, that boy inmates were compelled to do manual labor in fields owned by private parties, that enormities where practiced against the inmates, one boy, is alleged being sent to his home at Key West suffering from vile inconceivable practices, it is alleged he was compelled to submit to at the hands of an employee of the board, that incurable and filthy diseases have been contracted by inmates, they are improperly clothed, taught almost nothing, that filth and ignorance prevails, that for a long time the institution has done practically nothing to reform, much to degrade.”


So far from being a reform school, it has been a juvenile convict camp with worst treatment for the inmates that has been given all convicts in this state for 20 years. The reform school scandal is one blot on Governor Trammell's Administration and the Star regrets to see that he is not trying to wipe it off as strenuously as he should. The legislature should remove this frustration to the vicinity of one of the large cities, where it could be in the full glare of publicity all the time and put responsible men, under heavy bond, in charge. The Ocala Star