Jackson County Times

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Alleged Dozier Abuse Victims, “The White House Boys” Enter Claim Against State

Seeking reparations from the State
By Sid Riley

Over 100 past residents of Dozier School for Boys during the 1950’s and 1960’s have enlisted State Senator Arthenia Joyner, Democrat from Tampa, to file a compensation claim bill to pay an undisclosed amount to the group for abuses they suffered while interned at the school.

These claims have never been substantiated in a court of law, and are based totally on the claims of this group. Some question why they waited over fifty years to file such a claim, after most of the accused staff members have passed away, and many records have been lost or destroyed.

The group claims they suffered severe beatings and sexual abuse when they were young boys after being sentenced to serve time at Dozier for crimes and misbehavior. Without court action proving the truth of their claims, last January the State Department of Juvenile Justice acknowledged abuse at the facility.

There were also initial allegations of clandestine actions at the school related to the contents of 29 unmarked graves located on the campus. In December Governor Charlie Crist ordered a FDLE investigation of the matter. This investigation resulted in identification of almost all of the inhabitants in the graves, all of which had died of known causes. The FDLE concluded none of the graves contained any bodies in which the death was the result of abuse. Investigations are continuing related to the claims entered by these former residents who are all now in their 60’s and 70’s.

Even though no court has proven the truth or untruth of these claims, the legislature will now consider passage of this reparations bill.

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