Juvenile Justice

Who died at boys reform school over last century, and how? State AG asks judge to OK exhumation

Seeking to provide some answers to questions that have been raised about an unknown number of deaths at a Florida reform school over the course of the last century, the state’s attorney general on Tuesday asked a judge to OK an exhumation.

“The deaths that occurred at Dozier School for Boys in Marianna are cloaked in mystery, and the surviving family members deserve a thorough examination of the site,” attorney general Pam Bondi said in a written statement. “I am committed to doing everything within my power to support investigative efforts to help resolve unanswered questions and bring closure to the families who lost loved ones.”

A University of South Florida research project found that 98 juveniles and two staff members had died there between 1914 and 1973, according to Reuters and WJHG. CNN Justice also has a story about the exhumation request.

There are at least 50 graves on the Dozier property, most or all of them apparently unmarked. At least 7 youths died during escape attempts, and 20 died within three months of arriving.

Multiple abuse claims have been made concerning the school, as discussed in earlier news articles and on various websites. In addition to linked coverage below, The Official White House Boys Organization and The White House Boys Survivor’s Organization Corp. offer easy access to more news articles.

Further coverage:

NBC News: “Abuses at infamous Florida boys reform school even more widespread, report says”

NPR: “Florida’s Dozier School For Boys: A True Horror Story”

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