Here is an article written in the late 50's or early 60's by a reporter that got her story right. What a
shame that nothing was done to prevent the illegal flogging of children by the State of Florida that
went on for 45 years after it was banned by Governor Hardee as too brutal a punishment for hardened
adult convicts when young Martin Tabert was flogged to death by the whipping boss,
As this brutal punishment not only goes against all reason, not to mention the guide-lines sent forth
by the Children's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and the National
Association of Training School and Juvenile Agencies, one has to wonder how there could be any
statute of limitations that would protect the perpetrators of these crimes, no matter of the passage
of time. RWS
Written under a series of articles named: "PATTERNS OF DELINQUENCY"
"Twenty five lashes with a leather whip is not uncommon punishment at Florida's reform
school at Marianna. Joy Reese Shaw explains why it happens and how easily "last-resort"
floggings could be eliminated.
PUNISHMENT AT FLORIDA'S "WHITE HOUSE"
YOU STRETCH ON THE BED, THEN THE WHIP FALLS
By Joy Reese Shaw
Herald Staff Writer
MARIANNA: The kids call it The White House
It is not on the tour and it seems somehow incongruous here on this tree-studded site which looks like a college
campus than a school for delinquents.
Nobody likes to talk about what goes on inside --and when they do the sting of the whip seems to split through
The White House is the place of punishment. FDA--Final Disciplinary Action. "They make you stretch out on
a bed, face down....and hold on tight with your arms above your head. Then they lay on the leather," one boy
explained. "It's a whip with a handle. I got 25 lashes."
THE NAME White House is misleading--for what goes on there is not very noble or according to national
standards set up for institutions serving delinquent children.
So is the term FDA, The action is not very final.
Says "Guides and Goals," prepared by the Children's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health, Education
and Welfare, and the National Association of Training School and Juvenile Agencies.
"Corporal punishment should not be tolerated in any form. This includes slapping, spanking, belting or any
kind of physical abuse."
IN LESS THAN 11 months, Lonnie S. received Final Disciplinary Action seven times. Lonnie is a Miami boy
sent up for bicycle theft. His father was in jail for drunkenness. His mother, bewildered, inept, lonely. Foster
home care has been denied. Lonnie's local record indicates epilepsy and an IQ of 74 to 81.
He was whipped for persistent misbehavior, fighting, profanity, agitating other children, throwing a bottle of
Oddly, there were exactly seven days between Lonnie's first two whippings and Oct. 19 and 26, 1962, and
between his last two, Nov. 4 and 11, 1963. They do not appear to have been highly effective.
An estimated 40 to 50 percent receive a whipping at one time or another.
BUT THIS IS not intended as an "expose" of corporal punishment at Marianna. Rather it is intended to relate
an important question: Is Florida defeating it's purpose in juvenile rehabilitation by being too shortsighted to
"Guides and Goals" recommends a limit of 150 children in a state training school. Marianna, a completely
open door institution is jammed with 830. It only has 10 detention rooms.
For the last four sessions of the legislature Marianna has requested a security detention building, and been
denied. It would cost $198,320.00 to end the floggings. The security building could be the substitute.
Comment by R. Straley
Note: In a letter Dated Feb. 13, 1946 to Mr. Roy L. McLaughlin, Superintendent of the
Connecticut School For Boys, Arthur G. Dozier, Superintendent of FSB Stated:
"We are faced with a building program and among the things included is a secure unit for
juveniles which I expect to attempt to persuade the "powers that be" is not desirable for this
In plain language, given a job of building a secure unit, Arthur G. Dozier had no intention of
doing so as he favored flogging the boys instead. In the same letter he states:
"We dispensed with confinement in any form as a disciplinary measure in this institution but
have retained corporal punishment as a measure in certain cases."
As the reporter stated: An estimated 40 to 50 percent receive a whipping at one time or another. I feel
this was a pretty accurate statement. The flogging could have been stopped, but was supported over the
years by men like Arthur G. Dozier. His name should be removed from the institution.