Monday, April 20, 2009


Read this:

For 109 years, this is where Florida has sent bad boys. Boys have been sent here for rape or assault, yes, but also for skipping school or smoking cigarettes or running hard from broken homes. Some were tough, some confused and afraid; all were treading through their formative years in the custody of the state. They were as young as 5, as old as 20, and they needed to be reformed.

It was for their own good.

Now come the men with nightmares and scars on their backsides, carrying 50 years of wreckage — ruined marriages and prison time and meanness and smoldering anger. Now comes a state investigation into unmarked graves, a lawsuit against a dying old man. Now come the questions: How could this happen? What should be done?

Those questions have been asked again and again about the reform school at Marianna, where, for more than a century, boys went in damaged and came out destroyed.


KST said...

I read about this place in the NYT's or Vanity Fair. I remember being so angry for these children and outraged that after all of these years no on seemed to give a damn. These kids were/are considered throwaways. A person cannot withstand that type of abuse without it manifesting in various ways in adulthood. Monsters indeed.

blackink said...

As much as anything, i'm upset that there's really no one left to take the responsibility for all those abuses.

Almost any resolution will be unfulfilling, to some extent, because there's no one around to pay the price.

"My bad," and belated apologies really aren't enough to cover all of that. But what do you do?

KST said...

I don't know... Maybe I'm wishing the adults who suffered would pull a "Sleepers" type of revenge on the monsters. I suppose it's like trying to convict a 90 year old former concentration camp guard who participated in atrocities - I'm all for it!