Dozier has been in the spotlight before. Just recently six employees were terminated after a sex scandal swept the facility. Four more have been terminated as a direct result of the abuse suffered by Justin. Mr. Uberman said more will be fired, some will brought up on charges of child abuse and on failure to report abuse they witnessed. Mr. Caldwell had a chance to share his thoughts about what he believes is wrong at Dozier. He told Mr. Uberman and Mr. Williams that the length of stay for many of these boys is excessive. Uberman said they are addressing this issue and that they will need to work with Judges because it is the Judges who are sentencing these boys for long periods of time. However, that is only partially true, as we have seen in Justin's case and in Christopher Sholly's case. Often times the boys are sentenced for a period of time and their time is extended repeatedly. Uberman said it will take a team effort. He agreed that while some kids need incarceration, others can be helped through counseling at home, with their families.
Mr. Caldwell also addressed the issue of telephone calls. Parents receive calls from their children through a phone system and are charged an average of $20 for each 10 minute call. Sometimes, Justin likes to call his father three times in an evening. At that rate, Mr. Caldwell is spending $60 per day to talk to his own son while he could be placing the call himself though a long-distance service with unlimited long-distance calling. This has resulted in some parents not being able to speak to their children as much as they would like. Uberman said this issue will also be addressed.
Parents should be encouraged, not discouraged, from speaking to their children. Parent and family involvement is a very important part of the healing process for these children and isolating them from their families does not serve to help them. We believe progress is being made - we must press forward to be sure that changes continue to be made, that those responsible for abusing children are fired from their jobs, are not allowed to work with children in the future, and are prosecuted to the extent of the law. Those who witnessed the abuse and did not report it should, too, be held responsible for their actions. CAICA believes that together we can - and do - make a difference.