Bobby M. v. Martinez

Bobby M. v. Martinez, a federal class action, was brought on behalf of the 1,000 children confined at the Florida state training schools at Marianna, Ocala, and Okeechobee. The action challenged policies, practices, and conditions in the institutions—including ‘hogtying’ children with handcuffs and ankle cuffs, serious overcrowding, unsanitary living conditions, inadequate supervision and training of staff, medical care, and education—as well as the incarceration of children for long periods of time for minor offenses. In July, 1986, state officials agreed to a landmark settlement that included closing one of the training schools, reducing the population in the other two to a maximum of 100 children each (compared to a total population of 1,000 prior to this lawsuit), ending barbaric disciplinary practices, and bringing the training schools up to nationally recognized standards for care of children and training of staff.