Florida's Boot Camps Get the Boot

House members want to name the bill the Martin Lee Anderson Act in the teen’s honor. Lawmakers and family members are pledging to keep the heat on until the truth about Martin’s death is known.

The House version of the state budget wipes out programs like military-style boot camps for juvenile offenders. They’d be replaced with so-called star programs, run by sheriffs but with a more positive focus on education and mentoring.

Gina Jones’ son Martin died in January after struggling with guards at the Bay County Boot Camp. She and Martin’s father came to the Capitol to thank lawmakers who want to scrap the camps and name the legislation to do so in their son’s honor.

Gina Jones says, "This way no other child should be murdered under someone else’s care."

Sen. Frederica Wilson says naming the law after Martin will remind state officials of their responsibility to make sure it never happens again.

Sen. Frederica Wilson, (D) Miami, says, "This is a child that was killed in one of our juvenile justice facilities, so let us keep on point."

The Capitol grounds will be the scene next week of a huge rally in Martin Lee Anderson’s honor. Big names in national politics and music will be here, all as part of the effort to keep the heat on investigators looking into his death.

Supporters hope the continued pressure from the Capitol and around the country will help ensure whoever’s responsible for Martin’s death is held accountable.

Gina adds, "Right now it’s a cover-up.”

After the march, hopefully they’ll come around and say now it’s time to tell the truth.

That’s all I want, the truth, and those to be punished."

Students from Florida State University and Florida A&M University have organized a rally and march at the Capitol on behalf of the Martin Lee Anderson case. It is scheduled for next Friday, April 14, at 10 a.m.


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