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January 18, 2023 39 min

Reporter Josie Duffy Rice travels to a small town outside Montgomery, Alabama, and tries to visit a juvenile reform school, once called the Alabama Industrial School for Negro Children or Mt. Meigs. The school opened in the early 20th century as a safe haven for Black kids, but by the 1960s, it had become something else entirely.

Then one day, in 1968, five Black girls ran away, determined to find someone to help. We hear from one of those girls, Mary, and juvenile probation officer Denny. We also hear from Lonnie, now a world famous artist who was sent to Mt. Meigs at age 11, among others. In Unreformed, Rice investigates this institution, and what happened after someone blew the whistle. It looks at the lasting impact Mt. Meigs has had on their lives and juvenile justice in Alabama.

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