Leroy Collins with Florida highway patrolmen signing highway patrol bill.jpg

In response to Brown v. Board of Education and the Groveland incident, Governor LeRoy Collins enacted policies to change the balance of power in local law enforcement.  In 1956, he dramatically increased state trooper presence across the state and created the Sheriff’s Bureau, later known as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).  The governor used the Bureau as a centralized way to monitor and control local law enforcement.


 Poor jail conditions and mistreatment by staff provoked many inmates to file civil rights lawsuits against sheriffs and their departments in the late 1960s.  In 1973, Governor Reubin Askew ordered the creation of the “Correctional Standards Council” to develop standards for jail administration and training for law enforcement personnel.  By the following year, state regulation of Florida county jails officially began. 

Unidentified boy holds onto bait - Suwannee County, Florida.jpg

In 1958, the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) refocused its community service efforts through The Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch.  Their goal was to create a safe and industrious group home community along the Suwannee River for homeless and neglected boys from across the state.  Local sheriffs recommended candidates for acceptance by an admissions board, strengthening the idea that sheriffs are friends and protectors who want to help.  In 1972, the FSA established the Girls Villa in Bartow.   Today, the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches strive to keep children from choosing a life crime by providing academic and social opportunities they would otherwise lack.