Florida Tries to Clone Preppy Glen Mills: Will Sam Ever Win Ira’s Okay on Size?

Bill Howard
July 1, 1996

C. D. "Sam" Ferrainola says he's "at war with social workers" because they don't acknowledge his achievements in building a 900-bed reform school "good for kids." But that could change.

A former professor of social work at the University of Pittsburgh himself, he's especially miffed with Ira M. Schwartz, dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work, and Jerome Miller, now the court-appointed chief of the District of Columbia's troubled child welfare system. Both men are long-time leaders in a campaign to replace large, abusive congregate care facilities with smaller custodial, clinical treatment models. And that makes them major obstacles, Ferrainola feels, to his plans for cloning Glen Mills Schools to other states beyond Florida.

"Look, I've invited them out here. But will they come? Dear God. We're all in this together and with their influence we could begin to bring about some changes in this field that would help kids," he told YOUTH TODAY.

"If he [Schwartzl was a true scholar, a true scholar does his research. He would look for evidence that substantiates his hypothesis. When Ira Schwartz goes to a state institution, he goes to the Delaware institution 20 miles away. But he won't come here. Isn't that odd? We'd blow his fantasies sky high."

Reached while he was traveling outside the country, Schwartz replied: “Tell Sam when I get back I'd be more than happy to go and visit his place. And also, if he would like, we could have a couple of top-flight researchers take a really hard, careful look at his program. If he's got something that's really working, and working better than other things, I'd be the first to sing his praises. Because it would be a real contribution."

Howard, Bill. "Florida Tries to Clone Preppy Glen Mills: Will Sam Ever Win Ira’s Okay on Size?"Youth Today, July/August 1996, p. 13.

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