JUVENILE JUSTICE: Recommendations Made

The Iowa Juvenile Justice Advisory Council met Thursday to discuss problems at the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo and ways to improve the care and treatment of its residents.

An investigation by Disability Rights Iowa revealed girls at the home were kept in isolations units for days at a time, restraints were being overused and the majority of the residents were not receiving adequate education.

At Thursday’s meeting, the organization outlined a number of recommendations.

Among them are new oversight for the home’s school, more stringent restraint and seclusion rules and an immediate assessment of all residents.

Investigators also say the Iowa Juvenile Home and the Eldora Training School should be licensed and under the oversight of the Department of Inspections and Appeals.

“They oversee other private facilities, why not have them oversee this facility as well?” asks Nathan Kirstein. “Why can`t they be licensed just like any other facility that works with youth and the same population and therefore have the oversight?”

The Department of Human Services, which currently oversees the Iowa Juvenile Home, says it is already making changes.

According to recently released data, the number of hours of isolation has dropped 89-percent since July of last year.

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