JUVENILE HOME: Democrats Question Closure

juvenile home closes

Iowa Democrats say they are moving fast in an effort to save the Iowa Juvenile Home.

“Closing one of the facilities that provides care to children who need services isn’t the right way to go,” State Representative Mark Smith said.

Several Democrats have filed a lawsuit and others are working on filing legislation.

The issue has taken center stage since the facility closed last week.

The governor and DHS decided to shut down the facility after reports surfaced that teenage girls were put in isolation cells for long periods of time.

Democratic leaders want to know why some girls were sent back to their homes and not to another facility.

“Does everyone believe they were all really ready to go home? And if they were, why weren’t they back before?” asked State Senator Mike Gronstal . “Fourteen girls were dumped back home. Doesn’t sound like a really good placement, doesn’t sound like really good planning.”

Republican State Rep. Linda Upmeyer said they’re pursuing the issue.

“First and foremost we want to make sure kids are given proper services and provided proper care. That’s the central objective of everyone’s work and that’s what we’re going to stay focused on and we’ll see what comes out of the committees on this issue.”

All 96 employees at the facility have been laid off.

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