Lawmakers were told Monday if the Iowa Juvenile Home isn’t re-opened, it needs to be replaced and soon.
Last month the Branstad administration shut down the Toledo facility after an investigation revealed girls were being kept in isolation rooms for months at a time.
On Monday, Iowa juvenile court officials told a Senate committee that without another option, teen girls will soon be heading to adult court.
“The current placement for these children is not the ideal long-term solution. When the facility closed, our juvenile court officers took these girls back to court and the judge made decisions based on what’s our next best option,” Chief Juvenile Court Officer Marilyn Lantz told the committee.
“One of our biggest concerns,” Chief Juvenile Court Officer Tom Southard said, “is that a lack of a training school will increase the number of kids who get waived to adult court.”
A group of lawmakers and the president of the local AFSCME chapter are suing the governor to re-open the facility.