Report Alleges Mistreatment at Eldora Juvenile Correctional Facility

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  A new report is accusing the Eldora Boys State Training School of using damaging punishment methods on boys who suffer from mental illnesses.

Disability Rights Iowa released the report on Monday, claiming residents are often put in seclusion rooms or bonded to what is called "the wrap" bed as forms of punishments. The reports adds the facility has a severe shortage of mental health caregivers despite the nearly 66% of residents who are on psychiatric medication.

The group says the practices are more severe than at other juvenile delinquent centers and is calling for major changes.

The Department of Human Services oversees the correctional facility and says the practices are different because the residents at this facility are convicted offenders.

“These are kids who may have killed somebody. They might be convicted of murder or serious aggravated assaults. These are kids who have a bad criminal history. We don’t ‘swaddle’ them because of that, but when they become violent and it puts other kids at risk, we are going to try and protect the other kids,” says DHS director Jerry Foxhoven.

The Department of Human Services say the facilities practices are in compliance with the state. However, Disability Rights Iowa is asking them to be changed or is threatening to file a lawsuit. In 2014, the group played a role in the closure of the Iowa Juvenile Home / State Training School for Girls in Toledo amid mistreatment allegations.