JUDGE’S RULING: Iowa Juvenile Home To Re-Open

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Wednesday afternoon a Polk County District Judge ruled the Iowa Juvenile Home should be re-opened.

The ruling is in response to a lawsuit filed last month by AFSCME President Danny Homan and four lawmakers including Sen. Jack Hatch.

The group says the Governor passed legislation to fund the Toledo Facility through June of next year and it should have remained open.

The lawsuit claims the Governor doesn't have the authority to simply change course.

"The decision of the governor to close it so quickly and without any input from the community or the legislatures and other experts was very strange, even his task force didn`t recommend closing so this was a unilateral decision," says Sen. Hatch.

The facility closed January 15th.  More than 90 people lost their jobs and all the girls staying there were moved to other facilities.

Today Judge Scott Rosenberg requested an injunction and denied the state's request for a dismissal.

Read the judge's ruling

In his brief Judge Rosenberg agreed with the plaintiff's saying,

“The Toledo Home has been established by the Iowa Legislature with approval of the Executive branch. Appropriations to effectuate the purpose of the Toledo Home were properly passed by the Iowa Legislature and become law.”

He went on to say, "If the Governor of the State of Iowa decided that the Toledo Home should not operate, he had the opportunity to end its operation when the appropriations bill was placed upon his desk for signature.  At the point the Governor could have vetoed the bill."

AFSCME President Danny Homan says the Governor overstepped his authority.

"When the Governor ordered the closure of the Iowa Juvenile Home he disregarded and ignored the separation of power by failing to work with the Iowa General Assembly, while this would be troubling in any situation it was particularly troubling in this case because the safety of Iowa`s children were affected by the closure of the Iowa Juvenile Home," says Homan.

But the Governor said he was acting in the best interest of the children when reports surfaced about the treatment of residents at the facility.

"Theres been a number of children who have been held for a length of time in solitary confinement, they were denied education they were entitled to, and in some cases they were abused and we don`t want that to continue.  We want to do what`s in the best interest of the children," said Branstad.

The Governor said he plans to meet with the Attorney General to consider the next step.

Meanwhile,  lawmakers are also considering a bill to reconfigure and modernize the juvenile home.  A hearing on that legislation is expected in the next couple weeks.


  • IVH worker

    He got away with firing workers at the Iowas Vets home years ago in Marshalltown so he must of thought this was ok aswell. Branstad will not be getting my vote this fall. I have had it with his bullying.

  • Bart

    I have a hunch the relatives of the people Terry Braindead’s son killed via drinking & driving & then got off scot-free might disagree…

    …the devils work is never done


    Thats not true. He would be in jail if he killed those people. They were killed by someone else who got away. Most likly a young person or someone of other color.

  • Don S

    Maybe if Gov. Workers did there jobs and rehab. These kids instead of slamming them in a hole it would not of came to this. Typical gov.union worker at their best.

    • Mario Lanza

      He has bled that place of workers for years and years, even during his first terms; then he loads it up with kids who should not be there, kids who are violent delinquents not just kids in need of help; kids who are so extremely sick that they should be in hospitals and specialty facilities; kids too low functioning to be helped without special training and resources like that of the specialized resource centers for persons with developmental disabilities…and then says “deal with it anyway” and as if they just needed simple supervision, secret orders to never admit just why they have been so hobbled; and then publicly blames them when it goes bad. This is the history of TEB since getting into office in 5 terms ago. All in the name of his own rage at public employees on principal…so who gets it in the neck? The people. The people have so duped by this man.

  • tummykitten20

    No so fast judge wait until the miss use of state property, child endangerment, embezzlement and criminal charges come out. You know they will. shame on that staff

    • William Denison

      There are alot of things that happened at this home that I have not seen in this press yet. There was physical abuse there aswell. The tacics used by the staff on these children are not much different than those used by MP’s on POW’s.

  • concerned parent

    Our family has had personal experience with the Iowa Juvenile Home. Our adopted son had severe emotional issues from a dysfunctional birth family and years of abuse in foster care and so called treatment facilities. He was not adjudicated as a juvenile delinquent but placed there as a last resort for “treatment.” As parents we had to give over custody to The Juvenile Home. We had no say in his treatment or medications. He did not get treatment….when we got a court order for him to see the psychologist and begin family therapy and transitional planning for him to have a chance of success at home, the staff discharged him immediately even though the week before they did not allow him a pass to come home for Christmas. I applaud Gov Branstad for closing this horrible place. Iowa is in desperate need of facilities for kids who need treatment. The sad truth is that in Iowa there is very little over site in these facilities. Kids easily fall through the cracks and more harm than benefit occurs. Many are over medicated and physically restrained. Iowa needs reform in the child adolescent facilities in the same way our nursing homes did 20 years ago. Where are the standards, the care scorecards and inspections. This is a vulnerable population that we as Iowans have let down.

    • William Denison

      Thats what we do here in Iowa now a days. We throw the poor, the weak,the sick etc under the bus. We here are in GOP land.

  • Chad P.

    How dose it take 90 people to run this place??????? To take care of 15-20 girls…….that they improperly take care of. I’m sorry people lost their jobs but tax payers deserve better and so do the kids. From the info I have it should stay closed.

    • Mike Cee

      Agreed. It was typical of government and union waste. While I think the facility should be reopened, it should be streamlined so there’s not as much waste. There’s no reason why there should be a 4 to 1 staff to kids ratio.

  • William Denison

    In no way is the closure do to any abuse of childern.Terry and the GOP could care less about that. Its all about the greedy taking away from the needy.

    • concerned parent

      Abuse did take place at this facility. It saddens me that it took this long to get someone to pay attention. You comment about the greedy taking from the needy makes no sense. Needy vulnerable children have been victimized by uneducated and poorly trained staff for years! We need quality controls and over site for facilities that treat children and adolescents in our state.

  • grump50

    If it $8.8 million a yr to run this place. Keep in mind for 20 people, $440000 a yr. We should thank someone for closing it.

  • Jay

    I’m sorry but our governor has always done things wrong. Now he is going to appeal the right decision, so he can continue to keep people out of work, I’m telling you that of Iowans vote him back into office again, than I’m out of this state. This has to be the most backwards, messed up state in the union.

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