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Resource ID: #26442
Subject: Abuse
Source: Des Moines Register
Affiliation: 
Date: May 26, 2013 - Dec. 21, 2013

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Description

The stories initially examined the illegal use of physical restraints and long-term isolation cells at the Iowa Juvenile Home, an unlicensed and largely unregulated state-run facility that provides housing, schooling and treatment for children with serious behavioral problems. The Register discovered that state workers were routinely confining children as young as 13 to unfurnished, 10-foot-by-12-foot concrete-block isolation cells in the basement of the home's schoolhouse. One girl spent almost a full year in one such cell. Court records showed the home had been using long-term isolation, sometimes in direct violation of a judge's order, for at least 17 years. Former residents of the home, and their legal advocates, agreed to speak to the Register on the record, and on video, about the isolation cells and the manner in which they were used. Over the next five months,the Register published a string of exclusives that uncovered other abuses and failings within the home, leading to the governor's decision in December to close the 50-year-old facility.

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