Iowans react: Teens in isolation cells at state-run Juvenile Home

A look at the reaction to a Des Moines Register investigation into problems at the Iowa Juvenile Home, which has confined teenage girls to small isolation cells for months at a time — in one case, reportedly, for almost a full year. Find complete coverage at


  1. How in the world can anyone in their right mind justify the abusive treatment these children receive, under the guize of restraint, control, and rehabilitation. Why not develop a committee of folks who have previously raised children. It makes me wonder if those employed at the facilities at all levels have parented. If so I sure feel sorry for their children.
  2. I'm not sure which I should be more disgusted about: The fact that those left in charge of the most abused children in our state abused them further, or that when those in charge were asked to produce documentation of the girls left in isolation, the Register was told to pay $31,000 for that documentation! It's also pretty disgusting that, when offered FREE education on how to properly care for these kids, we turned it down. It's stuff like this that keeps us looking like one of the most podunk states in the nation!
  3. DHS is doing more harm to our children then they are helping. Our lawmakers need to realize this and put a stop to it. One of the main problems I see is that DHS is above the law and can do whatever they want without any accountability for their actions. Iowa Family Rights is working to stop this and we will.
  4. It is time that our Statehouse, Governor and Judicial Body pay attention to the agencies they give unfettered power to and start to not only restrain that power but also put more oversight into those Agencies. It has become obvious that the public demands Transparency and accountability from these officials that act on behalf of our Government. These are suppose to be the protectors of our children, not the "abusers". I would like to know why tactics like making prohibitive costs to obtain information are used when the public has a right to public activities. The DHS needs to be returned to a Status that makes them accountable to the citizens they serve and not above the laws they maintain. We need to fix this Double standard in our Government. Very good follow up on the actions on this facility. Keep up the good work.
  5. Very interesting story. Hope the DMR keeps on this, at least as much as they are on the "Hard 90" story.
  6. This information needs to be in front of every juvenile court judge in the State of Iowa. I am a lawyer. I have been a junior high teacher and worked for over two years in a psychiatric unit in a hospital in Iowa. While time outs may be effective, this is appalling. It sounds like Guantanamo.
  7. While I would not disagree that some separation may be necessary I would never have the audacity to use that as an excuse for has happened at this state-run facility. I believe we can do a hell of a lot better than that.
  8. DHS has been given to much control.....who is overseeing them??
  9. And of course Branstad is back in the saddle just like 1999/2000 when it was found how badly DHS had been left under his administration. That is when the twins needed protection and their worker had 80 cases on his hands when he should have only had 30 max!
  10. much appreciation to the Register for this investigation and report. Shame on Iowa
  11. As the Register has continued its investigation, other media across Iowa and the country have followed our coverage:
  12. On Monday, Gov. Branstad first said he was only recently made aware of the isolation rooms at the Iowa Juvenile Home. Later in the day, a spokesman said DHS had kept him apprised of the problems.