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Human Rights Concerns at Iowa Juvenile Home

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TOLEDO, Iowa (AP) - Human rights lawyers are questioning the Iowa Juvenile Home's use of solitary rooms for teen girls in foster care for months at a time.

The Des Moines Register reports ( ) the state-run home where as many as 57 youths with behavior issues are treated uses isolation cells and sometimes withholds classroom instruction to control behavior.

Attorney Nathan Kirstein, with Disability Rights Iowa, says the home is violating state and federal rules, but because it's run by Iowa's Department of Human Services no one inspects it.

Iowa Department of Human Services Director Charles Palmer says the use of isolation rooms is warranted at times.

But since questions were raised, the home's superintendent retired. And the new director says now the isolation rooms are used for minutes, not months, at a time.

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