Justice Department settles with State of Iowa over ‘unconstitutional conditions’ at Glenwood Resource Center

The Glenwood Resource Center.
The Glenwood Resource Center.
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 4:06 PM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - On Thursday, the Justice Department announced it had filed a consent decree to resolve the department’s claims that the State exposes Glenwood residents to “unreasonable harm and serious risk...”

The decree prohibits uncontrolled and unsupervised experiments, dramatically limits the use of restraints and seclusion, and requires substantial State oversight over all aspects of Glenwood’s operation. It also requires better staffing, training, and oversight for clinical care;

In addition, the decree requires greater transparency, through public reporting and engagement with stakeholders. The proposed consent decree appoints an independent monitor who will assess the State’s compliance with the decree’s terms.

“This agreement makes clear that the basic constitutional rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in state-run facilities must be protected. Our agreement will ensure adequate oversight of and accountability at Glenwood, and requires extensive public reporting to promote transparency and rebuild public trust. For those who are leaving Glenwood, our agreement requires the State to help them transition to services that will meet their needs in the most integrated setting and support them in engaging with the broader community,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

The consent decree must still be approved by the court.

The proposed consent decree does not resolve the department’s notice issued in December 2021 regarding the unnecessary institutionalization of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities at Glenwood and Woodward Resource Centers. Negotiations to resolve that notice are ongoing.