GLENWOOD, Iowa — The Glenwood and Woodward Resource Centers serve more than 300 intellectually and physically disabled people, including children. The Department of Justice wants to know if the residents are receiving adequate care or being harmed.
Governor Reynolds says the State is cooperating with the investigation and acknowledges mistakes have been made.
“It is not acceptable, it is not adequate and we are making changes,” said Reynolds.
The DOJ sent a letter to the Governor on November 21st. It states that investigators are looking into “harmful and uncontrolled human subject experiments.” DHS says the focus is on “sexual arousal” and “optimal hydration” studies allegedly performed on Glenwood residents.
The DOJ is also concerned about “inadequate medical, nursing… and behavioral health care, harmful restraint practices and incidents of needless physical injury.”
DHS Director, Kelly Garcia, says DOJ investigators visited Glenwood on December 6th.
“They spent the day. They will be returning to do additional work,” said Garcia. “Right now there is a lot we don’t know, but we are working hard to make sure that we sort out those facts and we are working on some additional support to look at more of the process – the way the medical staff interact and other direct care.”
Garcia has also placed Glenwood’s Superintendent, Jerry Rea, on paid administrative leave. Garcia said “it is due to the seriousness of the allegation.”
The DHS says it will share more information as it becomes available and hopes to build trust through transparency.
“We can do better and we are going to do better,” said Reynolds.