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Report released on abuse of Iowa residents with disabilities

March 7, 2017 GMT

GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) — An investigation of verbal and physical abuse at an Iowa institution for residents with severe intellectual disabilities found that employees were poorly trained and lacked supervision, which led to unreported mistreatment and abuse.

The Joint Commission Resources consulting company wrote a 34-page report on the Glenwood State Resource Center, which houses more than 200 residents, after the state hired the company to investigate the causes of abuse at the center.

The Iowa Department of Human Services, which runs the facility, said in January that seven residents were physically abused and 13 residents were subjected to neglect or verbal abuse, which some workers failed to report.

Thirteen staff members quit or were fired over the allegations, and six face criminal charges.


The department released the report, labeled “confidential,” on Monday in response to an open-records request by The Des Moines Register ( ). Department officials referred to the abuse as “shameful,” but said it didn’t reflect the dedication of most of the facility’s nearly 800 employees or the treatment of most of the facility’s residents.

“Many of the administrative and supervisory staff interviewed were overwhelmed and felt they could not adequately supervise and complete all of their required workload,” the report says. “Many of the administrative/supervisory staff were tearful, remorseful, blaming themselves for incidents at the facility over the past months. Many stated they felt hopeless to accomplish everything they are tasked to do.”

Department spokeswoman Amy McCoy said her agency spent up to $65,000 to commission the report because it wants to understand and fix problems at the facility.

“We really wanted them to go in and do a deep dive,” she said. “We’re very serious about making changes that are necessary at the campus.”


Information from: The Des Moines Register,