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Judge: Attorneys owed $4.9 million in juvenile center suit

January 8, 2021 GMT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge has ordered Iowa to pay more than $4.9 million to attorneys in a lawsuit filed over treatment practices at the Eldora Boys State Training School.

Judge Stephanie Rose ruled last year that discipline methods used at the school inflicted “torture” on the boys. The plaintiffs, former residents at the home and advocacy groups, did not seek any monetary damages in the lawsuit.

Lawyers for the state had contended that attorneys for the plaintiffs had inflated their fees and used too many lawyers during the case.

Rose ruled this week that the fee requests were reasonable and reduced the amount by only $10,000, The Des Moines Register reported.


The school, run by the Iowa Department of Human Services, houses boys who have committed crimes. During the trial last year, testimony indicated troubled boys — some as young as 14 — were often kept in isolation for weeks at a time or endured a restraint device called “the wrap” that left them immobilized for up to five hours.

The state replaced leaders of the school and officials say the center made changes ordered by the judge.