Lawmakers request investigation of juvenile home

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Two Democratic lawmakers want the Iowa Ombudsman to investigate operations at the Toledo Juvenile Home.

Des Moines Sen. Jack Hatch and Mason City Sen. Amanda Ragan said Monday that an independent review is needed to ensure that the home is safe.

The Toledo home houses, treats and educates youths with serious behavioral problems. The federally funded advocacy organization Disability Rights Iowa has been investigating allegations about the treatment of children with behavioral problems at the home, including the longtime use of isolation cells.

Republican Gov. Terry Branstad says the senators have the right to seek an investigation. He says his administration is working to “change the culture” at the home.

Obumbdsman Ruth Cooperrider says she will probably do the investigation, though she has not formally declared her plans.

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