CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — The U.S. Department of Justice says the Iowa Department of Human Services and staff at the Glenwood Resource Center violated residents’ 14th Amendment rights by providing inadequate care and experimenting on them without their knowledge or consent.

“Iowa operates Glenwood in a manner that has subjected residents to unreasonable harm and risk of harm, in violation of their Fourteenth Amendment rights, by exposing them to:

• Uncontrolled and unsupervised physical and behavioral experimentation;

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• Inadequate physical and behavioral health care; and

• Inadequate protections from harm, including deficient safety and oversight mechanisms,” according to the 63-page report DHS released in late December.

The 14th Amendment says the government can’t deprive any American of life, liberty or property without due process.

The DOJ continues to investigate whether Glenwood has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act at the facility in western Iowa.

The federal probe, which started in 2019, resulted in the firing of Jerry Rea as superintendent. Former residents have alleged in a federal lawsuit that Rea used residents in sexual arousal experiments without their permission.

The report includes four pages of remedies that the Justice Department says it will work with the DHS to implement.

DHS released the following statement:

“We spoke with our federal partners and continue to work with them on the best path forward to ensure we provide the best care to those we serve. The department is in the process of reviewing these findings. We will continue discussions with our legal counsel and the DOJ. We have been in a collaborative role in this process from day one.

“As we are still in legal conversations related to the matter, we do not have any further comment to provide at this time. Just as we have this entire past year, we will continue to keep all of our stakeholders updated, including the families of our residents, legislators and the public. Our highest priority is the care and well-being of those we serve.”

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