Department of Justice: State of Iowa Allowed Experimentation on Citizens

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(Des Moines, IA) -- An investigation from the U.S. Department of Justice finds the State of Iowa violated people's rights by allowing experimentation on resource center residents.

The conclusion of the investigation finds the residents at Glenwood and Woodward Resource Centers, state-run institutions for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities, were subjected to environments in violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The DOJ looked into allegations of "sexual arousal studies" and other human experiments at the Glenwood and Woodward Resource Centers, finding the state of Iowa failed to provide services to people with intellectual disabilities.

The superintendent of Glenwood, Jerry Rea, was placed on administrative leave in December of 2019. The Des Moines Register reports the Rea had a history of research into "sexual behavior".

In a Justice Department release, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division says:

“People with disabilities should not be unlawfully isolated and unreasonably denied access to the community-based services they need. The Civil Rights Division will actively defend the rights of individuals with disabilities to participate fully in community life.”

The DOJ investigation found the state of Iowa exposed residents of the centers to harm through uncontrolled and unsupervised experimentation, with inadequate physical and behavioral health care.

Legal action will be taken against the State of Iowa if the settings of the resource centers are not reformed.

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