Juvenile court officers on Tuesday painted a bleak picture of the fate of delinquent girls in Iowa since the closing of the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo. Court officials report as many as 40 girls would have been referred to the Toledo home in the months since the governor ordered it closed. Instead, many are waived to adult court or are spending more time in jail.
Judicial Branch spokesman David Boyd says those girls deserve the kind of treatment boys are getting at the facility Eldora. “What we’re talking about is a level of care…which, in our opinion, is currently missing in Iowa,” Boyd said.
Wendy Rickman, with the Iowa Department of Human Services, told lawmakers that the Toledo home is not missed. “That level of care is not necessary,” Rickman said. “The girls who otherwise would have been or could have been sent to the training school are receiving appropriate services.”
The state ombudsman concluded the girls who were placed elsewhere when the home closed were treated properly. The Iowa Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments next week in a lawsuit against the governor over his closing of the Toledo facility.