The Iowa Department of Human Services is refusing to release another security camera video that allegedly shows a youth being mistreated at the state-run Iowa Juvenile Home.
During the past year, The Des Moines Register has requested three separate videos that allegedly show state workers at the Toledo home physically abusing or improperly restraining youths.
Before the current controversy erupted over the home’s use of isolation and restraints, the Iowa Department of Human Services disclosed one of the videos.
Since then, however, the department has argued that videos showing children being forcibly restrained by department employees are not public documents, in part because it claims the restraints are a form of mental health treatment.
Two of the videos resulted in four workers at the home being fired. One worker now faces a criminal charge of assault for the use of restraint that is depicted in one of the videos.
The most recent dispute over access to a video relates to security camera footage of a July 18 incident in the home’s Support Unit, which is where the home has historically kept children in concrete-block isolation cells for weeks and months at a time.
The video reportedly shows a worker at the home shutting a door on the body of a teenage girl who was trying to leave one of the isolation rooms. State records indicate there was a physical conflict, and the girl was forcibly restrained by at least one worker. Later, while being transferred to a different isolation room, the girl tried to use a drinking fountain, and staff restrained her again.