GLENWOOD, Iowa — Editor's Note: The video above is from December 2021.
Following years of investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, one of Iowa's facilities for those with disabilities will be closing its doors for good in just two years.
Gov. Kim Reynolds, Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver and House Speaker Pat Grassley made the announcement on Thursday, more than two years after the DOJ began its investigation into human experimentation at the facility.
The facility will officially close in 2024.
In its latest report from December 2021, the DOJ concluded the second and final phase of its investigation into the state-run facility for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It also investigated Woodward Resource Center, located in Woodward.
The Iowa Department of Human Services is in charge of these facilities.
The initial investigation started in November 2019 with the Civil Rights Division and the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa. Federal officials launched the investigation following reports of human experimentation.
In December 2020, the DOJ released a report detailing its history of investigating the facilities and its belief that Iowa has a pattern of endangering residents and violating their rights by conducting experiments without consent.
According to the release from DHS, Glenwood will continue to care for its residents while transitioning them to community placements or the Woodward facility.
"Despite the progress that has been made, significant challenges remain," says the release from DHS. "While negotiations with the DOJ continue, the expectations that have been outlined for services, workforce, and additional investment at GRC cannot be attained and sustained long term at the facility. Accordingly, in line with its commitment to serving individuals in the least restrictive setting, the state will enhance support to community providers as it simultaneously looks to expand services at Woodward Resource Center, making it a central point of care delivery and coordination for vulnerable Iowans."
Staffers will be offered retention incentives to continue working at Glenwood during the transition. The state will work with them "in identifying new career opportunities in Iowa as their employment nears an end."
The state will also work with local governments and communities to "minimize the impact on the Glenwood community and Mills County, and to identify alternative uses for the GRC campus after the facility closes."
DHS will work with care providers throughout the state to build the resources needed to ensure access to care for Iowans with disabilities.
Watch more coverage of the Glenwood Resource Center on Local 5's YouTube channel