Six Iowans with significant disabilities filed a class action lawsuit in federal court to stop Governor Kim Reynolds and Department of Human Services Director Charles Palmer from arbitrarily terminating or reducing the Medicaid services they depend on to stay in their homes in the community. If it were not for these services, the Plaintiffs and others like them would be confined in hospitals, nursing facilities or intermediate care facilities.
Find out everything you need to know about the class action lawsuit challenging the arbitrary termination of HCBS services here. Click the following link for the official press release. You can also click the following link to see Pleadings and related articles.
A Response to Iowa Girls Justice Initiative Recommendations: “Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Female Offenders: Service and System Recommendations for Iowa” dated February 2017. (See https://humanrights.iowa.gov/cjjp/females-and-juvenile-justice-0/iowa-girls-justice-initiative). The IGJI recommendations begin by noting that serious, violent, and chronic juvenile female offenders are at the center of a system and service crisis in juvenile justice in Iowa. The authors of this report offer a different way to look at this “crisis”. We do not believe this “crisis” is caused by the lack of a locked or staff-secure facility for “Serious, Chronic, and Violent” girls in Iowa, as the IGJI recommendations would have you believe. Rather, we believe the “crisis” is caused by a lack of female-responsive, culturally competent, trauma-informed, treatment-oriented, developmentally appropriate services for girls across the continuum of services for ALL girls involved with the juvenile justice system.
The authors of this response recommend that one way out of this “crisis” is to provide a level of community-based services here in Iowa that is not currently a part of Iowa’s juvenile justice continuum. One such organization that provides such services would be Youth Advocacy Programs (YAP). They serve similarly situated youth quite successfully in other states that have used this organization as an alternative to the use of locked facilities. If these girls cannot be served by these community-based services at home, then the authors recommend the use of these community-based services in a therapeutic foster home or regionally based group home for the youth. These services should be properly funded by the State of Iowa.
Read the Response to Iowa Girls Justice Initiative Recommendations February 2017
515-278-2502 Ext. 25
In honor of Human Rights Day this past weekend, DRI is proud to release our most recent publication “In Jail and Out of Options: An Examination of the Systemic Issues affecting the Housing and Treatment of Iowans with Mental Illness in County Jails.” This report, comprised of three parts, describes how individuals with mental illness have come to end up in county jails, how they are treated while they are incarcerated in these facilities, and what community stakeholders around Iowa are doing to combat this problem.
Click here for the FULL REPORT, “In Jail and Out of Options: An Examination of the Systemic Issues affecting the Housing and Treatment of Iowans with Mental Illness in County Jails.”
Only interested in one part? Use the links below to navigate to the part you want to retrieve:
Part I: Transinstitutionalization of Individuals with Mental Illness from Hospitals to Jails — How Iowa’s County Jails are Responding
Part II: Mental Health Treatment and Medications in Iowa’s County Jails
Part III: Systemic Solutions
On August 31st, DRI filed an amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief with the Iowa Supreme Court in support of an employee with mental illness. The case is about licensed mental health professionals, who worked for Magellan, directing hatred and ridicule towards another coworker who was suffering from major depression, the same type of serious mental illnesses for which their member-patients needed their help. They created a hostile environment when she tried to return to work after taking medical leave to cope with and recover from her depression. The brief deals with the stigma of mental illness in the workplace and society at large.
Click here for the Full Amicus brief.