The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says that its agents are investigating allegations of abuse–both physical and psychological–and neglect at the Southwest Idaho Treatment Center in Nampa, Idaho.
Some of the allegations were made by an employee of the center who, the department says, followed “internal policies” a few weeks ago. Neither that employee’s name nor the names of the allegedly abusive staff members is being made public at this time. The accused staff members have, said the Department, been placed on paid leave.
“These actions go against everything we stand for and are being treated with the utmost urgency,” said Department of Health and Welfare Director Russ Barron in a press release about the investigation.
Southwest Idaho Treatment Center assesses, treats and then trains people with intellectual disabilities so that they can be transitioned into their communities. At the time of the alleged abuse the center had more than 100 employees caring for 25 residents. Investigators say that they believe the alleged abuse and neglect to be the acts of a few employees all working in a single section of the facility and on the same shift.
The Department says that it expects its investigation to be finished by the end of the month. The Nampa Police Department has been informed.
The exact nature of the abuse was not revealed but we know that 7 residents are affected. The number of employees who are accused is not known. (Local media have reported that a dozen employees were initially investigated by DHW with the local police department formally opening 5 cases.)