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Mentally disabled workers found in squalor

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posted on Feb, 11 2009 @ 10:50 PM

Mentally disabled workers found in squalor

State officials on Tuesday confirmed they are working with Iowa authorities after 21 mentally disabled men from Texas, some in a “deteriorated state,” were recovered from a rancid bunkhouse run by a turkey company.

The men, all employees of Henry’s Turkey Service of Goldthwaite, Texas, and who range in age from 39 to 71, were found living inside a 106-year-old school building with trailers attached in the tiny eastern Iowa town of Atalissa, a 30-minute drive from Iowa City.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Feb, 11 2009 @ 10:50 PM
The treatment this men received is absolutely atrocious. Each man was charged in excess of $1,000 a month, and sometimes cleared as little as $65 a month after everything was said and done. And to top it off, their disability checks were signed over to their employer. Unbelievable!

This is reminiscent of the company towns that flourished during the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s, where the company employees were required to live in substandard company housing and purchase their food and goods from the company stores at inflated prices.

The sad part is that some of these men have lived and worked for this company under these horrid conditions for up to three decades. How is it possible that this type of abuse is allowed to fester for such a prolonged period of time?

Heads are going to roll for this one, as they very well should.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Feb, 11 2009 @ 11:12 PM
My little brother was retarded and it really gets to me when people treat mentally challenged people this way. I hope the people associated with this operation get the book thrown at them.

My little brother only wanted a friend. And he loved road trips. One day somebody he thought was his friend showed up with a boom box and told my little brother that if he pawned it, they would go on a road trip to a nude donut shop in Wyoming. When you pawn something, you have to sign an affidavit that it is your property. My brother did so because Craig gave the boom box to him. Well Craig's mom reported her boom box stolen. The police recovered the boom box in their pawn shop detail. My brother was sent to jail and given an attorney because he could never afford one. His court attorney told him he would rot in jail until he signed a plea bargain. We could not hire a lawyer or get him out of jail. He spent 13 months in El Paso County Colorado Jail until he pled his case and received probation.

Why did Craig do what he did to my retarded little brother? He was a police informant and they wanted results from him or they were going to cut him loose and let him face whatever charges they had on him. He did not have any real criminals to give them, so he set up my little brother.

If I could find the defense attorney who represented Don, I would gut him like a fish. Craig took a trip to the mountains with some unsavory people. I do not feel bad about what happened to him there.

[edit on 2-11-2009 by groingrinder]

posted on Feb, 12 2009 @ 01:35 AM
It is truely disgusting how some people can treat others. Both of these stories are just awful! I sometimes wonder if there are more bad, sick people in the world than there are decent, moral people. Reading stuff like this really makes a person wonder.

What comes around goes around and I hope these people get what's coming to them.

posted on Feb, 12 2009 @ 02:00 AM
Texas - what do you expect.

The state that kidnapped hundreds of children because they didn't like their religion.

The state that has put more innocent people in prison than any other in the U.S.

The state that has executed the most innocent people in our country.

So, Texas abusing the mentally ill is no surprise or reach from my perspective.

posted on Feb, 12 2009 @ 02:01 AM
I think the state of Texas is going to have some problems with this.
it sounds like the old Texas Rehabilitation Commission just shipped these men out of there state and forgot about them.

I wonder if someone on the commission got a kickback from the people that ran this company for supplying them.

See how long before a lawyer steps forward to represent them in a lawsuit.

posted on Feb, 12 2009 @ 10:57 AM
reply to post by ANNED

You bring up an excellent point. The Texas Rehabilitation Commission is as culpable for the injustices these men endured, just as much as the company who exploited them. In fact, the TRC states that there hasn't been any contract with this company, Henry's Turkey Service, for at least the last ten years. Of course, they have no real way of ascertaining to the last time TRC had an agreement in place, as their records only go back a decade. How's that for bureaucracy!

The point is these men were left high and dry by the very state department that was responsible for their well being. Let's not just hide our mentally ill, let's exploit them while we're at it. Disgusting.

posted on Feb, 12 2009 @ 11:08 AM
Greed rules the day! Everything bad in this country is caused by greed is what I am observing. Sick, poor fellows. I hope they are convicted.

posted on Feb, 12 2009 @ 02:33 PM

The wheels of justice are beginning to turn in this case.

Federal civil rights prosecutors today were expected to charge a Texas labor broker with illegally discriminating against 21 mentally disabled men recently discovered living in what authorities have described as an Iowa work camp.

"We're moving on it today," Janet Elizondo, deputy director of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Dallas, said this morning.

Elizondo said the charge would be filed on behalf of the mentally disabled men taken into protective custody this week by Iowa officials. The men, who were all living in a century-old school building in eastern Iowa, were working for Henry's Turkey Service in Atalissa, Iowa for the past 30 years.

Henry's, based in Goldthwaite, near Abilene, sent the men to area meat processing plants in Iowa, working for as little as 44 cents an hour. The plants paid the men's wages directly to Henry's, who in turn, took most of their wages for room and board inside the schoolhouse.

news source

Emphasis mine.

It's a crying shame that these men have been exploited to this extreme. The kicker is that the company, Henry's Turkey Service, has been operating in Iowa since 1966. That is nearly 45 years.

Here's the kicker though, the company's owner died last year and the remaining business partners are claiming they were making plans to "retire" the men to a ranch somewhere in Texas. However, the ranch in question turns out to be a nursing home in Midland, Texas, and retirement apparently means still eligible for hire.

However, workers said some of the men who have already arrived at a nursing facility in Midland have been hired out by Henry’s to work.

Six men were placed at a facility in Midland, and Dru Neubauer, a caretaker in Iowa for the men since 1996, said she received a call from a female employee at the Texas facility asking for the men’s Social Security cards.

“She said they needed them for work,” Neubauer said. “I didn’t understand that. I thought they were retired.”

How pathetic is that. I hope these shady and shameless exploiters get their hides nailed to the proverbial wall.

posted on Feb, 12 2009 @ 03:05 PM
Somebody--in Texas or Iowa or both--was getting paid off.

There is no excuse for these men to disappear off the radar of the social services agency responsible for them, or for there to be no records that go father back than ten years. Again, que bono? And how many other people who are/were the responsibility of the Texas Rehabilitation Commission have been exploited or lost track of?

It seems as though if the men were capable of, and wanted to, work social services could find something part time for them, as long, of course, as they continued to get the full amount of their disability checks and providing that they had decent working and living conditions. In my state the developmentally delayed have to be paid the equivalent of the local wage for the same job.

Some of them appear to be too old to work, and some may not want to--I'm just thinking about whether all of them would want to be in a nursing home, or the equivalent of one, just yet. If they could work in the turkey plant then at least some of them are probably functioning fairly well.

Just as long as they don't disappear off the radar again, and the State of Texas has not proved it is capable or honest enough to be trusted with their care.

posted on Feb, 12 2009 @ 03:45 PM
Where there is commercial opportunity, there is exploitation.

Our government was intended to prevent that.

They don't.

posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 05:15 PM
Just when I thought this case couldn't get any uglier...

A Texas labor broker earned as much as $40,000 a month off the labor of mentally disabled men sent to work in an Iowa meat processing plant, employees told the Houston Chronicle....


Neubauer said from $7,000 to $10,000 in wages were earned each week by the 21 men.

news source

Of course, the company at the center of this controversy is remaining mum on this situation. If this isn't a call for reform of state mental health and rehabilitation programs, I don't know what is. Talk about exploitation and capitalist greed.

If this case had happened in any other part of the world, there would be much venom spewed as to how inhuman those regions can be. But the truth is this is happening on our own doorstep. Our country is not immune from fatal flaws that some are quick to condemn others.

Be that as it may, there are a few people that will roast in Hell over this disgraceful incident.

posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 06:18 PM
$1000 a month rent? Geez. I don't know how the rent is in Texas, but to me that sounds like what you'd pay for a small private house.

I can't even write my feelings on this story, hurts me to read it. The most vulnerable people get hurt the most.

What I'm afraid of, from my understanding reading that article, is that this turkey plant was a solution way back when to a previous problem. I hope that from this they don't create another "solution" to this which ends up being worse and more secret.

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