State Training School

The primary purpose of the State Training School at Eldora is to provide a continuum of supervision and rehabilitation programs, which meet the needs of males adjudicated delinquent, in a manner consistent with public safety. These services and programs individualize treatment and control the offender for his own benefit and the protection of society. The facility provides a range of services that are geared toward:

  • Providing a structured treatment setting for males between the ages of 12 to 18;
  • Providing the most appropriate setting while protecting communities;
  • Developing individual care plans which provide a diversity of innovative and effective programs within the framework of professional correctional standards, legislative intent and available resources;
  • Providing a comprehensive education program for youth; and
  • Facilitating the transition of the young man back to his community.

The State Training School establishes policies and procedures in accordance with standards set forth by the American Correctional Association (ACA) and the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

In 2015, the American Correctional Association (ACA) Accreditation Board conferred full unrestricted accreditation on the STS for the maximum 3-year period.

Who is eligible to receive services:

Males 12 to 18 years old that have been adjudicated delinquent and who meet one of the following criteria:

  • Age 12 and adjudicated for a forcible felony; or
  • Age 12 and adjudicated for violation of Code of Iowa Chapter 707; or
  • Age 12 and adjudicated for a substance abuse felony; or 

3 out of 4 of the following:

  • At least 15 years of age and the court finds the placement to be in the best interests of the youth or necessary for the protection of the public;
  • Previous out-of-home placement for purpose of treatment;
  • Adjudicated for offense against a person and which would be an aggravated misdemeanor or a felony if an adult committed the act;
  • Has previously been adjudicated delinquent.

Structure of the organization:

The facility is operated by the Iowa Department of Human Services, under the directorship of Jerry R. Foxhoven and under the leadership of Richard Shults, Administrator, Division of Mental Health and Disability Services.  The facility's superintendent is Mark Day.

Services provided:

Clinical Program

The State Training School offers a holistic social, behavioral, psychiatric, academic and vocational program that utilizes counseling, treatment and consequences paired with praise and opportunity. Youth encounter fair and consistent rules which demonstrate respect for others, and, ultimately self-respect. Opportunity in the form of educational, vocational, social and recreational programs offers students the chance to find stability in their lives and security in their future.  Transitional services are provided by Training School staff as well as contract staff in an effort to maximize each student’s chances for success upon return home. Special programs which are available in addition to individual and group counseling are:

  • Risks and Decisions group
  • Substance Abuse Program
  • Sexual Abuse Program
  • Psychiatric and Psychology Services
  • Transition Services

Educational Program

A comprehensive educational program is available for students, of whom the majority have significant learning and/or behavior problems and have need of special education services.  Educational programs include:

  • General education studies
  • Special education programs
  • Title I
  • General Educational Development (HiSET)
  • Competency-based vocational programs

People served:

The facility is located in Eldora and serves youth for all 99 Iowa counties. 

Catchment Area

Eldora Map

How to apply for services or refer someone to this facility:

To be admitted, students must be court-ordered to the facility.

How to get more information:

State Training School for Boys
3211 West Edgington
Eldora, Iowa 50627
Telephone: 641-858-5402

For Administration, contact Mark Day, Superintendent

For Clinical Services, contact Brett Lawrence, Treatment Services Director

For PREA or compliance, contact Lynn Allbee, Treatment Program Administrator

For Business services, contact Jon Kies, Business Manager 

For Educational services, contact Joel Weeks, Education Administrator

For Employment information, contact Ella Dohlman, Personnel

    Click here to apply for a Youth Service Worker position