DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday issued a strong condemnation of the way Iowa treats people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, telling the state it must find ways to care for people in community settings and not in institutions or be sued.

A federal civil rights lawyer said in a letter and report sent to state officials that after a yearlong investigation the DOJ concluded Iowa likely violates the federal Americans with Disabilities Act by institutionalizing people who should be placed in community settings. The investigation focused on state-run institutions in Woodward and Glenwood.

Iowa Department of Human Services Director Kelly Garcia says she is committed to ensuring people are able to live their most independent lives possible.