Friday, April 30, 2010

Electro Shocking Misbehaving Children and Adolescents

100 children are at a “special needs” residential facility in Massachusetts center, JRC, where children and adults with disabilities tortured and abused. The JUDGE ROTENBERG CENTER (JRC) is a special needs school in Canton, Massachusetts serving ages 3-adult. For 38 years JRC has provided very effective education and treatment to both emotionally disturbed students with conduct, behavior, emotional, and/or psychiatric problems and developmentally delayed students with autistic-like behaviors.

One can only assume how many are adoptees.

Mental Disability Rights International (MDRI) has filed an urgent appeal with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture to demand the United States government end the torture immediately.

In a report released today, Torture not Treatment: Electric Shock and Long-Term Restraint in the United States on Children and Adults with Disabilities at the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC), MDRI documents the use of electric shocks on the legs, arms, torsos and soles of feet of people with disabilities – for weeks, months and sometimes years. JRC uses punishments as treatment and US advocates have been trying for decades to close the school and end these practices. The school also uses four-point restraint boards, tying children to the boards while simultaneously shocking them for hours; mock assaults; food deprivation; shock chairs; isolation and long-term restraint. Residents at JRC are diagnosed with a variety of behavioral, intellectual and psychiatric disabilities such as autism, bi-polar disorder and learning disabilities.

Laurie Ahern, President of MDRI, states, “The cruelty perpetrated against children and adults at JRC is psychological and physical abuse, couched in the name of ‘treatment.’ The severe pain and suffering leveled against residents there violates the United Nations Convention against Torture. And to the best of MDRI's knowledge, JRC is the only facility of any kind in the US – and perhaps the world –that uses electricity combined with long-term restraint and other punishments to intentionally cause pain to children with behavioural challenges and calls it treatment.”

MDRI calls on the Special Rapporteur, along with the Obama Administration and the Department of Justice, to end the abuses against people with disabilities at JRC. MDRI is an international human rights and advocacy organisation dedicated to the rights protection and full participation in society of people with disabilities worldwide.

In March, The Boston Globe reported:

THE JUDGE Rotenberg Center in Canton, which stands alone in its use of painful skin shocks to eradicate self-mutilation and sudden assault, is a storehouse of ethical and medical dilemmas. But it’s no shock - and no shame - that the parents of some autistic and mentally retarded children embrace this controversial school.

The Rotenberg Center has been investigated numerous times by state agencies and reporters. Serious irregularities have been uncovered over the years, most recently in 2007 when a child was ordered shocked 77 times in three hours as a result of an elaborate prank orchestrated by a former student. Just last month, the US Justice Department agreed to investigate the center based on charges of “inhumane practices’’ - largely related to shocks for seemingly minor infractions - brought by 31 disability advocacy groups....

The Rotenberg Center is a highly structured behavior modification program that requires students to earn nearly every privilege - even a chance to relax with each other - by staying on task and not acting up. The road to its door is long. Parents, as a rule, don’t even consider placement until their children have been expelled from several other special needs schools.


Anonymous said...

I always wondered why my mum was such a conformist, although, at the same time had a strong hatred of injustice. By the time she was 19 years of age, she had been given three sets of electric shock treatment, accused of being manic depressive, her father left home when she was seven!! A wonderful woman with her personality subdued, in the interests of medical science!!??? They stole part of her away.

Mirah said...

I'm so sorry. I believe the electric shock given to patients in the past in mental hospitals and being used still for depression that effects the brain is different. This is behavior modification by shocking other parts of the body - more like being tasered with a stun gun.

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