Petition Closed

For years now, the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, MA has utilized contingent electric shock, food deprivation, mechanical restraint and other aversive interventions as forms of treatment on disabled adults and children. Amendment #548 of the Senate FY 13 Budget bans the use of aversives. The United Nations has deemed the Judge Rotenberg Center's practice as torture and, through the UN's Special Rapporteur on Torture, has urged the United States government to end this practice. This makes the second time the UN has intervened. The prior intervention helped initiate the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division's current ongoing investigation on the center’s practices. 

Earlier this year, over 240,000 Americans joined together in signing a petition urging the State of Massachusetts to end the use of contingent electric shock and other aversives. Amendment #548 would ban contingent electric shock and other aversives, meaning a tremendous step forward in enshrining the rights of people with disabilities into the laws of the Commonwealth. The time has long since come for action to end the torture of disabled children and adults in Massachusetts.

Letter to
State Senator Stephen Brewer
MA Legislature Conference Committee
State Senator Michael Knapik
and 4 others
State Representative Stephen Kulik
State Representative Brian Dempsey
State Senator Jennifer Flanagan
State Representative Viriato Demacedo
I write to urge you to support Amendment #548, banning the use of aversive interventions in Massachusetts. For years now, the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, MA has utilized contingent electric shock, food deprivation, mechanical restraint and other aversive interventions as forms of treatment on disabled adults and children. Amendment #548 of the Senate FY 13 Budget bans the use of aversives. We urge you to give your support to this amendment as part of the FY 13 Budget Conference Committee Report.

The United Nations has deemed the Judge Rotenberg Center's practice as torture and, through the UN's Special Rapporteur on Torture, has urged the United States government to end this practice. This makes the second time the UN has intervened. The prior intervention helped initiate the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division's current ongoing investigation on the center’s practices. Furthermore, the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has already banned the use of contingent electric shock for new students entering the Judge Rotenberg Center. Shouldn't those students already within the JRC possess the same right to be free of torture and abusive treatment?

Earlier this year, over 240,000 Americans joined together in signing a petition urging the State of Massachusetts to end the use of contingent electric shock and other aversives. Amendment #548 would ban contingent electric shock and other aversives, meaning a tremendous step forward in enshrining the rights of people with disabilities into the laws of the Commonwealth. We implore you to ensure that Amendment #548 is enacted into law so that all people can receive necessary treatment, support, and services in an environment t free of fear, abuse, and torture.