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.