Within three weeks, six Massachusetts lawmakers will decide whether Massachusetts will ban the torture of disabled people like my son. I appeal to you to please see what happened to my son in the video, to please sign the petition, and to please ask your friends to sign too. We have just days.
My son suffers from autism and I enrolled him at the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, Massachusetts thinking he would be loved and taken care of. Instead, the staff at JRC tied my son to a four point board and shocked him for 7 hours because he refused to take off his coat. He screamed for help the entire time and was admitted to Boston Children's Hospital and diagnosed with catatonia post traumatic stress disorder. He has never completely recovered from it.
The Massachusett's State Senate rightfully passed Amendment #548, a budget amendenment that if signed into law would make it illegal to use painful electric shocks on the disabled in Massachusetts. Currently disabled people can be shocked or even have food witheld from them. This must stop and Senate Amendment #548 will do just that. There is also a “compromise” amendment, Amendment #555, that will allow students who are already being shocked inside of the JRC to continue to be tortured for the rest of their lives, but does not allow new students entering the JRC to be tortured. Massachusetts lawmakers should not compromise on torture.
Amendment 548 is now in a Conference Committee that includes Sen. Stephen M. Brewer (D-Barre), Sen. Jennifer Flanagan (D-Leominster), Sen. Michael Knapik (R-Westfield), Rep. Brian Dempsey (D-Haverhill), Rep. Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington) and Rep. Viriato Manuel deMacedo (R-Plymouth). These six lawmakers will decide whether Massachusetts continues to allow disabled people to be shocked and to have food withheld from them.
The JRC is the only place in the world that specializes in delivering extreme pain as a behavioral treatment for autistic individuals and delinquent youths, and non-painful methods exist elsewhere in the world for the same type of student population. This is an inhumane practice that the United Nations considers torture.
JRC’s founder, Dr. Matthew Israel, resigned after being charged with misleading a grand jury by destroying video footage of other students being shocked. The JRC has falsely claimed for years that their shock devices are FDA approved until that claim was removed from their website just days ago after being exposed on Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN).
More than 240,000 people have already signed the petition calling for an end to the practice of so called “aversive-therapy” at the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, MA. More than 8,000 of those signatures come from MA residents. Three former staff members from the Judge Rotenberg Center are now speaking out in support of the legislation introduced by Senator Brian Joyce.
Please sign and ask Sen. Stephen M. Brewer (D-Barre), Sen. Jennifer Flanagan (D-Leominster), Sen. Michael Knapik (R-Westfield), Rep. Brian Dempsey (D-Haverhill), Rep. Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington) and Rep. Viriato Manuel deMacedo (R-Plymouth) to make sure that no more disabled people can be legally tortured in their state.