The Truth About the Judge Rotenberg Center

The Truth About JRC is a site on which anyone who has concerns about the Judge Rotenberg Center can post information, participate in discussion or ask questions. The Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, Massachusetts is the only facility in the country, and likely the world, that uses extremely painful electric shock to control the behavior of people with disabilities.

For over 30 years children with disabilities and young people who have been deemed hard to manage have been sent to this “school” and subjected to electric shock and other painful and restrictive methods.  One expert said of the shock, “Technically, the lowest shock given by Rotenberg is roughly twice what pain researchers have said is tolerable for most humans (James Eason, Professor of Biomedical Engineering,  Washington and Lee University, New York Times, December 25, 2007).

We encourage people — especially current and former employees, people who have been housed at JRC, and family members to tell their stories. We want to hear from everyone who has concerns. Entries can be anonymous if you choose.

Often, parents are told that the Judge Rotenberg Center is the best (or only) place for their son or daughter. There has been nowhere for parents to learn what really goes on there.  It is hoped that this site will assure that parents know the truth before they send their children there.  It is a fallacy that there are no alternatives for children and adults with dangerous behaviors, short of being medicated or wasting away in the back ward of a state-run institution. Individuals just like those at the Judge Rotenberg Center and, in fact students who used to be at the Center, are being well served and leading meaningful, included lives with the support of humane, effective programs across the country. Because quality, positive alternatives exist, this treatment of our most vulnerable citizens should not be tolerated. We invite people who are concerned about the mistreatment at the Judge Rotenberg Center to participate in this discussion.

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