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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5 Responses to The Truth About the Judge Rotenberg Center

  1. cams923 says:

    I was a student there, for five years. I was on the electric shockers, known as “GED”. Once a staff member who wasn’t bright, even to my personal opinion had her own mental delays, etc. had mistaken me saying to another house mate “Can I be a pain & ASK you to put cheese on my sandwich, please?” At this time, I wasn’t on the shockers, I had full “Independence” to be unsupervised in the residential setting. The staff called my case worker claiming I swore saying “ASS” instead of “ASK” I was then directed to get my own restrain bag which held the device shocker, and restrains in it. They placed my torso device back on me, and zapped me on my spine!!! I can not begin to tell you how badly that hurt. Then the staff who zapped me, who “broke” my contract then attempted to socialize with me, ahahaha…that’s not how my or any other students programs worked, when you did something to “break” your contract, you lost the privilege to speak, unless it was medical or an academic question. I made a fuss, with being shocked on my spine, they told my mom that they had investigated the concern, and they could not determine two things:

    1. Whether or not I actually had swore, for my voice was not clear in the audio
    2. Whether or not I was actually zapped on my spine for the staff was a bigger person, and they didn’t have a clear view from the video footage.

    Yes, I first spoke out defending this place, but over the years, my opinions on this have drastically, DRASTICALLY changed. They twisted my words, when my name is googled, pages among pages will appear, it’s the same quotes, just a different newspaper article. I’m in the progress of attempting to work on getting my name taken out of everything that links me to that school. I really hope I’m able to, because the only other choice would be to legally change my name. Until then I’m working on my own blog of this horrific school. And I’m NOT A STAR, I was a teenager whom had alot of different issues, some were behavioral, some were emotional, but as of TODAY, I’m a completely different person. Instead of disrespecting authority figures, I respect them, for I’m a MSO 5, which is the highest MSO level there is, with my company of 4 years. MSO stands for “MASTER SECURITY OFFICER” In conclusion, I hope they at least get rid some of their inhumane treatments, including the GED, and their food program where they literally force the students to be a vegan, or the students don’t eat, period. Another practice that really disturbs me is their LOP “Loss Of Privileges” Program where they offer mashed potatoes, spinach, boiled chicken, topped with liver powder to those whom are court ordered for this to be included in their treatment programs. If a person is non verbal, HOW THE HECK can they tell you if they had an “inappropriate” inappropriate is the school’s chosen word to describe when a student goes to the bathroom, outside of a bathroom setting…..
    Lastly, even to this day, I suffer from tension, anxiety, panic when someone is behind me. No human being regardless of their mental status, behavior status deserves this, hospitalizations, and prisons offer better life qualities, then this horrific “Treatment” Center!!!

    ~Katie Spartichino

  2. bee Zanis says:

    I am a special education teacher and work with teenagers some of whom have major behavioral issues. Never, never, NEVER is electro shock therapy used period to control behaviors. The individual is taught to control their own behaviors using various means, or these “maladaptive behaviors” are more often seen as a means of communication

    I am a special education teacher at high school level and work daily with students who exhibit major behaviors. What an atrocity it is to know this type of thing still exists. Torture is not teaching someone to behave!!!!!! I am also a parent of an adult child with special needs. and I would be out for blood if anyone did this type of treatment on him! I fought tooth and nail keeping my son out of a behavior school, threatening due process. He was going to be sent there because he was a very active, lively child who was independent, “difficult to control”.

  3. Joanne Holand says:

    The people who work in this institution need to be removed from this kind of work unless they are retrained about proper management of their charges. Some of them are probably sadists and need to be identified, charged, and need to do time. Others may not really know what is the right management for people with these kinds of differences. I have an autistic adult daughter who functions well, but would be mute and nonfunctional if treated the way these folks treat their students. The institution is beyond saving, and needs to be disbanded entirely.

  4. Jonas says:

    Pain is not treatment, it’s torture.

    Evil is taking, not giving, as in this case.

    Just being taken from my home and my parents,
    then restrained by sadistic grownups that are supposed to do anything but this,
    even without being tortured for hours on end, just being restrained,
    and screaming for mom and dad, realizing they will NOT come,
    and I’d go into coma for three days too.

    Exactly how is this gonna teach a “violent” kid NOT to be “violent”?
    That’s the question. Isn’t it simply ironic evil hypocricy?

    Do they WANT to bring upon the children everything from schizofrenia to suicide?
    These sick sadists don’t need jail.
    Only “therapy” for them would be something like Hell.
    Only problem is, they already know this themselves as well..

    Psychopathic satanists and luciferians have taken over.

    Time to DO SOMETHING yet?

    Vigilantcitizen com.
    Henrymakow com.
    Occupyjrc org.

  5. Anonymous says:

    it’s great to have a place where we can discuss this important issue!

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