The Judge Rotenberg Center
On Wednesday, June 21, 2006 there was a
press conference held in the State House. It was hosted by Sen. Brian
Joyce, the following individuals spoke against painful behavioral
Kenneth Mollins (NY
Rep. Barbara L'Italien
Rep. Tom Sannicandro
Leo Sarkissian, Exec. Dir. The Arc of Mass.
Stan Eichner, Exec. Dir. Disability Law
To hear a recording of this
conference, go to:
An 8 minute piece on JRC aired Monday, June on WBUR's
Here and Now
with Robin Young:
Last night( Wednesday,
June 21, 2006) at 6:00 p.m. on Fox 25:
Geraldo at Large
A report on a Massachusetts school for emotionally disturbed children
that uses electric shocks as a disciplinary measure.
Interviews with Leo
Sarkissian and Kenneth Mollins, a New York attorney representing former
and current Judge Rotenberg Center students from New York who are suing
New York state for alleged human rights violations at JRC.
Through the findings phase
of this litigation, Mollins has found evidence of:
Electric shocks administered to the
A deaf child regularly shocked for not
listening to verbal instructions.
A person shocked repeatedly for squinting.
A student shocked for moving from her seat
to go to the bathroom.
A nonverbal, student with significant
retardation was shocked for moaning which was her only means of
Students tied down on boards and hours later
and shocked repeatedly for behavior unrealized by the student.
Indiscriminate, uncontrolled shock is
administered mechanically to students with no supervision at all.
Students are burned in multiple areas of
their body and the burns go unreported and sometimes untreated.
The Association of
Developmental Disabilities Providers (ADDP), representing 106
community-based providers of direct care services and family support to
those with developmental disabilities has announced its support for this
legislation (see attached page). ADDP's membership holds more than 65
percent of the DMR’s community residential, day and family support
THE SUFFOLK GROUP, LLC
77 FRANKLIN STREET
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS 02110-1510
TELEPHONE (617) 303.4568
FACSIMILE (617) 723.3163
PROHIBIT AVERSIVE BEHAVIORAL PROGRAMS USED ON THE DISABLED
The Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers (ADDP) requests
favorable consideration in supporting the Senate budget amendment
Senator Brian Joyce. ADDP is a diverse group of 106 community-based
direct care services and family support to those with developmental
membership holds more than 65 percent of the Department of Mental
community residential, day and family support contracts.
Current Massachusetts law fails to prohibit the use of “painful aversive
including the intentional infliction of pain for the purpose of changing
people with disabilities. These often extreme physical interventions are
not proven to be
effective methods of changing behavior, only a suppression of symptoms.
Two types of aversive treatments are:
· Shock A pre-specified number of electrical shocks to the bare skin of
the arms, legs,
or thighs is administered by hand-held devise, remote control, or
device attached to the individual. The electronic shock devices are
unapproved by the
FDA because of their likelihood for staff error and misfiring as well as
substantial record for causing burns and blisters.
· Deprivation Aversive therapies often entail the denial of adequate
bedding or bathroom facilities, and even food. One child who later died
perforated ulcer had been placed on a diet of only 300 calories a day.
She was 5’5”
tall and weighed 90 pounds when she died.
These forms of aversive therapies not only raise questions of
constitutional and civil
rights, but have been deemed ineffective and easily replaced by many
programs and drug therapies. This is why the Association of
Providers has joined with more than over 20 organizations including,
Coalition for the Legal Rights of People with Disabilities, The National
Children and Adults with Autism, Parents Campaign Against Violence, and
Massachusetts Civil Liberties Union to raise awareness of the use of