ADAPT Pushes Legislative Answer to Contingent Shock Torture

From ADAPT, March 20, 2018

Police confronting ADAPT Activist in ADAPT Freedom Park

Breaking News:
Police have given ADAPT activists an ultimatum to
abondon their nearly fortnight-long vigil within 24 hours or face arrest.
ADAPT is there demanding FDA release regulations, that are over two
years old, banning the use of electric shock torture of people with
disabilities. The vigil has been taking place in the park, they've aptly
christened ADAPT Freedom Park, across the street from FDA
Commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s posh condominium apartment.

Disability rights activists from the national organization ADAPT returned to Capitol Hill today to push for legislation that would end the use of aversive electric shock as a way to control disabled people. Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) announced on Friday that he would author a bill to ban the shock devices, which he described as “torture – plain and simple,” built and used at the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, Massachusetts. The practice, which has been widely condemned by survivors, disability advocates, the Food and Drug Administration, the Depart of Justice and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, has been abandoned by all other institutions as both ineffective and an ethics violation.

“Institutions are horrible places,” said Dawn Russell, an ADAPT organizer. “You lose all control of your life, and they are full of abuse. But the JRC stands out because of this shock.”

“The entire reason this device exists is to cause pain and fear. It’s been repeatedly modified to hurt more and more,” said Anita Cameron, from the Rochester, NY, chapter. “That’s not treatment. That’s torture.” The group has maintained a vigil outside FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s home at Pennsylvania Ave. and L St. NW, where they have been since March 9, calling on Gottlieb to release the regulations. The FDA announced these regulations almost 2 years ago when they had written it to ban the devices after concluding there was “an unreasonable and substantial risk to public health.”

For decades ADAPT has worked to secure for disabled Americans the same rights and liberties enjoyed by their nondisabled neighbors. Learn more about ADAPT’s history and activities at, on social media with the NationalADAPT Facebook page and on the @NationalADAPT Twitter, and under the hashtag #ADAPTandRESIST. You can also follow the fight against the JRC shock device at and #StopTheShock.

Go to Civil Rights

Go to Home Page

Go to Top of Page