#StopTheShock at the Judge Rotenberg Center

From the Autism Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), April 11, 2018

An illustration of a construction site-style metal warning sign. At the top, white text on a red background reads: ATTENTION! Below that is large text which reads: “PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES ARE BEING TORTURED AT THE JRC." Next to the text is a warning symbol depicting a person being electrocuted against a yellow triangle background. Below the warning symbol is text reading #StopTheShock.

What’s happening at the Judge Rotenberg Center?

The Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) is an institution in Massachusetts for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), mental health disabilities, and learning disabilities, including many autistic people. The people held at the JRC are disproportionately people of color. The Judge Rotenberg Center tortures some of the people living there using an electric shock device called a Gradual Electronic Decelerator (GED). Children and adults at the JRC are forced to wear the GED on their bodies. Using a remote control, someone else can use the GED to give an electric shock to the person wearing it. The JRC uses the GED as an “aversive:” they use the pain of the electric shock to punish people for doing certain things.

The FDA has the power to stop this torture

Because of the way the GED has hurt people, the United Nations put out a report calling the use of the GED “torture”. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the government organization in the United States that decides what kinds of medical treatments can be used on people, even put out their own report 4 years ago that said the GED should be banned.  

But they still haven’t put the ban into action.

On April 24, 2014, the FDA held a hearing that led them to conclude that there is no way to use the GED without significant harm, and recommend a ban. Since then, they have drafted final regulations which would ban the use of electric shock devices as aversives. But as the fourth anniversary of the 2014 hearing approaches, the FDA still has not released the regulations. We need your help to show them that our community will not stand for this.

Here's how you can #StopTheShock

#StopTheShock Fact Sheet


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