About the Judge Rotenberg Center
The Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) is a school and treatment facility based in Canton, Massachusetts that uses electric shocks (remotely administered through devices that are required to be worn on the student's body throughout the day), withholding of food and other abuses in the name of 'behavioral change' all geared toward kids and adults with developmental challenges, autism and/or psychiatric and emotional difficulties. Other accusations against the school have included reports of excessive use of restraints and forced inhalation of ammonia. Former teachers, parents and advocates have spoken out about the obvious traumatic impact of these measures on both the children who are treated in this way and the children who witness their classmates being so treated. IT IS THE ONLY SCHOOL IN THE NATION THAT USES THIS PAINFUL 'AVERSIVE' CONDITIONING.
The school's founder - Matthew L. Israel - studied under B.F. Skinner, known for his testing of animals in "Skinner boxes" where they were forced to act in a particular way to get a reward or avoid painful stimulus. Israel first began testing his theory behind the aversive therapy that he developed on a three-year-old child with whom he was living (snapping his finger against his roommate's daughter's cheek when she did something he deemed as 'bad').
JRC's practices have officially been declared to be torture by United Nations experts. Nonetheless, JRC is allowed to continue to prey on families who are desperate and vulnerable, encouraging them with promises of lavish grounds and rewards and an answer to all their troubles. (Although recent legislation prohibits use of shocks on NEW students, promotional materials sent to inquiring parents continue to refer to shocking as a possible course of treatment and existing students are still subject to this torture.)
JRC accepts children as young as three-years-old. Overall, children are lured in by garish colors and design featuring a Wizard of Oz theme stock full of animatronics, a real live yellow brick road, and a non-stop loop of the Wizard of Oz film projected on the wall of their 'Yellow Brick Road' rewards center. THE COST OF ATTENDING JRC IS WELL OVER $200,000 PER YEAR PER STUDENT, MOST OF WHICH IS COVERED BY TAX-PAYER DOLLARS.