07/16/18 PRESS ALERT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information:
Rhoda Gibson: (617) 504-1792
Olivia Richard: (857) 719-9452
Harriotte Ranvig: (617) 306-1414
WHAT: Request Governor Baker to appeal Bristol county decision to allow use of GED at JRC
WHERE: Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02133
WHEN: July 16th, 2008 at 11am
DISABILITY RIGHTS ACTIVISTS CALL FOR GOVERNOR BAKER TO APPEAL BRISTOL COUNTY COURT DECISION OF THE USE OF GED AT JRC
Recently a Bristol county court ruled that Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) in Canton, MA can continue to use the device called graduated electric decelerators (GED) in what the center calls as “treatment”. Today, MassADAPT is calling on Governor Baker to appeal Bristol County Dockett No. 86E-0018-GI decision before the 30 Day deadline of July 19, 2018.
Massachusetts has always had the power to end the torture of disabled Americans at JRC. In failing to do so, Massachusetts is complicit in keeping this modern house of horrors in business. “It is truly an embarrassment that our Commonwealth should be the one place in the nation to allow disabled people – or anyone for that matter – to be treated this way. It is time for Massachusetts to end the torture caused by painful shocks at the JRC”, said Rhoda Gibson, a disability rights activist from MassADAPT. There is a bigger system of abusive violence and coercion, at JRC, but shock is the worst thing they do. This shock is specifically designed to be more painful than a police taser and its practice must cease!
Rather than coercion thorough the use of pain, suffering and fear at the JRC, more supports are needed to assist people to live happily and successful lives in the community. Gentle, trauma-informed approaches that give people control over their own lives result in long term solutions rather than the short term fixes achievable via these shocks.
The State of New York provides the majority of the patients presently in JRC along with a few from other states and, unfortunately, a few individuals from Massachusetts that can afford to pay the institution’s fees via private means. Rhoda, a MassADAPT member said, “We appreciate that the State of Massachusetts’ Medicaid office provides, and is continuously improving, the services and supports for persons with disabilities to live independently in the community. Such approaches are needed rather than institutionalization and torture at JRC.” Since 2007, there have been no Massachusetts children placed by the state at JRC.