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Rotenberg Center in Massachusetts has used thousands upon thousands of electrical jolts to induce pain in young people diagnosed with mental disabilities. Disability Rights International (DRI) targeted Rotenberg with an investigation last year, and now there’s a victory: After an indictment, Matthew Israel who is Rotenberg founder and director, has resigned.


A child looks up at Rotenberg attendant, who carries devices that trigger shocks (each with photo of child for accuracy).

BELOW is news release from Disability Rights International. DRI is one of the supportive Sponsor Groups united through MindFreedom International’s Support Coalition. 


Director of Massachusetts “Shock School” Resigns After Being Indicted on Criminal Charges

Watch the ABC Nightline story or read the Guardian of London article on Israel’s Indictments 


Washington, DC — May 26, 2011 – Today, we can celebrate a small victory. The director of the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) of Massachusetts, which uses electric shocks to punish children and young adults with disabilities, has resigned in the face of criminal charges. Disability Rights International documented the use of electric shock and long-term restraints at this facility in our report Torture not Treatment published last year.

Matthew Israel, founder and director of JRC, was charged with misleading a grand jury and destroying evidence in relation to an incident in 2007 in which a prank phone call to the center from a person posing as an employee led to two children with disabilities being given dozens of electrical shocks for absolutely no reason. One of these children was restrained and given 77 shocks over three hours.

Yesterday, Israel accepted a court settlement which requires him to resign as director, and sentences him to five years of probation. ”We believe that Dr. Israel created a system and environment at the JRC that failed to prevent a lapse of this magnitude,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, “Dr. Israel then attempted to destroy evidence of the events and mislead investigators, and that conduct led to his indictments.”

To read the rest of the DRI news release, with a lot more information, click here:

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