The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center (JRC, formerly known as the Behavior Research Institute) is a school for students with autism that operates in Canton, Massachusetts, providing applied behavior analysis and educational services. The Center is THE LAST ONE that makes extensive use of aversives, including electric shock and withholding of food, in its treatment and behavioral interventions. The school is now lobbying to remain open after an investigation was brought against them. So far, they have spent enormous sums defending themselves. Can we afford to remain silent?
In May of 2011, the founder was forced to leave his positionand serve a year probation. In February, the justice department opened an investigation into the school after it received a complaint alleging the centre had violated disability laws. Despite the negative publicity directed at him, Matthew Israel, a Harvard-trained psychologist managed to keep operating for so long partly because he had the vociferous support of parents of severely autistic children at the school.
And now, they are lobbying to stay open. Is that how we want them to spend their money? Or should they use it to refine alternative techniques for behavior modification? This is appalling.