PEEK

"Shock Doctrine" Applied to Autistic and Retarded Kids

I guess it's the "trickle down" theory of torture.
I guess it's the "trickle down" theory of torture.

The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts looks like nothing so much as Gitmo for trouble kids -- they subject severely autistic, mentally retarded, schizophrenic, bipolar and emotionally disturbed kids to a "reward and punishment" system that includes painful electrical shock. They are paid $220,000 a year per resident by various states and have annual revenues exceeding $56 million.

Watch the video above, and see how the kids are under constant video surveillance. Half of the residents carry around battery packs and are wired so that if they are observed doing anything against the rules, they are immediately shocked.
The school and its founder Dr. Israel, of course, claim that this was "an isolated, unprecedented" incident. Just as it claimed back in 1981 when it was reported that "Israel had pinched the feet of Christopher Hirsch, an autistic 12-year-old, at least 24 times in 30 minutes, while the boy screamed and cried. This was a punishment for soiling his pants." Or when another student, 14-year-old Danny Aswad, died while strapped facedown to his bed. " Or when "Vincent Milletich, an autistic 22-year-old, suffered a seizure and died after he was put in restraints and forced to wear a white-noise helmet." Or when 19-year-old Linda Cornelison, who had the mental capacity of a toddler, refused to eat and was punished by staffers: "Between 3:52 p.m. and 8 p.m., staffers punished her with 13 spatula spankings, 29 finger pinches, 14 muscle squeezes, and 5 forced inhalings of ammonia. It turned out that Linda had a perforated stomach. She died on the operating table at 1:45 a.m." .
I can't imagine anything more degrading and paranoia-inducing to kids who are already troubled, and indeed the treatment methods of the center's founder, Dr. Matthew Israel, have been widely debunked.

In recent incident, a resident was awakened and shocked 77 times:
Jane Hamsher is the founder of FireDogLake. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect.
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