I wish it wasn’t necessary to even bring this up. In a perfect world we would know how to treat people with kindness and love, including those with mental disorders.*

Example of dark circles

Example of dark circles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back a hundred years ago or even as recently as 50 years ago they stuck the mentally ill in asylums and used barbaric treatments on them. Many were stuck there for life, abandoned by their families and when they died, they were put in paupers graves.

I thought that those days were long over, until I read this petition from Change.org Please read this and sign their petition. They unfortunately have been blocked from the company that the petition addresses, but they provide e-mail addresses of the people who need to hear this and more importantly do something about this.

Read this and weep (literally):

“Painful electric shock at the push of a button. Hours of restraint and seclusion. Food and sleep deprivation. But this is not Guantánamo or Abu Ghraib. This is a “school” for disabled children and youth.

These are only some of the practices of the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, Massachusetts. The JRC, which has been open since 1971, is most well known by disability advocates and human rights activists for their controversial philosophy of “treatment” for people with developmental, intellectual, and psychiatric disabilities that dictates that pain and punishment should be used to change unwanted (and sometimes simply inconvenient) behavior. Their philosophy of treatment is that if a student does something they don’t want them to be doing, staff should press a button and zap the student with an electric shock designed to be more powerful and painful than a police taser. The JRC is the only facility that uses this type of punishment.

This is not treatment. This is torture.

In 2012, a case against the JRC brought by the mother of a former student went to trial in Massachusetts. During testimony, the plaintiffs showed surveillance video of Andre McCollins receiving thirty-one shocks over a period of seven hours while restrained face-down, all for the offense of not wanting to take off his jacket. Most of the subsequent shocks were for tensing up or screaming. Earlier, the JRC’s founder and executive director Matthew Israel was forced to resign in a plea agreement for destroying evidence against court orders after an incident in 2007 when a prank call led to staff shocking two students 77 and 29 times respectively over a period of three hours. Read more…

Note: Technically autism is not a mental illness, but it is often treated as such due to behavioral complications.

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