This is a  staff list for Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, MA

(we are working to acquire the complete records for ALL years)

 

We advise current and/or former staff to report any abuses you may have witnessed while working at Judge Rotenberg Center.  For information on your rights and how to take action, visit www.heal-online.org/blowthewhistle.htm.  If you were fired or forced to resign because you opposed any illegal and/or unethical practices at Judge Rotenberg Center, you have the right to take action. 

 

If you were harmed (family or survivor) by Judge Rotenberg Center, please contact info@heal-online.org if you remember the long-term employees and from which years.  This will help!   Also, if you recognize any of these staff as having worked at another program, please send in any information about their past or present employment at other facilities and/or cults.

 

HEAL recommends you do not place your child in this program and that you rescue them if they are there now.

Name

Unit/Position

Additional Information
Matthew L. Israel Executive Director Believes in using electro-shock "aversive stimuli" to change children's behavior.
(Judge Rotenberg Center, like many other programs in this industry, keeps a "tight lid" on any specific information regarding their staff, qualifications, and practices.  Please contact us with the names of any staff of which you have firsthand knowledge or experience.  Thank you for your help.)
This program does not keep it's enrollment materials or program details online or available to the public.

Rotenberg records reportedly are seized--May 15th, 2008--State Police seized documents late last week from the offices of the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton that are related to a prank phone call last summer that led two students to wrongfully receive dozens of punishing electrical shocks, according to two people with direct knowledge of the investigation.

The collection of evidence has to do with a yearlong grand jury investigation led by the office of Attorney General Martha Coakley, said Kenneth Mollins, a New York lawyer who has filed several lawsuits against the school and who said he spoke to a representative of Coakley's office about the Rotenberg investigation. Mollins said he was told the grand jury is also examining possible financial improprieties by the school.

The second source, who works for the state and asked to remain nameless because this person is not authorized to speak about grand jury proceedings, said State Police investigators came with a search warrant and left with boxes of documents. The source said the investigation had an ambitious scope and involves multiple government agencies.  For complete story, click here.

Prank led school to treat two with shock Special ed center duped, report says--December 18th, 2007--Two special education students at the controversial Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton were wrongfully delivered dozens of punishing electrical shocks in August based on a prank phone call from a former student posing as a supervisor, a state investigative report has found.  School staffers contacted state authorities after they realized they had been tricked on Aug. 26 into delivering 77 shocks to one student and 29 shocks to another, according to Cindy Campbell, a spokeswoman for the Department of Early Education and Care, which drafted the report. Both students were part of a Rotenberg-run group home in Stoughton for males under age 22.  The Judge Rotenberg center, which serves about 250 adults and children from across the country, has been under fire for more than two decades for its unorthodox behavior-modification treatments, including electric shock treatments. Its defenders say that the school takes in troubled students, some with self-damaging behavior, who have been rejected by other schools.  The center, which Massachusetts officials have tried twice to close because of its treatment methods, focuses on serving people with autism, mental retardation, and emotional problems.  Ernest Corrigan, a spokesman for the Rotenberg center, said the school contacted law enforcement "within hours" after discovering the prank, and that such an incident has never before happened at the school.  Corrigan said they have instituted new safeguards to prevent such occurrences. He also said that while the school regrets the incident, the two male students who received the wrongful shocks did not experience any serious physical harm and did not need medical treatment afterwards.  The shock devices, which are strapped to some students' arms, legs, or torsos, deliver two-second electric jolts to the skin. The devices are controlled remotely by teachers.  State officials said the identity of the prankster is known to law enforcement authorities, but they would not release his name publicly and he has not been arrested. The identity of the staffer who was fooled into administering the shocks has also not been released. State officials indicated that some disciplinary action took place, though they would not specify what it was.  According to records from the Disabled Persons Protections Commission hotline phone log, there are repeated complaints about the incident. One entry said "the caller claimed that the shocks were approved, however, they were not."  Based on the prankster's call, one of the students was also wrongfully placed in four-point restraints, limiting mobility of all four limbs.  Critics of the Rotenberg school say the case shows that school officials have failed to live up to their public promises to deliver electric shocks only sparingly and with great oversight. "This shows a systemic breakdown at the center," said Leo Sarkissian, executive director of ARC of Massachusetts, which represents people with cognitive and developmental disabilities. "It only takes a phone call to instigate shocks to this degree."  For complete story, click here.

The Cult That Spawned the Tough-Love Teen Industry--August 20th, 2007--The idea that punishment can be therapeutic is not unique to the Rotenberg Center. In fact, this notion is widespread among the hundreds of "emotional growth boarding schools," wilderness camps, and "tough love" antidrug programs that make up the billion-dollar teen residential treatment industry.  This harsh approach to helping troubled teens has a long and disturbing history. No fewer than 50 programs (though not the Rotenberg Center) can trace their treatment philosophy, directly or indirectly, to an antidrug cult called Synanon. Founded in 1958, Synanon sold itself as a cure for hardcore heroin addicts who could help each other by "breaking" new initiates with isolation, humiliation, hard labor, and sleep deprivation.  Today, troubled-teen programs use Synanon-like tactics, advertising themselves to parents as solutions for everything from poor study habits to substance misuse. However, there is little evidence that harsh behavior-modification techniques can solve these problems. Studies found that Synanon's "encounter groups" could produce lasting psychological harm and that only 10 to 15 percent of the addicts who participated in them recovered. And as the classic 1971 Stanford prison experiment demonstrated, creating situations in which the severe treatment of powerless people is rewarded inevitably yields abuse. This is especially true when punishment is viewed as a healing process. Synanon was discredited in the late 1970s and 1980s as its violent record was exposed. (The group is now remembered for an incident in which a member placed a live rattlesnake—rattle removed—in the mailbox of a lawyer who'd successfully sued it.) Yet by the time Synanon shut down in 1991, its model had already been widely copied.  In 1971, the federal government gave a grant to a Florida organization called The Seed, which applied Synanon's methods to teenagers, even those only suspected of trying drugs. In 1974, Congress opened an investigation into such behavior-modification programs, finding that The Seed had used methods "similar to the highly refined brainwashing techniques employed by the North Koreans."  The bad publicity led some supporters of The Seed to create a copycat organization under a different name. Straight Inc. was cofounded by Mel Sembler, a Bush family friend who would become the gop's 2000 finance chair and who heads Lewis "Scooter" Libby's legal defense fund. By the mid-'80s, Straight was operating in seven states. First lady Nancy Reagan declared it her favorite antidrug program. As with The Seed, abuse was omnipresent—including beatings and kidnapping of adult participants. Facing seven-figure legal judgments, it closed in 1993.  But loopholes in state laws and a lack of federal oversight allowed shuttered programs to simply change their names and reopen, often with the same staff, in the same state—even in the same building. Straight spin-offs like the Pathway Family Center are still in business.  Confrontation and humiliation are also used by religious programs such as Escuela Caribe in the Dominican Republic and myriad "emotional growth boarding schools" affiliated with the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs (wwasp), such as Tranquility Bay in Jamaica. wwasp's president told me that the organization "took a little bit of what Synanon [did]." Lobbying by well-connected supporters such as wwasp founder Robert Lichfield (who, like Sembler, is a fundraiser for Republican presidential aspirant Mitt Romney) has kept state regulators at bay and blocked federal regulation entirely.  By the '90s, tough love had spawned military-style boot camps and wilderness programs that thrust kids into extreme survival scenarios. At least three dozen teens have died in these programs, often because staff see medical complaints as malingering. This May, a 15-year-old boy died from a staph infection at a Colorado wilderness program. His family claims his pleas for help were ignored. In his final letter to his mother, he wrote, "They found my weakness and I want to go home."  For complete story, click here.

School Report--June 6th, 2006 (Source: Boston.com)

External Link:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
N.Y. report denounces shock use at school; Says students are living in fear:  New York education officials issued a scathing report yesterday on a Massachusetts school that punishes troubled and disabled students with electric shocks, finding that they can be shocked for simply nagging the teacher and that some are forced to wear shock devices in the bathtub or shower, posing an electrocution hazard.  The report, based in part on an inspection last month of the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, portrayed a school in which most staff lack training to handle the students and seem more focused on punishing bad behavior than encouraging good acts.  The investigators said some forms of discipline, such as a device that delivers shocks at timed intervals, appear to violate federal safety regulations, and students live in an atmosphere of "pervasive fears and anxieties."  For complete story, click here.
Prank led school to treat two with shock Special ed center duped, report says--December 18th, 2007--Two special education students at the controversial Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton were wrongfully delivered dozens of punishing electrical shocks in August based on a prank phone call from a former student posing as a supervisor, a state investigative report has found.  School staffers contacted state authorities after they realized they had been tricked on Aug. 26 into delivering 77 shocks to one student and 29 shocks to another, according to Cindy Campbell, a spokeswoman for the Department of Early Education and Care, which drafted the report. Both students were part of a Rotenberg-run group home in Stoughton for males under age 22.  The Judge Rotenberg center, which serves about 250 adults and children from across the country, has been under fire for more than two decades for its unorthodox behavior-modification treatments, including electric shock treatments. Its defenders say that the school takes in troubled students, some with self-damaging behavior, who have been rejected by other schools.  The center, which Massachusetts officials have tried twice to close because of its treatment methods, focuses on serving people with autism, mental retardation, and emotional problems.  Ernest Corrigan, a spokesman for the Rotenberg center, said the school contacted law enforcement "within hours" after discovering the prank, and that such an incident has never before happened at the school.  Corrigan said they have instituted new safeguards to prevent such occurrences. He also said that while the school regrets the incident, the two male students who received the wrongful shocks did not experience any serious physical harm and did not need medical treatment afterwards.  The shock devices, which are strapped to some students' arms, legs, or torsos, deliver two-second electric jolts to the skin. The devices are controlled remotely by teachers.  State officials said the identity of the prankster is known to law enforcement authorities, but they would not release his name publicly and he has not been arrested. The identity of the staffer who was fooled into administering the shocks has also not been released. State officials indicated that some disciplinary action took place, though they would not specify what it was.  According to records from the Disabled Persons Protections Commission hotline phone log, there are repeated complaints about the incident. One entry said "the caller claimed that the shocks were approved, however, they were not."  Based on the prankster's call, one of the students was also wrongfully placed in four-point restraints, limiting mobility of all four limbs.  Critics of the Rotenberg school say the case shows that school officials have failed to live up to their public promises to deliver electric shocks only sparingly and with great oversight. "This shows a systemic breakdown at the center," said Leo Sarkissian, executive director of ARC of Massachusetts, which represents people with cognitive and developmental disabilities. "It only takes a phone call to instigate shocks to this degree."  For complete story, click here.
Rotenberg records reportedly are seized--May 15th, 2008--State Police seized documents late last week from the offices of the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton that are related to a prank phone call last summer that led two students to wrongfully receive dozens of punishing electrical shocks, according to two people with direct knowledge of the investigation. The collection of evidence has to do with a yearlong grand jury investigation led by the office of Attorney General Martha Coakley, said Kenneth Mollins, a New York lawyer who has filed several lawsuits against the school and who said he spoke to a representative of Coakley's office about the Rotenberg investigation. Mollins said he was told the grand jury is also examining possible financial improprieties by the school. The second source, who works for the state and asked to remain nameless because this person is not authorized to speak about grand jury proceedings, said State Police investigators came with a search warrant and left with boxes of documents. The source said the investigation had an ambitious scope and involves multiple government agencies.  For complete story, click here.
FDA to Massachusetts Group Home: Stop Shocking Residents With Disabilities Wednesday, 27 April 2016 00:00 By Heather Vogell, ProPublica | News Analysis font size decrease font size increase font size Print Federal officials have moved to ban the controversial electric shock device a Boston-area group home and school has used for decades on its disabled clients. In a 124-page document proposing the ban, the Food and Drug Administration accused The Judge Rotenberg Center of underreporting adverse effects from the device, using flawed studies to defend its approach, and misleading families about alternative treatments.  "FDA has determined that these devices present an unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury that cannot be corrected or eliminated by labeling," the agency wrote. The Rotenberg Center is the only place in the country to still employ such a device, which delivers a painful shock to residents' skin when they engage in undesirable or dangerous behaviors. Currently, 56 of the center's 251 residents can receive the shocks. The method has been widely condemned as inhumane. State officials in New York and Massachusetts for years have tried to force the center to abandon using shocks as multiple complaints about them surfaced. In 2014, ProPublica also revealed that New York officials found the center had tied down children with leg and waist straps to punish them The FDA held a meeting two years ago on the center's use of electrical stimulation devices on clients with developmental or intellectual disabilities. After the session, the agency went silent. Advocates accused it of failing to act in the face of residents' suffering. Then, late last week, the FDA revealed that it was seeking an outright ban on the devices. The devices can cause both physical and psychological harm, the agency wrote, including risks of pain, burns, tissue damage, depression, fear and aggression. They may even have led a resident to enter a catatonic state, the agency said. The shocks can worsen the symptoms it purportedly treats. According to New York officials cited in the FDA report, one student subjected to the shocks described living at the center like this: "I am scared and sometimes I feel like my life is in danger. There are days when I am scared to even say a word to anyone. I am afraid to wake up because I never know what is going to happen to me… I get so depressed here I wish my life by fast." The center has long argued the shocks keep clients from hurting themselves or others and it reiterated that sentiment in response to the FDA's proposal. Patients' families have been among the most outspoken proponents of the approach. While declining to comment on the proposed ban itself -- saying it had not received notification from the FDA -- the center said it used the devices only for extremely difficult cases after other therapies had failed. "The JRC staff is committed to finding the best ways to manage these students' behaviors to a level where they are no longer causing severe injury and pain to themselves, so that they can learn and spend quality time with their family and friends," the nonprofit center said in a statement released by a spokesman. No one age 18 or under is currently eligible to be shocked, the center said. Some parents of center residents have advocated strongly for the shock method, saying they fear their loved ones could maim themselves or others without it. Some have said the shocks have been the only therapy that has allowed their child to lead a somewhat normal life. But the FDA questioned the center's claim that other therapies had been exhausted for all residents subjected to the shocks. Several residents who used to be shocked have since successfully been transitioned to positive-based programs elsewhere, the agency said. "FDA has reason to believe at least some of these family members were pressured into choosing" shock, the agency wrote, "and FDA questions whether these family members were provided with full and accurate information regarding the risks and benefits of (shock) and alternative treatment options, and whether all other options were adequately attempted." In proposing the ban, the FDA inserted itself into a once-heated debate over whether so-called "aversive," or punishment-based, therapy works. The agency conceded that the shocks do stop destructive behavior immediately. But it challenged the center's assertion that the method can have lasting beneficial effects. The FDA said peer-reviewed studies and experts make it clear that aversives have been largely replaced by more effective -- and humane -- approaches to managing behavior. While the shocks were once attractive as a "quick fix" for overwhelmed staff in facilities like the center, the FDA wrote, other strategies using positive reinforcement have emerged that are more effective and carry little to no risks. Positive strategies, however, do require special training for staff. The FDA also brushed aside dozens of studies the center has cited to support its approach. The agency criticized the studies as poorly designed and tainted by conflicts of interest. The FDA said it could find no randomized controlled trials -- the gold standard for scientific research -- that studied the use of shocks to treat self-injury or aggression. While the center says it treats the "most difficult behaviorally involved students in the country," the FDA said it "has found no basis to believe that the patients on whom (shocks) are used at JRC are patients with the most severe" self-injury and aggression. An estimated 25,000 people nationwide have severe behavior problems like those seen at the center, the agency said. Hundreds of thousands more have moderate levels. The agency is seeking public comments on the proposed ban through May 25. It did not give a date for when the ban could go into effect. The FDA said that if the proposal was adopted, the agency would allow the center to gradually transition clients off the devices. However, the center could be subjected to enforcement action by the FDA if it did not comply with the new rules. Forcing the center to abandon the devices could end up increasing the cost of treatment for residents who had been on them, the FDA acknowledged. The action would be only the third time the FDA has sought to ban a medical device. The agency banned prosthetic hair fibers in 1983 and, last month, sought to ban powdered surgeon's gloves because the powder can cause complications.  Source: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/35812-fda-to-massachusetts-group-home-stop-shocking-residents-with-
disabilities
Norton Group Home Worker Assaulted 3 Disabled Residents: Police Norton police said they arrested Judge Rotenberg Center worker Andre Scott on charges he assaulted disabled residents. By Jason Claffey (Patch Staff) - October 10, 2016 4:49 pm ET ShareTweetGoogle PlusRedditEmailComments0 NORTON, MA — A worker at the Judge Rotenberg Center group home in Norton was arrested over the weekend on charges he assaulted multiple disabled residents of the home. Andre Scott, 25, of North Providence, Rhode Island, was arrested Saturday in Pawtucket, police said. Scott assaulted three disabled residents of the home, police said. A warrant was recently issued for his arrest after he failed to show up in court on Friday to answer to the charges. Get free real-time news alerts from the Norton Patch. Subscribe On Saturday, police said they pulled Scott's vehicle over in Pawtucket, discovered the warrant, and placed him under arrest. Scott will appear in a Rhode Island court Tuesday and will then will likely be transported back to Massachusetts to face his assault charges.  Source: http://patch.com/massachusetts/norton/norton-group-home-worker-assaulted-3-disabled-residents-police
Former Norton group home worker indicted for alleged assaults on three residents By David Linton dlinton@thesunchronicle.com DAVE LINTON May 10, 2017 0 prev next NORTON — A former staff worker charged with assaulting three residents at the Judge Rotenberg Center in October has been indicted by a Bristol County grand jury, a prosecutor said Wednesday. Andre H. Scott, 25, of North Providence, pleaded innocent to a four-count indictment earlier this month in Fall River Superior Court and is free on $2,500 cash bail initially set after a hearing in Attleboro District Court after his arrest, according to court records. Prosecutors say video surveillance footage showed Scott punching and choking the three men ages 17, 20 and 21. But his lawyer, Al Medici of Johnston, disputed the evidence. Scott faces three counts of assault and battery on a person with intellectual disabilities and one count of intimidation of a witness, according to court records. The Canton-based center treats people with behavioral, emotional and psychiatric problems as well as those with developmental delays or who are on the autism spectrum. A pretrial hearing was set June 30. David Linton may be reached at 508-236-0338. Source: http://www.thesunchronicle.com/news/local_news/former-norton-group-home-worker-indicted-for-alleged-assaults-on/article_a57945ed-1009-5b08-a0e1-b2ce072c01fd.html

 Last Updated: May 11th, 2017

Return to www.heal-online.org/thelist.htm or top of page