A jury in Dedham, Mass., saw video this week of an 18-year-old being tied down and shocked 31 times as he screamed in pain.
WARNING: The video below is not suitable for everyone.
The footage was presented by lawyers of Andre McCollins, who is suing the Judge Rotenberg Center for developmentally disabled students, which treated him in part by attaching electrodes to his body and shocking him.
The incident recorded on video took place in 2002 after McCollins refused to take off his coat, according to MyFox Boston.
The station reports that lawyers for the center fought to keep the public from seeing the video, but a judge denied their request.
"These are dramatic tapes, there’s no question about that,” Edward Hinchey, an attorney who represents two of the Rotenberg Center’s clinicians said. “But the treatment plan at the Rotenberg Center, the treatment plan that Andre had in place on October 25, was followed.”
The lawsuit is just one of several ongoing investigations and lawsuits involving the center, which remains open, according to Mother Jones magazine.
On its site, the center insists that "JRC relies primarily on the use of positive programming and educational procedures to modify the behaviors of its students. If however, after giving these procedures a trial for an average of eleven months, they prove to be insufficiently effective, JRC then considers supplementing them with more intensive treatment procedures known as aversives."
The center contends that these procedures are only administered after "prior parental, medical, psychiatric, human rights, peer review and individual approval from a Massachusetts Probate Court."
In a 2007 expose on the center, Mother Jones reported that, "Of the 234 current residents, about half are wired to receive shocks, including some as young as nine or ten."
Mother Jones also notes that the center is the only facility that uses shocks to discipline students, "a form of punishment not inflicted on serial killers or child molesters or any of the 2.2 million inmates now incarcerated in U.S. jails and prisons."
UPDATE: The center supplied this response to the video in an email to The Huffington Post:
JRC educates and treats the most difficult behaviorally involved students in the country and administers the GED to treat severe behavior disorders only after other treatments have failed and a court order is obtained to do so at the request of the student’s parents and doctor. The treatment plan must also be approved by a Human Rights Committee, a Peer Review Committee and a physician. These students predominantly exhibit behaviors that are dangerous to themselves and others and have been resistant to previous treatments. Students parents or guardians, along with their school districts and medical personnel are involved in developing care plans and in most cases, before coming to JRC have tried several residential programs and psychiatric facilities and found them unsuccessful. Often students are chemically restrained with medications and their guardians either remove them from those programs or the students are asked to leave.
On the issue of the video tape, the sole reason a recording exists is because JRC maintains cameras in every room where a student may receive treatment. It is the only such facility to do so. This is for the protection of the students in our care and is precisely to enable us to review every application of the GED.
WATCH the GRAPHIC video below:
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