BOSTON — The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts issued a unanimous ruling on Thursday, Aug. 7, that an institution serving those with disabilities can continue using electric shock devices on residents displaying aggressive or self-harming behaviors.
The Canton-based Judge Rotenberg Educational Center (JRC), which serves individuals with developmental disabilities and behavioral disorders, is the only facility using the treatment in the United States. The court rules they can use electric shock devices on residents displaying aggressive or self-harming behaviors,
The Supreme Judicial Court ruling upholds a lower court decision from 2018. In the 2018 case, the judge found that state officials altered a report showing JRC complied with state requirements related to the treatment prior to implementing a moratorium on the treatment in 2011.
The state has unsuccessfully sought to end the practice since 1985.
The full ruling from the Supreme Judicial Court is available here.