Today, Israel no longer runs the Rotenberg Center. He was forced to give up the position last year after being indicted in the same courthouse for obstructing justice. Those criminal charges stemmed from an unrelated incident dating back to 2007. One night that summer, a former student from New York had prank-called a Rotenberg residence at 2 a.m., pretending he was an employee in the monitoring department. He claimed to have seen three boys misbehaving earlier in the evening, and he ordered the workers to pull them out of bed and shock them. The employees complied. In the rec room, they tied two teenagers onto a restraint board and began shocking them.Eventually the workers figured out the call was a hoax—but not before they shocked one boy 29 times and the other 77 times. Prosecutors later accused Israel of ordering his staff to destroy that night’s footage. Israel insisted he thought the investigation was complete, but as part of a deal with prosecutors, he agreed to step down. He never admitted any guilt, and after five years probation, the charges against him will be dismissed.The Rotenberg Center is now run by his longtime assistant executive director. The school refused to answer any questions for this story. (This account is largely based on pretrial depositions, court records, and trial testimony.) Today, the Rotenberg Center has some 230 residents, and a little more than one third are approved to receive electric shocks—down from one half a few years ago. Most likely, the percent of students who receive shocks will continue to drop. Since 2009, the New York State Board of Regents has banned the use of the shock device on any new students from New York, and last fall Massachusetts prohibited the use of shocks for all new students.In the meantime, the school continues to advertise for new employees. A recent posting on Craigslist describes an opening for a job with “excellent” benefits in “a happy, motivated environment” at a “fast-growing” program.
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
A happy, motivated environment (of electro-shock torture)
The whole story is horrific, but what really gets me is this [emphasis added]: [Link]