Published September 1, 2022
by Julia LaFond
(Cary, North Carolina, USA)
"Article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture..." –Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Full of wires and electrodes
To shock residents.
JG: What's the youngest kid you ever had?
MI: I'm not sure. Maybe seven or eight.
–Matthew Israel Interviewed by Jennifer Gonnerman. Mother Jones, 2007.
Gives them shocks nine times bigger
Than a cattle prod.
"...[T]he Rotenberg Center... central office employee is allowed to initiate discipline by phone."
–Staff fired over prank-call shock treatments. NBC, 2007.
Two teens dragged from bed:
One hundred six total shocks
While they were restrained.
"...[T]he GED... are... for students who struggle with violent, abusive or mutilating behaviors..."
–Full Statement from the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center Parents Association. ABC, 2012
Like peeing, fleeing,
Covering eyes and ears, or
Crying out in pain.
"Glenda Crookes, executive director, said the incidents... are all in the past."
–an electric shock treatment led to an FDA ban. But the fight is far from over. NBC, 2021
Makes more scars as the
Place brings in millions.
The Judge Rotenberg Center, Torture, and How We can Stop It. –ASAN
When screams go unheard
We must raise our own voices.
Julia LaFond is a geoscience/astrobiology PhD candidate at Penn State University, where she regularly attended the Creative Writing Club, pre-pandemic. Her passion for disability rights led her to join the Access Club as well. #stoptheshock
Julia's Website: https://jklafondwriter.wordpress.com/
This poem is included in Poetry World #4, published in the Wax Poetry and Art Library.
Previously published in Eleventh Transmission:
by Jocelyn Ibarra
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