Evidence indicates that the death, in police custody, of an autistic teenager was the result of longstanding abuse. Suspicion falls on the treatment center where he lived and on its therapist, Dr. Colter.



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Airs Sat. Sep. 03, 11:00 PM on WE



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Alan Colter
Sheila Tousey ...
Mrs. Vilardi
Dan Ziskie ...
George Jeffries (as Daniel Ziskie)
Margo Skinner ...
Eleanor Jeffries
Jennifer Harmon ...
Mrs. Serena Davidson


Detectives Briscoe and Logan investigate the death of Kevin Jeffries, an autistic teenager who died while in police custody. The medical examiner determines that he died from a blood clot - and not from anything the police may have done during the arrest - but also reports that he had bruises on his body. Kevin was living at a behavioral modification clinic but constantly ran away. The clinic admits they kept him in restraints, particularly on those bad days when he was deemed injurious to himself. The head of the clinic, Dr. Alan Colter, generally used aversion therapy to treat his patients. This included electric shocks and a black box that created a complete sensory deprived environment. Colter clearly exceeded New York State guidelines on the use of electric shock and as far as ADA McCoy is concerned, it amounted to torture. The biggest hurdle he will have to overcome are the parents who support Colter and his methods. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

19 April 1995 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


"Facilitated communication" (the technique of "facilitating" the communicative abilities of a person with autism by "guiding" their hands over a communication device) has largely been discredited throughout the psychiatric community. There are still occasional scholarly articles written in support of FC and it continues to be practiced, albeit rarely. See more »


When David Vilardi types out the word "FLOWR" with the help of his mother, in the courtroom, his hand never goes near the 'F' on the keyboard. See more »


Detective Mike Logan: [Going through the victim's clothes] Is this his stuff?
Detective Lennie Briscoe: Yeah, here. Watch out for lice.
Detective Mike Logan: No lice, lots of lint. Kid was travelling light.
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User Reviews

Liberal use of electroshock
6 February 2016 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The death of autistic young Steve Burns in custody at the police station while Chris Noth is trying to restrain him from beating his head against the stone wall is how this story gets started. Once Mike Logan is cleared of any culpability he and Lennie Briscoe get assigned the case. Which is clearly wrong because anyone else from that precinct, But Briscoe and Logan would have caught that one.

The blame such as it is is assigned to Lawrence Pressman a doctor who runs a live-in clinic for these kids and makes liberal use of electroshock techniques that mainstream psychology has abandoned.

This episode will raise more questions than it answers. This episode is highlighted by the performances of Edoardo Ballerini as another autistic kid and his mother Sheila Tousey. There plight will elicit tears from you unless you are made of stone.

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