Thursday, March 13, 2014

Roseanne is facing a lifetime in prison NOT because she is a criminal

but because she has a disability! Roseanne is 24 years old, locked in a prison indefinitely – yet has not been convicted of any crime. She has foetal alcohol brain damage, and the NT Government is refusing to provide care for her, instead leaving her locked up in prison. (This post and petition by Ian Mckinlay)

I am her legal guardian (Ian Mckinlay). She called me last night distraught, wondering why she is locked in a cold concrete cell, not understanding what she has done wrong, wondering when she will get out.

Roseanne's cycle of abuse and neglect growing up was truly shocking. At 5 years old she was being traded for sex. After years of abuse, as a young woman she committed some minor crimes, was deemed "unfit to plead" because of her disability – and like many other Aboriginal men and women ended up under indefinite prison-based supervision.

Roseanne has now been in prison for 18 months. She hasn't been convicted of a crime.

The NT Government has wiped their hands of her. Despite building a brand new facility to care for people like Roseanne – the NT government is refusing to offer her a secure care placement that would allow her release. But it seems they think it'll save a few dollars keeping her in jail instead of in proper care.

As any parent will understand, it breaks my heart to hear her fragile and distraught voice, knowing there is somewhere better for her to go, and knowing that she continues to suffer because government bureaucracy won’t sign the transfer forms that are needed.

They're leaving Roseanne in prison, neglected, forgotten and ignored. She is desperately sad and wants to return to the NT. She deserves care and kindness, not prison bars and more abuse.

Please help me get this vulnerable girl into the supported care she needs, and leave our prisons for criminals. Please sign and share my petition here.

You can watch ABC Lateline coverage of the issue here.

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