SA man eligible for release forced to spend year in jail due to lack of disability housing – FASD in the News

Lack of Disability HousingA cognitively impaired South Australian man has been forced to spend almost a year in jail, despite being eligible for release, because of a lack of disability housing.

The 22-year-old, who the ABC has chosen not to name, is from the state’s Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands and has foetal alcohol syndrome, caused by his mother drinking during pregnancy.

In 2013, a District Court judge found him mentally unfit to stand trial for stealing a handbag from a house at Kilburn and breaching bail. He was placed on a three-year supervision order.  Supported accommodation was found at Kilburn and he was placed under the care of the director of Forensic Mental Health or a psychiatrist.

He was later taken back into custody for breaching that supervision order and was left languishing in jail from June 2014 to the end of May 2015.  Court documents show the 22-year-old has now been found accommodation with 24-hour support at Waterloo Corner, which will cost the State Government about $370,000 a year for him and two others.  Danny Carroll from the Disability Rights Advocacy Service said the man should never have been in jail.

“Clearly an injustice and a breach of human rights,” Mr Carroll said.

“I would hope that within the next say year and certainly the next state budget that the State Government does put money on the table to say we’re serious about providing bricks and mortar and services so this type of sloppy response doesn’t occur again.

“It’s time for the disability justice plan to really show some … tangible results and progress in this area.”

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