THOUSAND OF VULNERABLE PEOPLE INTERVIEWED WITHOUT AN 'APPROPRIATE ADULT' LAST YEAR
"The failure by officers to provide an appropriate adult (AA) to people with mental illness, autism
or learning disabilities leaves those people at risk of miscarriages of justice, suicide and self-harm,
the National Appropriate Adult Network (Naan) says in a report published on Monday."
Amelia Hill in The Guardian, 28th September 2020
THE GOVERNMENT IS ALREADY SELLING OFF SIGNIFICANT SECTIONS OF THE NHS TO US CORPORATIONS
"asking if the NHS is “for sale” is to put the wrong question. It’s the question the government
wants its critics to ask. It implies — wrongly — that great chunks of the health service will be sold
in a job lot to American companies. But you will not see a big “For Sale” sign outside your local
UNDERSTANDING THE POLICING AND INCARCERATION OF NUERODIVERGENTS
"autistic and dyslexic people's higher risk of ending up in prison may be best explained by
systemic, structural features of an ableist society—as well as institutional issues in the
Robert Chapman in Psychology Today, 2nd July 2020
AUTISTIC CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE BEING ASSAULTED AND DYING IN PRIVATE HOSPITALS FUNDED BY NHS:
"Swathes of the NHS's mental health facilities have already been sold to American firms"
Ian Birrell writing for iNews, 5th December 2019
"A teenager with autism was caged like a dangerous creature. When will the Government act?"
Ian Birrell writing for iNews, 21st October 2019
"Profiteers of Misery: Parents slam health fat cats in UK and US who are raking in as much as £730,000 annually for every autistic child they ‘lock up’ in secretive secure psychiatric units"
Ian Birrell writing for Mail on Sunday, 10th November 2018
"... at least 40 people with learning disabilities and autism have died whilst being held in assessment and treatment units in the last three years".
Luciana Berger MP writing in The Times, 8 November 2018
"The barbaric treatment included patients being kept in isolation in padded cells, fed like animals through hatches, and injected with powerful drugs to make them easier to control. Tales of forcible restraint were also common, with some young people being subdued by up to six adults at a time."
Daily Mail, 4th November 2018
"Physical restraint used on 50% more NHS patients with learning disabilities."
The Guardian, 2nd October, 2018
At the same time that autistic people are being assaulted and are losing their lives in secure hospitals, the Government is bringing in new laws to make it even easier to criminalise people who assault emergency workers:
a) 'NHS will adopt 'zero tolerance' approach to violence against it's staff"
BBC News, 31 October 2018
While no one would condone the assault of emergency workers, these new laws are open to abuse and provide a useful smokescreen for lack of NHS funding. The articles cited in these news reports demonstrate that, VIOLENT ASSAULTS AGAINST AUTISTIC PEOPLE BY HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND THE POLICE IS NOT ONLY TOLERATED, BUT A RESULT OF THE INNAPPROPRIATE AND OVER-ZEALOUS USE OF RESTRAINT AND SOCIAL ISOLATION IN LOCKED CELLS IN MANY PARTS OF 'CARE' SYSTEM.
The police are also calling for additional powers to retaliate against those who assault them— neglecting to acknowledge th dangers of autistic people being criminalised for assault while themselves being inappropriately restrained.
b) 'A new law is due to come into force this month that doubles the maximum jail term that can be handed down for attacking a member of the emergency services from six to 12 months in prison. [...] it was revealed that nearly half of the officers he [chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation] represents want more armed officers on the streets and a significant majority backed the routine issuing of Tasers.'
The Guardian, 20th November 2018
WATCH SKY NEWS FILM ON THESE ISSUES HIGHLIGHTING THAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD RATHER GIVE MILLIONS TO THE NHS TO LOCK VULNERABLE PEOPLE UP IN PRIVATE HOSPITALS THAN TRANSFER THE MONEY TO LOCAL AUTHORITIES (who collude with the problem*) TO SUPPORT THESE PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY AT A FRACTION OF THE COST—AND IN A WAY THAT WOULD NOT BREACH THEIR HUMAN RIGHTS
* reports from families indicate that the Quality Care Commission (CQC), NHS England, individual Local Authorities, and other public bodies are actively obstructing the proper investigation of individual complaints.
CRIMINALISING AUTISTIC BEHAVIOURS
14th August 2018: In a landmark case represented by Polly Sweeney from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, the parents of a 13-year-old autistic boy, supported by the National Autistic Society and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, were successful in winning an appeal against the exclusion from school of 'L' because of aggressive behaviour linked to his autism.
As The Guardian reported, 'Judge Alison Rowley, sitting in the upper tribunal, said it was “repugnant” to consider such behaviour as “criminal or antisocial” when it was a direct result of a child’s condition and “not a choice”. ... Noting that “aggressive behaviour is not a choice for children with autism”, Rowley found that a regulation under the Equality Act 2010 allowing schools to exclude disabled pupils for their behaviour without justification was unlawful and incompatible with human rights laws.'
It is interesting that the Judge chose to use the term 'criminal' to describe the way 'L''s behaviour was seen and responded to. This case has implications for the way that the young adults whose stories are told on this site continue to have their Human Rights breached. In their case, they are excluded from health and social services, ending up in the criminal justice system by default.*
School children grow up to be young adults and may well continue to display the same behaviours resulting from their autism with far more serious consequences than exclusion from school. Action is needed now to address the concerns raised by this campaign to prevent a new generation of young people being criminalised because of their autism, as well as providing justice for those already criminalised.
* (see J's story HERE) J was released from prison in January 2018 following a court hearing, the proceedings eventually resulted in him being sentenced to 60 days detention. Although risks and support needs have been identified, 9 months later J still does not have a care plan because the social worker who assessed him has taken months to decide that his care should be met by the Mental Health Social Care Team and not the Learning Disability Social Care Team (autism is neither a learning disability nor a mental illness, so Norwich clearly do not have any autism services).
An attempt to relocate to Cambridge, and live in supported housing at a certain so-called "Autism specialist" place there, had been thwarted by his previous convictions. J has been arrested more than 10 times since his release from prison for breaching his Criminal Behaviour Order and bail conditions alone. On one occasion he was arrested after being spotted by the police within 100 yards of a police station in breach of his bail conditions, and was subsequently sent back to prison.
COMMONS JUSTICE COMMITTEE RELEASES DAMNING REPORT ON DISCLOSURE FAILINGS IN CRIMINAL CASES
20th July 2018: The House of Commons Justice Committee published this scathing report confirming what criminal law practitioners have been saying for years: the criminal justice system is broken. The issues raised by the report are a feature of many of the stories told on this website, where supporting evidence and CCTV footage have not been disclosed, and defence evidence, including medical reports, have been ignored with devastating consequences for those involved.