UPDATE: We've made incredible progress on freeing Roseanne. Locked up in prison indefinitely because of her disability, without being guilty of a crime – your signatures have helped convince the NT Government to start moving to free her.
She's not out of jail yet, but after 18 months in prison they're moving. There are reports that over 30 other Aboriginal people with intellectual disabilities are in prison indefinitely just like Roseanne still – and that's not good enough.
I'm keeping my petition open and asking Prime Minister Tony Abbott to lead on a national strategy to end this shameful practice.
Please keep signing and sharing my petition to Free Roseanne and the other 30 Aboriginal people with intellectual disabilities in prison indefinitely.
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.
I am her legal guardian. 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 facilitate her transfer back to Alice Springs.
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. Sign my petition.
You can watch ABC Lateline coverage of the issue here.
- Tony Abbott
- Northern Territory Chief Minister
- Northern Territory Minister for Justice
Johan Wessel Elferink
- Northern Territory Minister for Alcohol Rehabilitation
- Northern Territory Minister for Women's Policy
Roseanne is facing a lifetime in prison because of her disability. It's time to stop the neglect.
1. The NT Government is called upon to honour its commitment to Roseanne and provide her with full- time behavioural and disability support in Alice Springs, near family and country.
2. The Commonwealth Government is called upon to use its powers pursuant to UN treaty obligations to limit state and territory indefinite imprisonment of unconvicted mentally impaired persons. (A practice almost exclusively affecting Indigenous Australians).
Roseanne deserves a place in proper care rather than leaving her locked in a prison indefinitely, without any conviction. Please act immediately.
Ian Mckinlay started this petition with a single signature, and won with 120,104 supporters. Start a petition to change something you care about.