8 year old boy raped while in state care Fwd: Successive West Australian Govt inaction on declared places causing untold damage: Greens

Successive Government inaction on declared places causing untold damage: Greens

17 August 2011

Years of failure to establish ‘declared places’ for mentally impaired adults and juveniles who are alleged to have engaged in criminal conduct is having painful and distressing consequences for innocent people, according to Greens MLC Alison Xamon.

Ms Xamon’s comments were made after it was revealed a 15-year-old boy already facing child rape allegations was accused of raping an 8-year-old child while under the care of the Department for Child Protection.

“It’s bad enough that WA doesn’t have declared places for adults, but this is a new low. The 8-year-old who was allegedly raped was also in the care of the DCP. He wasn’t being protected properly because the government has been too slow setting up declared places for accused juveniles with mental impairment issues,” Ms Xamon, Greens WA Spokesperson on Mental Health, Disabilities and Child Protection said today.

“There were questions about the mental capacity of this particular accused juvenile and whether he was fit to stand trial. If that’s the case, why was he placed with young children? Presumably because there was nowhere else to send him with jail being the only other option which is really no place to be sending our disabled. So really he is a victim of the system too.”

Under the Criminal Law (Mentally Impaired Accused) Act 1996, people considered unfit to plead can be sent to a ‘declared place’ to receive appropriate care and treatment. However, 15 years later, a declared place has still not been created.

“This government, and successive state governments, are culpable in this tragedy because they have failed to set up appropriate forensic mental health facilities for both adults and juveniles.

“This obviously needs to happen as a matter of utmost urgency so we don’t see a repeat of this tragedy.

“Again and again I plead with this government to address problems that occur when mental impairment issues collide with our criminal justice system. Now that this Government has such tragic evidence that innocent children are being affected by this government’s inaction, I hope that excuses will be put aside and urgent moves to establish declared places for adults and juveniles begin,” Ms Xamon concluded.

For additional comment contact Alison

Hon Alison Xamon MLC

Member for the East Metropolitan Region

Office: 62 Eighth Ave Maylands WA 6051

Postal Address: PO Box 104 Maylands WA 6931

Phone: (08) 9272 1718

Fax: (08) 9272 1719

Portfolios: Water, Urban Bushland, Mental Health, Education, Training, Industrial Relations, Employment, Occupational Health & Safety, Disabilities, Women, Children & Youth, Public Service, Community Services,Electoral Affairs, Consumer Protection, Vet Affairs, Volunteering

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s