CLICK HERE TO ACCESS ARTICLE: Roseanne Fulton free on bail after assault
Yahoo! 7 News, 11 July 2014
Accessed on: 18 July 2014
Commentary by: Jeanelle Mandes
Rosie Fulton, from Alice Springs – the largest town in the Northern Territory in Australia, was incarcerated in an Australian prison for crashing a stolen vehicle.
She “was deemed unfit to stand trial because she has fetal alcohol syndrome disorder (FASD) and the mental age of a young child.”
Although it doesn’t specify if her FASD diagnosis was addressed or not, it makes you wonder about issues of vulnerability those with FASD face when it comes to crime.
According to a FASD online fact sheet, “People with FASD generally have problems understanding abstract concepts such as money or law. Theft of money is different to a person who is able to understand the value of money.”
“This difficulty with abstraction means that many persons with FASD cannot adequately imagine or consider the future. This places them at risk during stages of court processing, such as plea-bargaining, sentencing or a parole hearing, not to mention in their everyday life.
“FASD also increases vulnerability to manipulation and coercion because they want to please those they perceive to be in positions of authority.”
After reviewing the fact sheet and the news source, it indicates how some people with FASD can be easily intimidated by others. It’s unfortunate society takes advantage of those who have FASD looking at them as puppets on a string.
In situations such as Rosie Fulton, it is such a sad reality that she was sent to a prison because the Australian legal system didn’t have a place for her that met her needs. But there are people like the 120,000 who signed a petition to free Fulton that show the support and understanding of FASD.
Click here to see a CBC video called “Justice for people with FASD who commit crimes”.