National's New Zealand: where austistic teenagers are held in prison because the DHB is too lazy to help them:
A severely autistic young man is being held in prison because disability service providers cannot find an alternative place for him.
The 18-year-old, who has name suppression, appeared in the Palmerston North District Court this morning before Judge Gerard Lynch, who labelled the situation as "outrageous".
Community liaison nurse Grahame Stillwell said the young man was taken into custody on Sunday, after allegedly assaulting his mother.
He was assessed by the Mid-Central District Health Board crisis team, who said they were unable to perform a full assessment because of the man's challenging behaviour.
Stillwell said nothing had changed since then, and no agencies had responded to his emails asking for help.
The judge is right: this is outrageous. We should be helping disabled people, not imprisoning them - but here we have a young man effectively warehoused in prison because the government agency responsible for providing that help is too fucking lazy to do its job. But I guess helping him would cost money; easier to just dump him on someone else's budget instead.