Summary: For the past 11 years, Adrian, a man with an intellectual disability and chromosomal disorder, has been locked up without a trial or release date. Held at Brisbane’s Forensic Disability Service, Adrian’s treatment has been described as unlawful and a form of systemic abuse. He lives in solitary confinement and has been subjected to disturbing incidents, including the use of police dogs to subdue him. This case highlights the issue of indefinite detention for individuals with mental illnesses or disabilities in Australia, where they can be trapped in the forensic system with no clear path to release.
Adrian, a man in his mid-30s with an intellectual disability and chromosomal disorder, has spent the last 11 years locked up without a trial or a release date. He resides at Brisbane’s Forensic Disability Service (FDS), where he has been held in solitary confinement, except for rare breaks. The facility, intended to be transitional, prepares individuals for reintegration into the community.
However, Adrian’s treatment at the FDS has been described as unlawful and systemic abuse. A 2019 Ombudsman’s report revealed disturbing incidents, including the use of police dogs to subdue him, leaving him crying and in a foetal position on the ground. Adrian has also lived in a tent in his outdoor caged area, with black mould growing in his mattress.
Indefinite detention is a significant issue for people with mental illnesses or intellectual disabilities in Australia. They can be trapped in the forensic system for years without a release date. Some experts argue that forensic patients spend more time in detention than if they had been sentenced to prison with a criminal conviction. Prolonged periods of solitary confinement and chemical restraint are common, and in some cases, patients receive no treatment or rehabilitation.
The Disability Royal Commission recently recommended changes to laws in several Australian states to end indefinite detention and ensure that prison is a last resort for forensic patients. However, for individuals like Adrian, who face a future of uncertainty and hopelessness, urgent action is needed to address their institutional abuse and provide them with a pathway to a better life outside of the forensic system.
Tags: Adrian, forensic disability, indefinite detention, systemic abuse, solitary confinement, mental illness, intellectual disability, Australian laws, rehabilitation, human rights