Canadian Teen To Be Transferred To U.S. Because Of Lacking
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 20, 2005
MIRAMICHI, NEW BRUNSWICK--A 13-year-old boy, who is being currently being housed on the grounds of a New Brunswick jail, is being sent out of the country because the province does not have the services he needs, the Toronto Star reported Wednesday.
The unnamed boy has autism, is a ward of the government, and is under the guardianship of the minister of province's family and community services. He was living in a group home until recently, when he was removed because he was considered dangerous to himself and others.
Even though he has not been charged with a crime, he is now staying in a three-bedroom apartment on the grounds of the Miramichi Youth Centre, a prison housing about 50 juvenile offenders, the Star noted. The apartment is located outside the wire fence that surrounds the facility. Two attendants supervise the teen 24 hours a day.
Provincial officials said Tuesday that, because the system is not currently able to meet his needs, the boy is being transferred in the next few weeks to a program near Augusta, Maine operated by the Spurwink Institute. That program's website says it specializes in treating "the diverse needs of children, adolescents and adults who have emotional, behavioral and developmental challenges".
"They put this boy in a criminal facility because he is autistic," said Harold Doherty, a board member of the Autism Society of New Brunswick.
"Now we are exporting our children because we can't care for them. This is Canada, not a Third World country."
Provincial authorities insisted that the boy is not being held within the jail itself, and that they are doing everything they can to meet his needs.
"Autistic boy kept in New Brunswick jail" (Toronto Star)