On Feb 19 Amanda pled NOT GUILTY in court at the Antigonish Justice Center. Now she goes to trial on July 14/14. Amanda is living at the level of approximately and 8 year old. She has also been assessed and deemed not competent.
Amanda attending court. She's been charged with assault for striking a care worker at the home she lives in under the Department of Community Services.
Her parents are devastated that this is even happening to their child. All they want is for Amanda to be supported by Department of Community Services in the ways that are best for her. Not in a situation that is set up for failure.
Amanda and her mom, Iris Murphy.
Hopefully, Amanda will not go to jail. This could be devastating for her emotionally and physically. Our tax dollars support this action. All people are treated equally under the law. Yet not all people are equal.
MONDAY FEBRUARY 24 ~ 9:30am
Nichele is going to court in Dartmouth to enter a plea for her charges. Her parents are equally devastated. Please attend Nichele's court appearance to show support for her, her family and to let our leaders know that as Nova Scotia citizens and parents we won't tolerate criminalizing people with special needs. Especially when they have no option but to live in a system that sets them up for failure.
Nichele and her mother Brenda Hardiman.
Dartmouth Provincial Court
Halifax Regional Municipality
277 Pleasant Street
Phone: (902) 424-2390
Fax: (902) 424-0677
Excerpt from the blog A Primer on Special Needs and the Law By Michelle Morgan Coole:
For anyone who's somehow managed to miss it, 25-year-old Nichele has an organic brain disorder and began exhibiting bouts of aggressive behaviour following an epileptic seizure when she was four. We are told that due to her disability, Nichele is unable to control these outbursts. Despite that situation, things went fairly smoothly for the many years Nichele was living in an alternative family arrangement (think of it like foster care for an adult). Well, they went smoothly until the Department of Community Services changed its protocol and no longer allowed the family to use a therapeutic quiet room when Nichele had one of her aggressive outbursts.
The new protocol
Since the protocol change, Benn has had 17 police interventions, seven incarcerations and several assault charges and convictions. Nine months ago, Benn scratched the face of a commissionaire during an aggressive outburst; the police were called, Benn was arrested, charged and sentenced to 18 months’ probation, 24 hours of community service and ordered to provide a DNA sample.That was the situation back in March of 2013. Since then, things have only gotten worse for Nichele. This past April, Nichele was charged with assault after she slapped another resident in retaliation for him allegedly spitting in her face several times. Last month, Nichele bit a staff member while she was being put back in her room. Once there, she threw several objects at another staff member. That incident resulted in charges of assault and assault with a weapon the "weapon", by the way, was a shoe.
Read all of Michelle's blog here: