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YORKE - Jan Tewaipounamuarererangi - 31/10/2016

Parole hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Jan Tewaipounamuarererangi YORKE

Hearing:  31 October 2016  at (withheld) via AVL to New Zealand Parole Board, Head Office

Members of the Board:

  • Alan Ritchie (Panel Convenor)
  • Ms G Hughes
  • Mr P Elenio

Counsel:

  • (withheld)

Support Persons:

  • (withheld)

DECISION OF THE BOARD

1. Jan Tewaipounamuarererangi Yorke, 52, has appeared for the further consideration of parole on her life sentence for murder committed in 1996.

2. The prison security classification is minimum and the RoC*RoI 0.30274.

3. On 30 March 2016, the Board noted that Ms Yorke had not been tested in the community over any sort of extended period including because of the unavailability of suitable Release to Work as had been recommended in a psychological assessment report.  The Board said that was the only way of testing her effectively and it needed to happen before release.

4. An application under s 26 Parole Act 2002 for an earlier hearing was granted in September 2016 on the basis of Release to Work having been undertaken on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays as well as other reintegrative activity through (withheld).

5. It was also indicated that there was (withheld) supported accommodation available from 16 November 2016.

6. We have no updating psychological assessment report but the addendum of 23 December 2015 assessed risk as medium high.  The recommendation was for the sorts of reintegration activities in which Ms Yorke has been engaged and our understanding and direction will be that a psychological assessment be undertaken on release.

7. Ms Yorke has presented with wide-ranging support.  We have been impressed by the work undertaken through (withheld).  There seems to be a very comprehensive and good action plan.  We have heard of a constructive support hui of 14 October 2016 and we have heard today from (withheld) who have confirmed the progress Ms Yorke has made and the plans that their reintegration service has for her, including the prospect of Ms Yorke undertaking te reo courses and contributing in other ways to marae life.

8. It seems that the Release to Work employment will remain available.  Consideration has been given to the transport requirements.  There seems to be little problem with that.  We have heard from the sponsor, (withheld), who has also been undertaking excellent work including by way of outings with Ms Yorke.  She seems like others to be a very important part of the available support.

9. The case manager, (withheld), expressed confidence in Ms Yorke’s understanding of her safety plan and in her capacity to implement it which was demonstrated recently when Ms Yorke had a fall.

10. The Prison Officer described first rate behaviour by Ms Yorke with no issue.

11. We have had an interesting discussion with (withheld) who was able to explain to us the prospective police involvement with Ms Yorke and we have been reassured about availability of (withheld) her including in other areas where she may be from time to time including at her work place.

12. Our discussion with Ms Yorke herself indicated quite a substantial change in her demeanour.  She is hugely appreciative of the support has been gathered around her and although apprehensive about the prospect of release, we do have some confidence that she will be able to cope and will not hesitate to engage her support network as necessary.

13. Looking at all of the information in front of us, we are satisfied that risk is no longer undue.  That is not to say there is not residual risk.  There is.  However, we believe that the risk level is manageable with appropriate parole conditions.

14. The circumstances are such that the Board does believe there are special circumstances to justify a continuing role in monitoring compliance with release conditions.  To that end, the Board will be directing Ms Yorke to attend a face to face meeting with the Board in March 2017.

15. Ms Yorke will be released on 16 November 2016.  She will be subject to the standard conditions set out in section 14 of the Parole Act.  Those standard conditions will continue for life.

16. Ms Yorke will also be subject to the following special conditions, with those conditions (subject to variation from time to time) continuing for a period of 10 years from the date of release.

17. The special conditions are:
(1) To attend and complete any treatment/counselling as recommended by the· psychological assessment to the satisfaction of your Probation Officer and treatment provider.
(2) To reside at (withheld) and not move from that address, or any subsequently approved address, without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(3) To comply with all rules or guidance issued by any accommodation provider including the (withheld)
(4) To notify your Probation Officer before starting, terminating or changing your position or place of employment.
(5) Not to have contact or otherwise associate with any victim of your offending, directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written consent of your Probation Officer. ·
(6) Not to enter the Taranaki District.
(7) Not to communicate or associate with Mark Goodwin, directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written consent of your Probation Officer.
(8) Not to possess or consume alcohol or illicit drugs.
(9) To comply with any direction issued in accordance with Section 29B(2)(b) of the Parole Act, 2002, requiring you to attend a hearing in March 2017 for the purpose of Parole Board monitoring of compliance with release conditions.

Alan Ritchie
Panel Convenor