CARROLL - Michael John - 27/08/15
Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002
Michael John CARROLL
Hearing: 27 August 2015
at (withheld) Prison
Members of the Board:
Hon M A Frater – Panel Convenor
Judge P Gittos
Dr J Skipworth
Mr L Comer
In attendance: (withheld)
DECISION OF THE BOARD
1. Michael John Carroll, aged 55, is serving a sentence of preventive detention imposed in 1988 following an appalling history of sexual offending against women.
2. Mr Carroll did not seek parole today. He is currently undertaking the Adult Sex Offender Treatment Programme run in (withheld) Unit at (withheld) Prison. He will complete the post-treatment phase at the end of this month and then progress to the maintenance stage. This will last for about three months. The current plan is that he will then be transferred back to (withheld) where he successfully completed the three month Drug Treatment Unit programme and spent time as a mentor.
3. Mr Carroll has been incarcerated for some 27 years on this sentence, after previously serving a sentence of borstal training and three separate terms of imprisonment. He is obviously apprehensive about returning to the community. He is disappointed in himself in that, notwithstanding all that he was learnt in the programmes he has undertaken recently, he still reacted aggressively when told this morning that his security classification would remain at low for the next six months. But this is not necessarily a bad thing. It is to his credit that he recognised this behaviour and could identify the triggers for it.
4. Mr Carroll accepts that he has a lot of work to do to construct a viable release plan. At this stage he has no family or community support, apart from people he has met in prison, in particular, a PCO at (withheld) Prison, and his lawyers. He acknowledges that he needs help to build a support network. He would like to be considered for Release to Work but his current security classification and the Department’s policy in relation to offenders on indeterminate sentences currently precludes that.
5. Mr Carroll has made significant progress in recent years. The challenge for him going forward will be to maintain confidence in his own ability and to deal with the set backs and frustrations he will undoubtedly encounter as he strives for release. Clearly his reintegration needs to be taken slowly and carefully.
6. But he is on the right path. We would support his transfer to (withheld) Regional Prison once he has completed the STURP graduate’s programme. We would also support his engagement in reintegrative activities at a pace and sequence the Prison Authorities consider appropriate. In due course this could include Self Care, temporary releases and Release to Work, but we imagine that these will be taken one step at a time, with Mr Carroll being tested at each stage.
7. Parole is declined today. As noted, Mr Carroll did not seek it.
8. However, we are not prepared to bring him back in three months as he asked. There is no prospect of his release on parole at that stage. We leave it to the Prison Authorities to manage his sentence and to assist him to formulate the necessary release plan.
9. He will be seen again in accordance with the statutory cycle.
10. An updated psychological assessment of his risk following treatment and the strength of his release plan, together with recommendations for future intervention, is required for the next hearing.
Hon M A Frater