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SHEPHERD - Elvis Dobson - 16/10/2015

Parole hearing

Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002


Elvis Dobson SHEPHERD

Hearing: 16 October 2015 at (withheld) Prison

Members of the Board: 
  Judge E Paul (Panel Convenor)
  Ms P Rose
  Mr L Tawera

Support persons: (withheld)


1. Elvis Dobson Shepherd appears for parole consideration today.  He is supported by his family [withheld].  He is a 54 year old man serving a lengthy jail sentence for offending against young Maori males while employed at Hato Petera College.

2. He has a low RoC*RoI, currently minimum security.

3. When last before the Board in August of this year it was noted he was to complete the SIP Programme.  He has now completed having graduated from that programme.  He has presented a release proposal.  It is a robust release plan significantly supported by his family members.  This Board has had the benefit of a psychological report and perhaps some very insightful comments from (withheld)  today.

4. Mr Shepherd has, even during therapy and subsequently, demonstrated an ability to still attract attention to himself and promote himself both in treatment and in the (withheld) community.  This has presented as a red flag for the Board because it was while in positions of responsibility that he used those very same positions to disguise his criminal offending.

5. Mr Shepherd is aware of these risks but we were concerned that at times, he is yet able to discipline himself to mitigate those risks.  No clearer example could have been given to us than while in the (withheld) community, he took it upon himself to be the spokesman at the (withheld).  It was only once he was challenged on that by (withheld) that he finally acknowledged he should not be putting himself forward and let others speak for themselves.  Having said that it is this Board’s sense that is perhaps essentially in Mr Shepherd’s nature but he must be very alert to that in the future.

6. This Board after careful consideration, weighing Mr Shepherd’s treatment results and behaviours as against the very robust support plan, are satisfied that any risk he continues to present can be mitigated by very strict focussed conditions on release.

7. To that end, the release conditions will include not only that he attend a whanau hui within one month of release but that significant community persons be invited to that hui.  They could well be the local sole charge police officer, local ministers, the local GP.  At that whanau hui, we directed Mr Shepherd share his offence chain and his safety plan with those present.  Furthermore, we will be adding a specific condition tailored to Mr Shepherd that he not undertake any positions of responsibility or leadership whether by way of employment or voluntarily without further seeking the written approval of his Probation Officer and that should any risks related to his index offending be identified, those risks are mitigated before that approval is given.

8. There will also be a condition that Mr Shepherd attend in person, a monitoring hearing in March 2016.  Given the seriousness of his offending and the lack of opportunity for a reintegration prior to release, it is important the Board has an opportunity to review Mr Shepherd’s progress.

9. Finally, this Board sees the special conditions will run six months past his sentence end date.

10. Accordingly, Mr Shepherd will be granted parole and he will be released from Prison on 9 November 2015.

(1) To attend and complete such counselling/programme/treatment to address identified offending behaviour as may be directed by the Probation Officer and to the satisfaction of the Probation Officer and programme provider
(2) Attend for a psychological assessment and complete any treatment/counselling as recommended by the psychological assessment to the satisfaction of your Probation Officer and treatment provider.
(3) Undertake and complete appropriate treatment/counselling to the satisfaction of the Probation Officer and treatment provider. The details of the counselling or treatment to be determined by your Probation Officer.
(4) To reside at (withheld) and not to move from that address without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(5) To notify your Probation Officer prior to starting, terminating or changing your position or place of employment.
(6) Not to undertake any employment or training (paid or unpaid) without the written approval of a Probation Officer.
(7) Not to undertake any positions of responsibility or leadership without the written approval of your Probation Officer.
(8) Within one month of your release, to attend a whanau/family hui at an approved venue within a time frame to be determined by your Probation Officer. The Probation Officer to invite persons within the community that could include local Police Officer, GP, Ministers of the church and Iwi leaders, and that he deliver his offence chain and safety plan to the whanau hui.
(9) You are not to have contact or otherwise associate with the victim(s) of your offending, directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written consent of your Probation Officer.
(10) Not to enter any school, playground, park/reserve, kohanga reo, marae, or place where children are likely to congregate, unless under the direct supervision of an informed adult that has prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(11) Not to communicate or associate with any person under 16 years of age, unless under the direct supervision of an informed adult who has been approved by a Probation Officer in writing.
(12) To attend for a monitoring and compliance hearing before the New Zealand Parole Board in March 2016 at a time, date and venue to be notified in writing by the New Zealand Parole Board.



Judge E Paul
Panel Convenor