Daniella Kohuroa BOWMEN - 28/09/2017
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Daniella Kohuroa BOWMEN
Hearing: 28 September 2017
At [withheld] via AVL from [withheld]
Members of the Board:
- Hon. M A Frater (Panel Convenor)
- Assoc. Prof. P Brinded
- Ms F Pimm
- Mr D Hauraki
In attendance: [withheld] – Corrections Psychologist
Support Persons: [withheld]
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Thirty-five year old Daniella Kohuroa Bowmen is serving a life sentence of imprisonment for the murder of Raymond Mullins on 1 April 1999.
- When she appeared before the Board on 5 May last, she had recently been regressed from the self-care unit and release to work, following an inappropriate relationship with a co-worker at [withheld].
- The Board noted that Ms Bowmen was well supported by her [withheld] and [withheld] and that her focus was on release to [withheld]. However, at that stage suitable accommodation had not been found. The Board suggested that once that had happened, a Whānau Hui be convened and that she be assisted by a guided release visit to the area. The Board also supported the resumption of one-to-one psychological treatment.
- Since then, Ms Bowmen has progressed from the [withheld] to the employment hub and has completed 10 individual treatment sessions with a psychologist, which she has found helpful.
- She has been approved for work in the external painters’ party, but so far no appropriate projects have come up.
- Corrections did not approve her proposed accommodation with her [withheld] but, in the last few days, [withheld] have agreed to accommodate and support her, and a bed is available from 17 October.
- The other very significant development is that on 22 September, Ms Bowmen participated in a restorative justice conference with one of her victims, [withheld]. Understandably, this was a very emotional event for all concerned. Ms Bowmen said that she was thankful that she had had the opportunity to have this meeting. She said that she was in a better, stronger place as a result. It caused her to focus on the terrible events of that day and to put herself in [withheld] shoes. She said that she would not wish on anybody what [withheld] and the other victims have had to go through.
- Ms Bowmen is keen to be released to [withheld]. She has met with representatives of that organisation once only, and that was by video conference when she was assessed. She has a limited understanding of what they can offer, and has not yet visited the property, or indeed, ever been to [withheld] before.
- In making a decision about parole we are very conscious of the recommendations of the writer of the psychological assessment report of 20 March this year, namely that, in order to mitigate Ms Bowmen’s assessed moderate/low risk of re-offending, “She requires a structured, stepwise, gradual release and reintegrative process, which may take the form of adequately spaced day leaves, (ideally multiple), and conditions that initially resemble her current self-care custodial environment.”
- The report writer also recommended that a Whānau Hui be organised once her release date had been finalised and that she be supported by a Departmental psychologist during the initial period post-release. She said that Ms Bowmen would also need to receive ongoing support to mitigate the risk of relapse into substance use such as having a sponsor and engaging in aftercare groups with a Community Alcohol and Drug Service provider.
- In the circumstances we have decided not to release Ms Bowmen on parole today.
- In our view it is essential that before any release takes place, she is given the opportunity to travel to [withheld], to see the place that she will be released to, and something of the wider area. She also needs to visit [withheld] home and meet with those who will be working with and supporting her following release. That will necessarily include the staff at [withheld], the Community Probation Officer who will be assigned to her and, hopefully, also the psychologist.
- On a subsequent visit, all interested parties, including her [withheld] and [withheld] and professional supporters should have the opportunity of meeting together in a Whānau Hui so that everyone knows what is expected of them and can agree upon a plan to work together. This should happen before release. Whether there is a similar meeting following release is a matter for the future. The important thing is to ease Ms Bowmen’s transition back into the community.
- Parole is declined today.
- Ms Bowmen will be scheduled for a further hearing during the week beginning 5 February 2018. We would support her participation in as many reintegrative activities as possible before then.
- A brief updating parole assessment report commenting on any changes in Ms Bowmen’s situation, the revised date on which a bed will become available at [withheld], and the outcome of the expected reintegrative activities, should be provided for that hearing.
Hon. M A Frater