Carlos NAMANA - 02/05/2019
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Hearing: 2 May 2019
at Spring Hill Corrections Facility
Members of the Board:
- Ms T Williams Blyth - Panel Convenor
- Ms F Pimm
- Dr J Skipworth
- Mr D Allan
- Mr T Graham (NZPB)
- Mr P Hobbs (TVNZ)
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Carlos Namana (39) appears for consideration of parole. He is serving a life sentence for the murder of Constable Stretch that took place in 1999, when Mr Namana was 19 years old.
- While being sentenced on 20 October 1999, Mr Namana did not become eligible for parole until 28 May 2015.
- In terms of Mr Namana’s behaviour, he has not incurred a misconduct since 2011. He has been IDU (identified drug user) free since 2012 and held a minimum security classification since 2014.
- Mr Namana last appeared before the Board in May 2018. The Board acknowledged completion of the six-month drug treatment programme (DTP) in 2015 and the special treatment unit rehabilitation programme (STURP) in 2017. In addition, he had used his time in prison to obtain a number of unit standard qualifications in carpentry, horticulture, furniture making and engineering. At that time, he was also taking part in the puppies in prison programme.
- The Board acknowledged the work that had been completed but were of the view that Mr Namana needed to demonstrate that he could apply the skills learned outside the prison setting and in a variety of situations. Mr Namana’s participation in guided releases, release to work and transition to Te Whare Oranga Ake were supported.
- For today’s hearing, the Board has received a psychological report dated 27 March 2019. The report is positive. While assessing his risk of violent reoffending as medium-high and his risk of general reoffending as high, the psychologist acknowledged that following treatment, Mr Namana was considered to be in the “action” stage of change for substance use and community support. This is said to indicate his engagement in risk reduction behaviours over an extended period of time.
- In discussions with the psychologist Mr Namana was able to discuss both positive and negative aspects of himself and his behaviour, as well as what he has done to address those behaviours. The psychologist was also provided with a release plan containing both his reintegration plan and management of Mr Namana’s dynamic risk factors. Mr Namana is said to have been actively thinking about developing strategies to address the factors which led to his index offending.
- In March 2018 Mr Namana began release to work. In September 2018 he was transferred to Te Whare Oranga Ake. In addition, he has participated in four guided release activities and a number of shopping outings.
- A robust release proposal has been developed. Mr Namana’s plan includes accommodation approved by Corrections, full time employment, an extensive support network including professional, community and whānau support.
- Reintegration/whānau hui have been held in February and June 2018. On 12 April 2019 a further hui was held at Community Corrections. This was an opportunity for Mr Namana to share his safety and release plans with his probation officer and others who will provide support on his release.
- With regard to the multi-disciplinary team, there was one matter that had yet to be addressed. Mr Namana had yet to meet with the police liaison officer that he will be working with in the community.
- The Board has also received a parole assessment report. There have been no incidents or misconducts. Mr Namana is said to have an excellent work ethic with a permanent job offer from his release to work employer. The report is positive.
- At the outset of today’s hearing, counsel for Mr Namana made extensive and helpful submissions. Counsel outlined Mr Namana’s childhood background then highlighted the good work that has been completed since the last hearing including release to work, residing at Te Whare Oranga Ake and 38 shopping outings.
- As part of his release conditions, and to acknowledge the victims of his offending, Mr Namana invited the Board to consider a condition that he is not to enter the south Waikato region, particularly Mangakino and Tokoroa.
- The Board spoke with Mr Namana. He was able to articulate his high risk situations and the strategies to address the same. He has taken on the learning and was able to provide examples of when he has applied his new skills.
- A key component of Mr Namana’s release proposal is for him to be transparent, honest and accepting.
- It is Mr Namana’s position that his strong support network is a key component of his release proposal and he will continue to be transparent and honest with them.
- Mr Namana identified his biggest challenge as his risk of general offending. He thought that would be in relation to traffic issues and being on time, needing to know who is who in the new environments, getting his licences and maintaining constant communication. He firmly believes that he has completed the work and has the support in place to deal with any challenges that may arise.
- In making the above comments Mr Namana acknowledged that there will be challenges, but he has done a lot of work and is going to give it his best.
- The Board has considered the seriousness of Mr Namana’s offending, the extensive work that has been completed during the 20 year period that he has been in prison, particularly his development and behaviour over the last 10 years, his ability to articulate his high risk situations and safety plan, his robust release plan including his longstanding support network, the positive reports from within the prison and his employer, and his presentation today. The Board is satisfied that Mr Namana no longer poses an undue risk and any residual risk can be managed by conditions.
- Mr Namana will be released on [withheld] June 2019. Mr Namana will be subject to special conditions for five years and standard conditions for life.
- The Board acknowledges that Mr Namana has grown up in the prison and there will be challenges for him in the community. In saying that the Board is confident that given the strength of his release proposal, his extensive support together with the special conditions, any issues that arise will be able to be managed.
- Given the seriousness of Mr Namana’s offending, the age at which he entered prison and the length of time he has served, a face to face monitoring hearing is to take place in four months. That is, in October 2019. That will give the Board an opportunity to discuss Mr Namana’s progress on parole.
- Mr Namana has been advised that the curfew will remain in place until the monitoring hearing. Any variation of the special conditions can be discussed with the Board at the next hearing.
- Mr Namana is also advised that due to the condition that he not possess, use or consume alcohol or drugs, he may be subject to random alcohol and drug testing.
- The following special conditions are:
(1) To attend a psychological assessment and attend, participate in and complete any recommended treatment as directed by a Probation Officer.
(2) To attend, participate in and complete a financial budgeting programme as directed by a Probation Officer.
(3) To attend an assessment for a departmental programme and/or maintenance group, and attend, participate in and adhere to the rules of the programme and/or maintenance group as directed by a Probation Officer.
(4) To attend an assessment for an Alcohol and Drug Treatment programme and/or maintenance group and attend, participate in and adhere to the rules of the programme and/or maintenance group as directed by a Probation Officer.
(5) To reside at [withheld] and not move from that address unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(6) To be at your approved address between 10.00pm and 5.00am daily unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(7) To submit to electronic monitoring as directed by a Probation Officer in order to monitor your compliance with any condition(s) relating to whereabouts.
(8) To comply with the requirements of electronic monitoring and provide access to your approved residence by a Probation Officer and/or representatives of the monitoring company for the purpose of maintaining the electronic monitoring equipment as directed by a Probation Officer.
(9) Not to enter Mangakino, South Waikato and the Tokoroa Regions as defined by a probation officer in writing unless you have the prior written approval of a probation officer.
(10) Not to possess, use, or consume alcohol, controlled drugs or psychoactive substances except controlled drugs prescribed for you by a health professional.
(11) To comply with any direction made under section 29B(2)(b) of the Parole Act 2002 to attend a hearing at a time and place to be notified to you.
Ms T Williams Blyth