Joyce Eileen CONWELL - 4/12/2018

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Joyce Eileen CONWELL

Hearing: 4 December 2018

at Christchurch Women’s Prison

Members of the Board:

  • Sir Ron Young – Chairperson
  • Assoc Prof. P Brinded
  • Ms P Rose


  • Ms V Walsh


  • [withheld]

Support Persons:

  • [withheld]
  • [withheld]


  1. Joyce Eileen Conwell is 71 years of age and currently minimum classification. She was convicted of attempted murder and subsequently murder in 2000.
  2. She was released in 2012 but four years later began offending by way of money laundering. That was eventually discovered. She was charged with criminal offences, convicted and recalled to prison in 2017. She has a long history of offending, particularly for dishonesty.
  3. The Parole Board in December 2017 suggested that she needed to develop a stronger release plan and work with the psychologists in prison for further assistance. The parole assessment report and the psychological report essentially contain similar suggestions and reports. Firstly, they note that there has been some further very limited one on one psychological counselling, some four sessions apparently. Secondly, Ms Conwell has developed a safety plan, together with a problem solving document, both of which were provided to us today.
  4. Her original plan had been to be released to [withheld] programme for two or three months in [withheld] and then finally to be released to [withheld]. There was concern expressed, understandably, in the psychologist’s report that Ms Conwell would have no support in [withheld] and that her only real support was [withheld]. It was noted that Ms Conwell had no contact with groups in that area that might be supportive. The concern was expressed that she was not able to recall any details of her safety plan and she did need to understand it.
  5. We spent some time discussing the current situation with Ms Conwell. She had with her [withheld] as well as her counsel.
  6. Prior to the hearing today they had apparently discussed an alternative proposal, which was, after two or three months with [withheld], she would go and live in [withheld]. It seems that there would be greater possibilities of personal support from her daughter and sister who live respectively in [withheld]. They both travel regularly through [withheld] and could see her on those occasions. In addition, it was suggested that there were other broader family members who might also be in contact and support Ms Conwell.
  7. It was clear to us in our discussion that the [withheld] option had not been developed and until it was we consider that she remained an undue risk. We will see her again in June 2019. We think that as a minimum she needs to develop the [withheld] option if that is the preferred option for her future in far more detail. We would wish to know essentially where she was to live, what rehabilitation programmes were possible there, what support there could be from Community Corrections, specifically what support persons would be available, the fact that they have been spoken to and what specific support they could provide. In other words, Ms Conwell needs to develop a tight plan for her reintegration into the community.
  8. Her past records is reason for great concern and such a tight plan in her case is essential.
  9. The psychological report said Ms Conwell needs to work openly and actively alongside her case manager and probation to continue to develop a robust release plan. We agree.
  10. As we have noted above, we will therefore see her by the end of June 2019 with the hope that she will have provided a detailed plan.

Sir Ron Young