Carlos NAMANA - 02/05/2018
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Hearing: 2 May 2018
at Spring Hill Corrections Facility
Members of the Board:
- Hon M A Frater (Panel Convenor)
- Dr J Skipworth
- Mr P Elenio
Counsel: Mr D Allan
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Carlos Namana is serving a life sentence of imprisonment, with a minimum non-parole period of 16 years, for the murder of Constable Stretch in Mangakino, 19 years ago. He was 19 when he committed this crime; he is now 38.
- He was sentenced on 20 October 1999 and became eligible to be released on parole on 28 May 2015.
- Mr Namana has used his time in prison well, particularly lately. He has held a minimum security classification since July 2014 and been IDU-free since the beginning of 2012. Apart from a minor incident that led to a misconduct charge, for which he was admonished and discharged, there have been no concerns about his behaviour for some years now. The last proven misconduct was in 2011, when Mr Namana incurred an IDU status.
- He completed the Drug Treatment Programme (DTP) 6 in 2015 and went on from there to attend the Special Treatment Unit Rehabilitation Programme (STURP). He began the programme at the beginning of 2016, was stood down at the beginning of December that year, restarted at the beginning of 2017 and graduated in November last year.
- Over the years he has achieved a number of unit standards in subjects as varied as introductory furniture making, carpentry, horticulture, engineering and laundry work.
- He is currently working with the Puppies in Prison programme and housed in the inner self-care unit. While there, he has participated in 14 escorted outings outside the prison, mainly to do shopping for the unit.
- He participated in a whānau hui in August last year and has had regular visits from his support people. These include the five members of his Circle of Support and Accountability (COSA), the majority of whom are members of the [withheld] church.
- Given the progress which he has made, his counsel, Mr Allan, sought his release on parole. In doing so he emphasised Mr Namana’s increased maturity and self-awareness over the last 19 years, which has seen him grow from an angry violent youth to a skilled, reflective adult.
- Mr Namana is fortunate to have the loyal support of the members of his COSA support who, together, have offered him not only employment and accommodation post-release, but also a commitment to continue to support him in tertiary studies and in dealing with the issues which will surely confront him in the community.
- However, while all this is certainly impressive, having regard to Mr Namana’s past history - the struggles he has had from time to time, in particular dealing with his emotions; his assessed high risk of violent re-offending and moderate risk of general offending; and his very limited exposure to the community, we are not satisfied that he has yet reached the point where he can safely be released.
- We do not see his position as different from that of any other offender. We agree with the writer of the latest psychological report that his risk of re-offending is likely to be mitigated by engaging in a stepwise gradual reintegration pathway. He needs to be able to demonstrate that he can apply the skills learnt in the various programmes he has undertaken, outside the prison setting and in a variety of situations.
- Accordingly, parole is declined today. Mr Namana will be scheduled to be seen again in a year’s time and before the end of May 2019, at the latest.
- We support his participation in guided releases, release to work and transition to Te Whare Oranga Ake, in the meantime.
- An updated psychological assessment report is required for the next hearing.
Hon M A Frater