Joyce CONWELL - 02/09/2019
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Joyce Eileen CONWELL
Hearing: 2 September 2019
at Christchurch Women’s Prison
via AVL from Rolleston Prison
Members of the Board:
- Sir Ron Young – Chairperson
- Assoc Prof. P Brinded
- Mr P Elenio
- Ms V Walsh
- Mr L Pullan – Principal Psychologist
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Ms Conwell is 72 years of age. She was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder in 2000, the murder having been committed in 1999. She had been convicted and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for attempted murder occurring in 1998. She was released on parole in 2012 and recalled in 2017 because she committed a series of frauds during the course of 2016 and early 2017. She was sentenced to a further period of imprisonment for theft.
- As to the current position, Ms Conwell has completed all of the rehabilitation programmes asked of her. Last time when we saw her in May 2019, she was not able to speak well to her safety plan but had made good progress while in prison. There was some significant uncertainty regarding accommodation and so further consideration of parole was put off until today’s date. Ms Conwell now has suitable accommodation with an old friend, [withheld]. A whānau hui has been held to ensure that [withheld] has been informed about all of Ms Conwell’s previous offending as well as other support people; [withheld].
- Ms Conwell has been undertaking guided releases into the community. There was some discussion at the last Board as to whether or not it would be better for Ms Conwell to be released initially to [withheld] for a period of a few months before release to [withheld]’s address. Community Corrections has advised us they think it better of a direct release to [withheld]. We accept that position although we comment further when we note the conditions of the release we propose to authorise.
- We are satisfied now that Ms Conwell is no longer an undue risk and may be released on parole. We are satisfied as we have said that Ms Conwell can be released directly to [withheld]’s address, however, we do so on the basis that we understand that [withheld] will immediately contact her and undertake an assessment as to Ms Conwell’s needs. Boredom is a major problem for Ms Conwell. We are concerned that during the course of the day, [withheld] will be at work and so Ms Conwell could be left to her own devices. We think the involvement in [withheld] should ensure that she is not left to her own devices during the course of the week but is encouraged to undertake her interests in the community.
- The other matter that we have addressed is Ms Conwell’s access to the internet. That has previously been an issue in her fraud charges. We are prepared to allow access to a phone and to the internet on the basis that the special condition will allow a probation officer to check the phone and internet connection to ensure that Ms Conwell is not using the internet inappropriately.
- Otherwise, we are satisfied now that Ms Conwell can be released on parole. She will be released on 16 September 2019. To ensure that [withheld] have intervened in her case and to check on how her living situation is progressing, we will see her quite early on in her sentence, by way of an in-person monitoring hearing in December 2019.
- The special conditions should apply for a period of five years from the date of her release.
- The 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 reside at [withheld] or any other address approved in writing by a Probation Officer, and not move from that address unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(3) Not to be involved in the handling of money, provision of advice or management of the financial accounts or transactions, of any person or entity, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(4) Not to have contact or otherwise associate, with any victim of your offending, [including previous offending] directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(5) To obtain the written approval of a Probation Officer before starting or changing your position and/or place of employment (including voluntary and unpaid work). To notify a Probation Officer if you leave your position of employment.
(6) To disclose to a Probation Officer, at the earliest opportunity, details of any intimate relationship which commences, resumes, or terminates.
(7) Upon request, to make available to a probation officer, or his or her agent, any electronic device capable of accessing the internet that is used by you, or is in your possession or control, for the purpose of monitoring your use of the device.
(8) To comply with any direction made under section 298(2)(b) of the Parole Act 2002 to attend a hearing at a time and place to be notified to you.
Sir Ron Young