Luana TAYLOR - 04/09/2019
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Luana Roberta TAYLOR
Hearing: 4 September 2019
at Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility via AVL from Christchurch Women’s Prison
Members of the Board:
- Ms T Williams Blyth – Panel Convenor
- Ms G Hughes
- Mr J Thomson
- Ms L Tu’i
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Luana Taylor (59) appears for consideration of parole on a six year three month sentence for failing to protect a vulnerable adult.
- Mrs Taylor has some previous convictions. They largely relate to dishonesty and drug offending.
- In prison Mrs Taylor has a RoC*RoI of .20289, a prison security classification of minimum and a statutory release date of 4 November 2022. There is approximately three years two months left on her sentence.
- When Mrs Taylor appeared before the Board in September 2018 her offending, as well as her expressed inability to complete rehabilitation, were discussed. In concluding that Mrs Taylor remained an undue risk the Board requested:
(a) A medical report providing independent confirmation of Mrs Taylor’s medical diagnosis, her treatment and Mrs Taylor’s ability to engage in treatment.
(b) A report from the short rehabilitation programme (SRP) confirming Mrs Taylor’s attendance and progress.
(c) A psychological report after completion of rehabilitation addressing Mrs Taylor’s risk, any outstanding treatment needs and assessment of her release proposal.
- The Board have received the psychological report dated 7 August 2019. The psychologist described Mrs Taylor as generally compliant, although there were occasions when she has been abusive to staff. Comments were also made regarding non-criminogenic issues particularly the use of pain killers.
- Based on static dynamic and protective factors Mrs Taylor is considered to be at low/moderate risk of re‑offending. It is considered that her risk of re‑offending could be managed if she continued to develop her coping and problem-solving skills when experiencing negative emotions related to physical pain.
- The psychologist recommended that Mrs Taylor work with her case manager to further develop her release plan, particularly in relation to her medical needs. A reintegration hui before Mrs Taylor is released and engagement with a community alcohol and drug service (CADS) is also supported.
- The Board has received a parole assessment report. That report confirms that Mrs Taylor completed the SRP in December 2018. We have also been provided with a maintenance report which confirms that Mrs Taylor attended all four maintenance sessions. These were completed on 7 March 2019.
- The Principal Corrections Officer (PCO) advised that the staff dealings with Mrs Taylor have been very positive, with Mrs Taylor being very respectful and helpful with others. There have been no misconducts. Mrs Taylor is noted for her positive attitude.
- At the outset of the hearing, counsel took the Board through her written submissions. Counsel highlighted that her client has served three years, 30 days of her sentence. Given her security classification, the circumstances of the offending and her support in the community it was submitted that Mrs Taylor no longer poses an undue risk to the community.
- For her part Mrs Taylor told the Board that with the help of her medical team she was able to engage in the rehabilitation programme. She wanted to complete the rehabilitation for herself, despite having difficulty sitting for long periods. There were no issues for her on the programme.
- Mrs Taylor said that she has learned a lot about herself. The programme was helpful as she was able to talk about her issues from the past. She found that the ‘solve’ strategy worked for her.
- With regard to her offending she says that it went against her instincts. She should have done something straightaway. She told the Board that she was not well at the time and was all over the place. If released she intends to live in [withheld], attend a whānau meeting and engage with [withheld]. She would also like to attend church.
- Mrs Taylor told the Board that she now knows that she needs to work with probation. She does not want to return to prison.
- With regard to the psychological report Mrs Taylor maintains that she told, or acknowledged to, the psychologist, that what she did was not right. With regard to the smell, she thought the smell was from the sewer pipes outside.
- The Board have considered Mrs Taylor’s history, the current offending, which is serious, the completion of rehabilitation, her behaviour in the prison setting, the views of the victim’s family, the psychological report and her presentation today. The Board are satisfied that Mrs Taylor no longer poses an undue risk to the community and any residual risk can be managed by conditions.
- Mrs Taylor will be released on parole on 25 September 2019. She will be subject to standard and special conditions until her statutory release date.
- The special conditions are as follows:
(1) To reside at [withheld] (address in the Auckland area), or any other address approved in writing by a Probation Officer, and not move from that address without the written approval of a Probation Officer.
(2) 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.
(3) Not to have contact or otherwise associate, with any family member of the victim of your offending, directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(4) To attend any other assessment, treatment, programme or counselling as directed by a Probation Officer. Details of the appropriate programme to be determined by your Probation Officer.
(5) To attend a reintegration meeting as directed by a Probation Officer.
(6) To attend an assessment for a departmental programme/maintenance group, and attend, participate in and adhere to the rules of the programme/maintenance group as directed by a Probation Officer.
T Williams Blyth