Shelley Lee WILLIAMS - 04/03/2019

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002

Shelley Lee WILLIAMS

Hearing: 4 March 2019

at Christchurch Women’s Prison

Members of the Board:

  • Ms M More (Panel Convenor)
  • Ms P Rose
  • Mr J Thompson


  1. Shelley Williams, aged 42, makes her first appearance before the Board. She is serving a sentence of five years for three aggravated robberies, assault with intent to rob, property greater than $1000 (x3).  Ms Williams robbed a Dunedin jeweller, an antique store, a food market, and wielded a plastic gun.
  2. The reports prepared for the Board show that Ms Williams has inconsistent behaviour, she has six misconducts, and she is currently IDU (identified drug user) positive.
  3. Ms Williams spoke fluently to the Board. She said the Kowhiritanga programme had been amazing and she realises that she must never drink or do drugs again.  Ms Williams said she used alcohol and drugs to mask her emotional pain, including the death of [withheld].
  4. Interestingly, Ms Williams said she was sober for the index offending. She told the Board that her family were very surprised that in fact she was not under the influence of substances.  Ms Williams candidly told us that her conviction history, including 12 convictions for violence, all related to substance abuse.
  5. Ms Williams told us that she came to Christchurch Women’s from Auckland Regional Women’s Correction Facility to do the Kowhiritanga programme.  She also told us that she had spent some time in the Otago Corrections Facility when she did the Drug Treatment Programme.  The offender detail report prepared for this hearing does not mention time in Otago.
  6. Ms Williams spoke candidly about her behaviour in prison and her misconducts.  She said that she is not abusive to staff, but she will tell prisoners off, she agrees that she can be disruptive at times.
  7. The Principal Corrections Officer (PCO) who came with Ms Williams told the Board that she was in fact honest, and that Ms Williams needs structure and routine.  The PCO said Ms Williams can be vocal and theatrical but she has no issues with staff.
  8. Ms Williams has a weak release proposal.  She has proposed [withheld] address in [withheld], and she points out to the Board that the probation report prepared for the Board is incorrect.  The report says that Ms Williams may only be welcome at [withheld] for a short period of time. Ms Williams says that [withheld] has been incorrectly reported and, in fact, she will be welcome to stay there as long as she needs to.  Unfortunately, [withheld] could not come to the Board for logistical reasons.
  9. Ms Williams said that she also may go to [withheld] farm if for some reason she was unable to be at [withheld].
  10. Ms Williams says [withheld] does not want her in the house by herself, and in fact [withheld] wrote a letter to the Board in which she said that she does not do well when she is on her own.
  11. Ms Williams has spent some time in Australia, she told the Board that she has no convictions in that jurisdiction.
  12. For the moment, Ms Williams presents as an undue risk and parole is declined, Ms Williams has work to do.  Ms Williams needs to demonstrate consistent good behaviour, have a misconduct-free period, deal with her identified drug-use status, and formulate a safety plan.  Ms Williams will also benefit from some reintegration.
  13. Ms Williams presents as being complex, and the Board would benefit from more information about her.  For the next hearing the Board would be assisted by a psychological report.  The Board asks that that report includes but is not limited to; an assessment of Ms Williams’ risk, an assessment of what further work she would need to do to mitigate her risk, an evaluation of where that work might best be undertaken (for example in prison or in the community), an assessment of Ms Williams release proposal and any further recommendations.
  14. The Board asks the psychologist, when assessing what work needs to be done and where, to bear in mind the geographical issues with the fact that Ms Williams is hoping to be living in [withheld], and that Community Corrections has recommended she undertake programmes in [withheld].  The Board is conscious that, as a transgender woman, Ms Williams may struggle with group programmes, particularly in the community.
  15. The Board will see Ms Williams again in four months, that is in July 2019 and before the end of July 2019.  For that hearing the Board requests a psychological report as mentioned above, and the Board asks for a report on any possible conviction history Ms Williams may have in Australia.

Ms M More
Panel Convenor