Israel KAIHAU - 17/04/2020
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Hearing: 17 April 2020
By teleconference to Springhill Corrections Facility
Members of the Board:
- Alan Ritchie (Panel Convenor)
- Ms P Rose
- Mr W Hawkins
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Israel Kaihau, 26, has appeared for the further consideration of parole on his sentence of eight years one month for manslaughter adding to other offending which includes injuring with intent to injure, assaulting a female, possession of cannabis and wilful damage.
- This consideration is different from the norm. It is in accordance with an epidemic management notice and section 13A of the Parole Act. It has been before Panel Convenor and one member of the Board rather than two members as is usual. We have been engaged in a telephone conference involving Mr Kaihau, the prison officer and Mr Kaihau’s lawyer, Mr Hawkins.
- The prison security classification is minimum, the RoC*RoI .68013 and the sentence expiry date is 20 September 2021.
- On 5 December 2019 the Board noted mental health issues which apparently did not emerge until a Court case, which culminated in Mr Kaihau being found not guilty by reason of insanity to a charge of assaulting a prison officer during this sentence.
- It is thought possible that the problems could have been in existence at the time of the index offending.
- The Board had the benefit of a psychiatric report dated 30 October 2019. The diagnosis was [withheld] and the psychiatrist recommended a transfer from Hawke’s Bay Prison to a prison closer to his intended accommodation to allow local mental health follow-up. Mr Kaihau is now in Spring Hill Prison.
- The parole assessment report refers to the completion of the Medium Intensity Rehabilitation Programme (MIRP) and the Drug Treatment Programme (DTP) in 2018.
- There have been no behavioural issues since the last Board hearing.
- The report says that forensic mental health services [in] Waikato had been contacted for treatment follow-up but there had been no response.
- In fact, a response was received by the Parole Board by way of letter of 1 April 2020 which advised that Mr Kaihau is under the care of forensic mental health services within Spring Hill Corrections Facility. It adds: "Mr Kaihau is being seen by members of our team, including myself, for ongoing monitoring and assessment of his mental state. I can confirm that Mr Kaihau is currently receiving treatment in the form of medication, and he remains adherent and compliant with this treatment".
- That is helpful information but it leaves us somewhat short on information about what the process will now be and what might be appropriate conditions were the Board to agree to a release on parole. We have had helpful written and oral submissions from Mr Hawkins. He refers to the support of [withheld] and the support Mr Kaihau will have from [withheld] to provide him with transport to and from appointments.
- There is another matter of concern to us, however, and it is in relation to the accommodation. Mr Kaihau proposes [withheld] address. It is not approved apparently because [withheld] are not considered pro-social influences according to local police. Mr Hawkins’ view is that it is far more likely that Mr Kaihau will be exposed to anti-social attitudes the longer he remains in prison damaging his longer-term prospects of rehabilitation.
- We acknowledge that submission but of course we cannot be directing a release on parole unless we are satisfied that risk to community safety is undue.
- We feel the need for further information from the forensic mental health services at Spring Hill on Mr Kaihau’s current mental state. Mr Kaihau’s consent may be required for that. Furthermore, we would like there to have been a reintegration hui ahead of the next hearing for parole.
- An additional reason why we are not satisfied in terms of risk and its management is that during the COVID-19 difficulties we expect support for mental health needs could be somewhat limited.
- Parole is declined. We hope that matters have moved on for Mr Kaihau in a positive way ahead of the next hearing which will be in August 2020.