Jason BLACKLER - 07/04/2020

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002


Hearing: 7 April 2020

By teleconference to Invercargill Prison

Members of the Board:

  • Alan Ritchie (Panel Convenor)
  • Ms S Driver


  • Ms D Henderson


  1. Jason Carl Blackler, 50, has appeared for the first consideration of parole on his sentence of seven years for manslaughter.
  2. This hearing has been conducted differently from normal.  It has been in accordance with an epidemic management notice and with section 13A of the Parole Act.  There has been a hearing conducted by a panel convenor and one member of the Board rather than two as normal.  All of the usual material has been considered and there has been a telephone discussion involving the Board, Mr Blackler and the prison officer.
  3. The prison security classification is minimum, the RoC*RoI 0.58954 and the sentence expiry date is 27 October 2023.
  4. The victim of the index offending was a male flatmate who had angered Mr Blackler by remarks about Mr Blackler’s sister.  He assaulted the victim with his fists.
  5. There is a 16 page criminal history back to 1985 with the more recent offences being common assault in 2012 and 2013, cruelty to animals in 2014, threatening to kill in 2014 and alcohol impaired driving in 2016.
  6. In the parole assessment report, Mr Blackler is said to have mixed compliance and negligible or no effort to deal with his offending causes.  Indeed, he is said to have an uncompromising attitude to the sentence plan saying everything reported about him is either a misinterpretation or a lie.
  7. That attitude appeared to have moderated during a psychological assessment but it was thought possible that it could re-surface.
  8. That psychological assessment report is dated 24 February 2020. Risk is rated as high for violent and general re-offending.  The psychologist recommended, in view of significant unaddressed offending needs relating to substance abuse and violence propensity, Mr Blackler should be undertaking the Drug Treatment Programme (DTP) and the Special Treatment Unit Rehabilitation Programme (STURP) and possibly referral to [withheld].
  9. Ahead of this hearing, we received advice from a case manager that Mr Blackler would be refusing to attend the hearing. Rather, he wished for the hearing to be deferred so he could attend in person rather than on a telephone conference.  However, at the appointed time, Mr Blackler did come onto the telephone conference along with the prison officer.  He again explained that he did not know why he was there but, as it turned out, he spoke to us quite well and he does appear to have some moderation in attitude as indicated by the psychologist.  He seems to be motivated to do the DTP and the Medium Intensity Rehabilitation Programme (MIRP).  We note that he said the MIRP as opposed to the STURP suggested in the psychological report but that is of no particular moment for us.
  10. In those circumstances we cannot be satisfied that risk is other than undue and parole must be declined.
  11. However, given the difficulties of a telephone conference like this one, we have agreed that he should be rescheduled to be seen in November 2020.  No promises can be made about the outcome of that hearing but we hope that there has been progress in the form of rehabilitative work along the lines suggested.

Alan Ritchie
Panel Convenor