Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Hearing: 11 March 2020
at Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison via AVL from Christchurch Men’s Prison
Members of the Board:
- Sir Ron Young – Chairperson
- Assoc. Prof P Brinded
- Judge J P Gittos
- Mr C King
- Mr N Harrington – Whare Oranga Ake facilitator manager
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Jordan Nelson was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for murder in 2012. He was then 13 years of age and is now 21. He had no previous convictions. He shot and killed the partner of his grandfather.
- We last saw him in April 2018. He was then in the Maori Focus Unit after a number of years in the youth unit. He had behaved well there learning tikanga and undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. He passed NCEA stages 1 and 2.
- As to the current position, the psychological report notes that Mr Nelson is somewhat over-confident, about his ability to manage on the outside after release. We will return to that later in this decision.
- The psychological report noted that Mr Nelson had disclosed that he had acted improperly in relation to the use of a phone and it was said drugs and bringing contraband into prison about a year prior, in early 2019. We record that we questioned Mr Nelson about this today. He said the improper conduct had nothing to do with drugs. Another prisoner had a cell phone. He did not know how to use it. He wanted to use it to transfer money and contact people in prison. Mr Nelson showed him how to transfer the money and make contact with others. As a result, Mr Nelson was rewarded with some clothes and access to the phone to call what he described as his partner. Obviously, that was seriously unlawful conduct. We pointed out to Mr Nelson his actions could constitute a crime given the circumstances relating to the transfer of money was obviously suspicious.
- Mr Nelson is currently at Te Whare Oranga Ake in Hawke’s Bay. He has overall, done very well there. We have an extensive report from the whare. We also have had Mr Harrington explain to us the progress he has made.
- Recently, Mr Nelson commenced Release to Work. He is now working at [withheld] but other horticultural work should be available to him. He says he currently enjoys it and is doing well.
- Mr Nelson had a release plan and a plan for the future. We expressed our concern to him about his plan. It is here that we return to the psychologist’s comment about Mr Nelson being overly confident about how he might manage on the outside.
- Firstly, he proposes to be released to [withheld] address. [withheld] is supportive and has visited Mr Nelson throughout his imprisonment. Mr Nelson has never lived with [withheld] and in that sense has never had a domestic relationship with him. We express our concern about whether or not that is the wisest way in which he could begin any release from prison.
- Secondly, Mr Nelson mentioned a woman who he says is his partner. The woman is 15 years older than Mr Nelson. We understand he had initially phone contact and then from time to time she has visited him. She has two relatively young children. Mr Nelson talked to the psychologist about parenting those children in the future.
- Given Mr Nelson is only 21, has spent all of his teenage years, save the very first period, in prison and is proposing parenting two young children in a partnership with a woman 15 years older than him, has concerning elements.
- We think therefore that Mr Nelson currently should concentrate on two things.
- Firstly, his Release to Work where he can illustrate that he can cope in a variety of circumstances in a community that he has not been in as an adult.
- Secondly, that he reconsiders his release plans and thinks about some supported accommodation initially so that he can develop a relationship with [withheld] before consideration is given to living with them.
- In the meantime, he remains an undue risk. We will see him again by the end of December 2020.
Sir Ron Young