Benjamin Zachery BURGESS 10/3/2021

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Benjamin Zachery BURGESS

Hearing: 10 March 2021

at Otago Corrections Facility

by AVL from Invercargill Prison

Members of the Board: Ms K Snook (Panel Convenor)

Ms F Pimm

Ms P Rose

In Attendance: (withheld) (Case Manager)


  1. Benjamin Zachery Burgess, 31, appeared for the further consideration of parole on a sentence of four years seven months’ imprisonment for burglary, assault on a child, domestic assault, unlawful taking and breach of community work.
  2. Mr Burgess has a RoC*RoI of 0.60456, he is on a minimum prison security classification, and has a statutory release date of 19 January 2023.
  3. Mr Burgess has completed the Short Rehabilitation Programme and the DTP.  He is in self-care.  He has been in self-care for around a year.  He is on release to work at (withheld) working in the (withheld).  He has been working there for two months and has excellent reports about his progress.  Prior to that he was working on the dairy farm outside the wire at the prison for a period of around nine months.  Mr Burgess said that he has had discussions with (withheld) about the possibility of work on release.  There is nothing solid at this time.  His current contract only lasts until 24 March 2021.
  4. There is an excellent report about Mr Burgess's conduct in material before the Board.  The PCO gave a very good oral report.  He said he has known Mr Burgess for a lengthy period of time and has seen a great improvement in his maturity.  He has shown this through the way in which he has reacted to the privileges he has been given over recent times.  He said that (withheld) have nothing but positive things to say about his work.
  5. There was a whanau hui on 9 February 2021.  His (withheld), Probation Officer and Case Manager attended.  There is approved accommodation at (withheld) and support to be provided by (withheld).
  6. (withheld) Mr Burgess's Case Manager, said that the accommodation is available from 29 March 2021.  He said that Mr Burgess has signed the occupancy agreement.
  7. There were submissions from Mr Burgess including a letter from the AOD after-care worker in relation to his ongoing participation in after-care once a week.  He said he does that in the evening.
  8. We spent some time talking to Mr Burgess about the violence in the index offending and the other violence in his offending history which occurred in 2013.  He said that was the same female victim and the same child namely (withheld) who is now aged eight.  There is no protection order in place.  He said that the relationship is now completely over.  He does not want to talk to her at all.  Any discussions that he does have will be around contact with (withheld).  He understands that any contact with (withheld) will be managed via his parents under the special condition which will be in place which will preclude him having contact with any victims except with the prior written approval of his Probation Officer.
  9. Mr Burgess said prison-based employment and release to work has made a difference this time around.  He said he did the DTP before he was released in 2014 but went straight back into using drugs.
  10. We are satisfied today that based on the work that Mr Burgess has completed in terms of rehabilitation programmes, and the reintegration he has also completed this time around, that he will not pose an undue risk to the safety of the community if released on parole to the accommodation at (withheld) and the support of (withheld).  Residual risk, which clearly remains in Mr Burgess' case, can be managed on appropriate conditions.
  11. Mr Burgess will be released on parole on 29 March 2021 on the standard conditions and the special conditions set out below.
  12. The curfew will apply for three months following the date of Mr Burgess' release.  We have amended the hours so that there is some flexibility for work.  He knows that he can get the prior written approval of his Probation Officer if he needs to leave (withheld) at an earlier time, for example, to drive to (withheld) for work.
  13. As there is a special condition that Mr Burgess is not to possess or use or consume alcohol or drugs, he was advised that he can be the subject of testing by an authorised person of his compliance with that condition.
  14. All conditions, apart from the curfew, will apply until Mr Burgess’ statutory release date of 19 January 2023.
  15. The special conditions are:

(1) Not to possess, use, or consume alcohol, controlled drugs or psychoactive substances except controlled drugs prescribed for you by a health professional.

(2) To reside at (withheld) Dunedin, or any other address approved in writing by a Probation Officer, and not move from any approved address unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

(3) To comply with any tenancy agreement or rules issued by the provider of your approved accommodation.

(4) For three months from the date of your release you are to be at your approved address between the hours of 10:00pm and 5:00am daily unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

(5) To attend an assessment for a departmental programme or maintenance group, and attend, participate in and adhere to the rules of the programme or maintenance group as directed by a Probation Officer.

(6) To attend an alcohol and drug assessment, and attend, participate in and complete any treatment or counselling directed by a Probation Officer.

(7) Not to communicate or associate with your co-offender (withheld) directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

(8) Not to have contact or otherwise associate, with any victim of your offending, (including previous offending) directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

Please note: you may be required to undergo a drug or alcohol test and or submit to drug or alcohol monitoring.

Ms K Snook

Panel Convenor