Cesar SU’A 6/10/2021
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Hearing: 6 October 2021
At Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison via Video Conference from NZPB Office, Wellington
Members of the Board: Ms K Snook – Panel Convenor
Mr L Tawera
Counsel: Mr M Phelps
In Attendance: (withheld) – Case Manager
Support Persons: (withheld) – Probation Officer
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Caesar Su’a, 23, appeared for the further consideration of parole on a sentence of six years and 42 days imprisonment. There was a sentence of six years’ imprisonment for wounding with intent to commit grievous bodily harm. Then there were two convictions for assault on prison officers, one in 2018 and the other in 2020.
- Mr Su’a has a RoC*RoI of 0.36996, he is on a low prison security classification, and has a statutory release date of 5 August 2023.
- Mr Su’a saw the Board last on 16 October 2020. That Board noted the violence that Mr Su’a had committed since he completed the Mauri Tu Pae (MTP). It asked for an updated psychological assessment and said that Mr Su’a should complete whatever treatment was recommended.
- Unfortunately, the psychologist did not do the assessment until 30 August 2021. However, to his credit, Mr Su’a did complete the MTP again. There is a good report about his interaction and involvement in the programme. He said he needed to refresh the skills he learnt first time round given his violent reoffending in prison.
- Mr Su’a is described as more settled. There have been no issues with his behaviour since January 2020.
- We have read the psychological assessment. It assesses Mr Su’a as at low risk of violence. There are good recommendations contained in the psychological assessment. There is a recommendation that Mr Su’a complete further limited sessions with a psychologist to update his safety plan. As we understand it that work has been completed.
- Mr Su’a sent written submissions to the Board with a safety plan attached. He talked about some of his high risks today.
- Mr Phelps appeared today for Mr Su’a. His instructions were that Mr Su’a would like to be released on parole. It was Mr Phelps submission that although a Board would ordinarily require a period of reintegration for someone like Mr Su’a, it is not necessary in his case.
- Mr Phelps’ submission was that the psychologist confirms that Mr Su’a has completed the necessary rehabilitation. There is no recommendation regarding reintegration in prison. The recommendations relate to the support that it should surround Mr Su’a on release given that he came into prison at 19. He has accommodation with whanau. There are mentoring arrangements contemplated with (withheld). There is also a cultural mentor planned, namely (withheld).
- Mr Phelps said that Mr Su’a was previously subject to both electronically and non- monitored bail and there were no issues which indicates a good ability to comply with the conditions of parole.
- Mr Phelps noted that the whānau hui still has not occurred. His submission was that this could be completed on release. Mr Phelps also proposed two additional conditions that Mr Su’a would be willing to comply with; namely that Mr Su’a not associate with the Mongrel Mob gang and that there be a monitoring hearing.
- Mr Su’a appears to have an approved address with (withheld). Unfortunately, Mr Su’a's (withheld) remains in Australia. She is looking for an MIQ spot but has not yet obtained one.
- Mr Su’a's Probation Officer was at the hearing today. She said that Mr Su’a has been proactive about developing a relationship with her while he has been in prison. She has spoken to (withheld) and considers him a good sponsor.
- There were good reports from the PCO. Importantly the PCO confirmed that although Mr Su’a is currently on a low prison security classification, he could be the subject of an event-based review and his classification reduced to minimum, to allow guided releases including for the planned hui. He said that Mr Su’a has never had an IDU and his last drug test was on 13 September 2021. There is the possibility that Mr Su’a could move into self- care if he remained in prison.
- Mr Su’a’s position created a difficult decision for the Board. We would have preferred to release him once (withheld) was back in New Zealand and following a whanau hui. We are concerned that Mr Su’a has yet to meet (withheld). However, on balance, we are satisfied that given the work which Mr Su’a has completed in prison and the support that is available to him in the community, he will not pose an undue risk to the safety of the community. Our view assumes strict compliance by Mr Su’a with the special conditions we will be imposing to assist his reintegration and mitigate residual risk.
- Mr Su’a will be released on parole on 17 November 2021. We have allowed that period of time because we think it is important for there to be the whānau hui before he is released. He has a lot of professional support arranged. He has not met (withheld) in person, although he has spoken to him on the phone.
- We think it would be most useful if there could be a security classification review so that Mr Su’a could participate in guided releases before his release on parole. We hope that that may facilitate the whānau hui occurring in the community. In particular Mr Su’a needs to meet (withheld) and all of those who will be providing support on his release including his mentors and a representative from (withheld) where he will be working in a voluntary capacity. Mr Su’a needs to present his safety plan to all of those who attend.
- If it is not possible for that hui to occur between now and the release date we would expect the Board to be advised of that. We also expect Mr Su’a to maintain his good behaviour between now and his release date and to be advised if there are any issue with his behaviour or the accommodation proposal.
- Mr Su’a will be released on parole on 17 November 2021 on the standard conditions and on the special condition set out below. We are adding a special condition regarding contact with gangs. Mr Su’a said that would be useful for him. He can have the prior written approval of his Probation Officer if he does need to have contact with any known gang members.
- We agree that a monitoring hearing is appropriate particularly as Mr Su’a is being released to live with a male authority figure that he has not yet met in person. That will be in February 2022 and no later than the end of that month. It will be an attended hearing. The position in relation to the partial residential restrictions can also be considered at that monitoring hearing.
- As there is a special condition that Mr Su’a is not to use, possess or consume alcohol or drugs he was advised that he can be the subject of testing by an authorised person in relation to his compliance with that condition.
- All conditions remain in place until Mr Su’a’s statutory release date which is 5 August 2023.
- The special conditions are:
(1) To reside at (withheld), or any other address approved in writing by a Probation Officer, and not move from that address unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(2) To submit to electronic monitoring as directed by a Probation Officer and comply with the requirements of partial residential restrictions. To remain at your approved address between the hours of 10pm and 6am daily, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer, or as permitted by section 33(4) of the Parole Act 2002.
(3) To comply with the requirements of electronic monitoring and provide unimpeded access to your approved residence by a Probation Officer and/or representatives of the monitoring company for the purpose of maintaining the electronic monitoring equipment as directed by a Probation Officer.
(4) Not to have contact or otherwise associate, with any victim of your offending, directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(5) Not to communicate or associate with your co-offender,[withheld], directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(6) Not to possess, use, or consume alcohol, controlled drugs or psychoactive substances except controlled drugs prescribed for you by a health professional.
(7) To attend an assessment for a departmental programme/maintenance group, and attend, participate in and adhere to the rules of the programme/maintenance group as directed by a Probation Officer.
(8) To comply with any direction made under section 29B(2)(b) of the Parole Act 2002 to attend a hearing at a time and place to be notified to you.
(9) Not to communicate or associate, directly or indirectly, with any person known to you to associate with the Mongrel Mob 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
This decision has been issued following consideration of parole in accordance with the provisions of an epidemic management notice issued by the Government on 30 March 2020 and in accordance with section 13A of the Parole Act 2002. There has been a hearing conducted by a Panel Convenor and a Board Member. All of the usual material has been considered and there has been a videoconference discussion involving the Board, the Offender, Counsel and Case Management.