Kenneth Harvey MILLER 2/9/2021
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Kenneth Harvey MILLER
Hearing: Thursday 2 September 2021
at Rolleston Prison via Teleconference
Members of the Board: Sir Ron Young – Chairperson
Prof. P Brinded
Counsel: Dr T Ellis
In Attendance: [withheld] – Case Manager
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Mr Miller, who is 62 years of age, was sentenced to preventive detention in 2006 for sexual offending. He has three pages of previous convictions involving violence and other sexual offending.
- We last saw him in April 2021. At that stage we asked for a psychological report and a report from [withheld] and Corrections about what effort they were making to find Mr Miller suitable accommodation. We were disappointed that the previous discussions regarding possible accommodation for Mr Miller appeared to have made no progress.
- As to the current position, in summary it appears now to be as follows. [withheld]. He has not had any extensive rehabilitative programmes. He has had some one-on-one counselling, but more to focus on some form of self-control within the prison, rather than any risk-based treatment. Correction’s psychologist’s view that there is little or no point in giving Mr Miller risk-based rehabilitation, because of [withheld]. And so, the question is how can Mr Miller be safely released on parole and no longer be an undue risk given the above difficulties?
- Corrections and the Parole Board have accepted that the appropriate way forward to manage Mr Miller’s risk is to identify 24-hour supported accommodation for his release where Mr Miller would not have access to females and so only males living in that part of the residence that he resides in. Finding that accommodation has proved challenging.
- Today his counsel Dr Ellis sought release. Mr Miller has proposed release to [withheld]. Mr Miller has known [withheld] for over 30 years. [withheld]. Mr Miller has never been to [withheld] residence. [withheld] apparently runs an engineering workshop and Mr Miller hoped to be taught welding by [withheld]. We have no detail of the support that might be available at the proposed address for any safe release. We have no idea how [withheld] and Mr Miller propose to manage Mr Miller’s risk and his needs.
- We do not consider the proposed release to [withheld] property appropriately meets what we assess to be Mr Miller’s risk and his needs.
- Dr Ellis has submitted that the risk-based measures on which Corrections have assessed his risk are not to be relied upon. We have previously given our view with respect to Dr Ellis’ submissions regarding that challenge and therefore other than confirming we continue to adopt that position no further response is now required.
- And so we are satisfied that as we have noted given the fact that Mr Miller has not completed any risk-based rehabilitation, given his [withheld] and given his significant risk that he needs closely supported accommodation for any safe release. We are satisfied that without that supported accommodation his risk would be undue, and he could not be released.
- We express our concern, however, that no progress has been made on identifying that accommodation despite several years of the Board identifying what is needed for Mr Miller’s safe release and stressing the need for urgent action. We think it vital that Corrections make every effort, together with the Department of Health, to identify appropriate accommodation for Mr Miller so that he has a prospect of release on parole.
- In the meantime, we encourage Corrections to facilitate guided releases for Mr Miller into the community. Mr Miller says he will apply for release to work and that may well be a way in which Mr Miller could be tested further in the community. We currently express no view, however, as to the appropriateness of such a proposal given Mr Miller’s [withheld] and his lack of risk-based rehabilitation.
- Finally, Mr Miller said that a psychologist rang him and talked to him about the psychological report prepared for this hearing. Mr Miller said he was not able to understand much of what he was told and so did not really understand the report. We consider a far better effort needs to be made by Corrections to help Mr Miller, [withheld], to understand the content of the psychological report. Some communication assistance for Mr Miller would be ideal.
- He remains an undue risk. We will see him again by the end of June 2022. If in the meantime there are any further developments with regard to his accommodation, or for any other reason, an application under s 26 for an earlier hearing could be made.
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 teleconference discussion involving the Board, the Offender, Counsel and Case Management.
Sir Ron Young