Justin Ames JOHNSTON 10/5/2022

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Justin Ames JOHNSTON

Hearing: 10 May 2022

at Tongariro Prison via MS Teams

Members of the Board: Sir Ron Young – Chairperson

Ms M Kleist

Prof Phil Brinded

In Attendance:                                  [withheld] - Case Manager


  1. Mr Johnston is 51 years of age and was sentenced to preventive detention in 2013.  He had a very serious set of convictions in 2003 arising from events in 1993 and 1994 which involved a number of rapes and abuse of young females.  Prior to that time, he had another 12 pages of previous convictions involving violent offending and property offending.
  2. We saw Mr Johnston last in May 2018.  At that stage we decided that a four year postponement was appropriate.  Mr Johnston said he told the Board then that he denied the most recent offending that resulted in the sentence of preventive detention.  The Board’s view was that he needed to undertake the Adult Sex Offender Treatment Programme (ASOTP) but he was unable to start because of his attitude to the offending.
  3. As to the current position, Mr Johnston is assessed as well above average risk of sexually re-offending.
  4. The psychologist said that at interview Mr Johnston wanted to focus primarily on Corrections’ unfairness to him.  He made it clear he would not do any group rehabilitative programme.  He denied the offending but said he would do one-on-one work with a psychologist.  The psychologist noted that Mr Johnston’s need to exercise control.  The psychologist suggested, therefore, that one-on-one work could start and it would take approximately two years of work.
  5. We talked with Mr Johnston today about the focus of the psychological counselling.  It was not obvious from the psychological report or Mr Johnston’s discussion what risk-based rehabilitative work would be undertaken given Mr Johnston’s denial of his index offending.  He is assessed as well above average risk of sexually re-offending.
  6. Mr Johnston told us in detail about significant rehabilitative work that he had done after his 2003 convictions for serious sexual offending involving many hundreds of hours of one-on-one counselling with psychologists.  He said that he had not completed the group-based programme because it had not been available when he first came to prison, but he had completed its equivalent and more from psychologists.  His view was, given he denied the index offending, and that he had completed all relevant rehabilitation from his earlier offending, that he did not have any identified need for any risk-based rehabilitative treatment relating to his sexual offending.  When asked what then would be the focus of the rehabilitation with the psychologist, Mr Johnston indicated that it would be up to the psychologist to identify the need.
  7. It is difficult to understand what further rehabilitative treatment Mr Johnston can have given his attitude to his past and index offending.  However, if he and the psychologist are able to work together to progress and thereby reduce his risk of re-offending, then, of course, the Board would welcome that.  In the meantime, he remains an undue risk.
  8. We will see him again by the end of April 2024.

Sir Ron Young