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Involvement of Dr David Chaplow In Board hearings

New Zealand Parole Board

Involvement of Dr David Chaplow In Board hearings

21 July 2004

The New Zealand Parole Board has received the Solicitor-General’s opinion on the involvement of Dr David Chaplow in Board hearings.

Dr Chaplow participated in Board hearings of difficult cases and gave his expert advice as a leading forensic psychiatrist.

The Solicitor-General’s opinion is that the participation of Dr Chaplow in the decision-making process of the Board was not authorised by the Parole Act 2002 and that offenders should be offered a rehearing if they felt aggrieved by Dr Chaplow’s participation.

Dr Chaplow was a member of the previous Board and since the establishment of the new NZPB two years ago, has been involved in 211 hearings, involving around 140 offenders.

Of these offenders, the Board has identified 23 cases where a re-hearing has been offered.

The remaining offenders have either been released, or remain in prison but have been seen subsequently at a Board hearing at which Dr Chaplow was not involved.

In total, the hearings in which Dr Chaplow was involved resulted in 56 offenders being released from prison. Six offenders were released at their Final Release Date or Statutory Release Date, where the Board had no discretion in releasing the offenders.

Of these six offenders, one has since been re-imprisoned on new offences, and two were recalled to resume serving their original sentences. Of the 50 offenders released at the Board’s discretion, three have been recalled to resume their sentences.

The Board will not be offering re-hearings to those offenders who have been released.

The Solicitor-General’s opinion is that only one inmate’s continued detention may be unlawful. In this case the Board approved an application by the Chief Executive of the Department of Corrections to hold this inmate in prison beyond his two thirds release date under Section 107 of the Parole Act 2002 because of the risk he presented to the safety of the public.

The Board is writing to this offender telling him the Board will re-hear the application in the near future.

The Board will apply to the Attorney-General to have Dr Chaplow appointed as a member of the Board. In the meantime, he will not participate in Board hearings.


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