A low risk?

The Herald reports:

A stabbing victim is leaving the country and fears for his life because his attacker is about to be released from prison without having done any rehabilitation programme.

The Corrections Department has classified his attacker as low risk and will release him next month, even though the Parole Board views the man as a risk to the community.

If I was the victim, I’d also be leaving the country – well that or making sure I had ready access to a firearm (yes I know that is illegal).

In July 2006, Frame, who is now in his 50s, sliced Mr McArtney’s face, cutting his mouth and tongue with a 15cm blade in what was described as an unprovoked and irrational attack.

Mr McArtney, a semi-retired IT consultant, says the corrections system is flawed because Frame has had no rehabilitation treatment, despite pleas from the Parole Board that without it he is a threat to the community.

Documents show the Parole Board and the Corrections Department had a conflicting view over the risk Frame poses.

The board repeatedly refused to release him because he had not done any rehabilitation programmes, and was thus a risk to the community.

But Corrections considered him a “maintenance” low-risk prisoner and not eligible for any programmes.

I am surprised the view of the Corrections Department trumps the view of the Parole Board.

Frame’s sentencing notes state he has a “a long and fairly well-documented history of depression and drug and alcohol abuse”, which was at the root of his offending.

Last October, the Parole Board report said: “[Since his last appearance in April] no steps had been taken to address his offending and none were likely to be taken. …

The Parole Board said in its November 2007 report that for Frame to get into a programme, his security classification would need to be readjusted.

It was not.

Mr McArtney is flabbergasted the department ignored the board’s pleas.

“It seems to me the Parole Board can say what they like and the department doesn’t pay any attention.”

Prison Services assistant regional manager Bronwyn Donaldson said Parole Board recommendations had been acted on where appropriate.

Where appropriate, means if we agree.

It has also been revealed that Frame had previously been charged with murder, in 1975 when he was 16. He was subsequently acquitted.

I would be most interested in the grounds on which he was acquitted.

He was convicted in 1990 for possession of a knife and in 1997 for aggravated burglary and possession of an offensive weapon.

The latter convictions relate to an incident, described as a “damage spree”, through the Raumati Village Shopping Centre. Afterwards he broke into a house armed with a knife, and then assaulted a member of the public who came to investigate.

And then the stabbing also. And this is what Corrections is calling low risk?

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