More than half of preventive detention offenders released
on parole over the past decade have been recalled to prison.
Figures released under the Official Information Act show that
of the 8451 prisoners in custody nationwide, 279 were on a
sentence of preventive detention as of July 31.
Department of Corrections deputy national commissioner Maria
McDonald said the sentence of preventive detention was
usually imposed for serious violent or sexual offences.
''This is a lifelong sentence that does not expire or include
a specific imprisonment period,'' she said.
The 279 prisoners on a sentence of preventive detention had
spent an average 4180 days - or 11 years - in prison.
Twenty-five offenders on a sentence of preventive detention
were released on parole between July 1, 2002, and June 30,
2013, with seven released in 2010-11 and six in 2011-12.
Of those released from prison, 14 had been recalled to
prison, including three in 2012-13.
''These offenders were subject to very stringent parole
conditions and have been recalled to ensure the safety of the
community,'' Ms McDonald said.
''The Parole Board has no obligation to release these
Corrections Minister Anne Tolley said the Parole Board
decided independently whether it was appropriate to release
on to parole a prisoner serving preventive detention.
''Prisoners serving a sentence of preventive detention are
high risk and only a small number will ever be released.
''The small number of preventive detention prisoners released
on parole are closely managed by Corrections for the rest of
their lives, and if they breach their conditions, I expect
the department to take immediate action and seek to have them
recalled to prison.''
Any prisoners serving a sentence of preventive detention must
be considered for parole by the New Zealand Parole Board
after they have served 10 years of their sentence, unless a
longer or shorter minimum non-parole period has been imposed.
Of the 392 prisoners at the Otago Corrections Facility, five
were on a sentence of preventive detention on the same date.
Between 1959-60 and 2012-13, five offenders had been
sentenced in the Dunedin High Court to preventive detention,
with the most recent offender sentenced in 2009-10.
Paedophile teacher James Parker was sentenced in the High
Court at Whangarei to preventive detention last month.