In support of CYFSWATCH NZ and the right of Free Speech. First visit to Watching CYFSWATCH NZ? Visit our home page. Please visit our e/group at

Why Internal Reviews (Departments who investigate themselves) are manifestly inadequate – take note CYFS

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on March 7, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Why Internal Reviews (Departments who investigate themselves) are manifestly inadequate – take note CYFS

Tuesday, March 6, 2007 am31 4:50 AM in CYFSWATCH Media

Burton info to Parole Board adequate

Tuesday March 06, 2007

An internal Corrections Department report reviewing procedures leading up to the release of killer Graeme Burton calls for more consultation between Corrections and the Parole Board.

The report said the provision of information by the department to the Parole Board before Burton’s release was generally adequate, but could be improved.

Burton pleaded guilty early last month to several charges including murdering Wainuiomata father Karl Kuchenbecker. Mr Kuchenbecker was shot and stabbed on January 6 by Burton, who was being sought by police at the time for breaching parole.

The Parole Board decided last June to release Burton – who had been serving 14 years for murdering Paul Anderson – after a period of impeccable behaviour.

There was a public backlash after Mr Kuchenbecker’s murder and questions were asked about Burton’s character and his ability to reintegrate.

The report said public anger had been created by reports of Burton being violent in prison in the leadup to his release, but such reports had not been substantiated.

Three months earlier Burton had been put into segregation for two weeks: as a result of information that indicated that Burton represented a possible threat to staff.

The report said he stayed in a higher security area until his release: but no incident or misconduct reports resulted from the investigation into the circumstances that gave rise to Burton’s placement on segregation and removal from Unit 4.

The Parole Board got information on unsubstantiated allegations about negative behaviour from Burton towards other prisoners or staff through a psychologist.

But the report suggested such information should have had more relevance and been included in an addendum report to the Parole Board in June.

The report otherwise said that: overall the department had provided the required information to the Parole Board.

Corrections chief executive Barry Matthews welcomed the report and said he would continue to work closely with the Parole Board to: facilitate a greater understanding of these technical matters and encourage board members to seek clarification where appropriate.


Parole board report: Burton suspected of jail assaults before release

Tuesday March 06, 2007

By Elizabeth Binning and Martin Johnston
Killer Graeme Burton was the prime suspect in two serious prison bashings months before he was released by the Parole Board, a new report reveals.

Details of the beatings, and a claim that Burton and another inmate were soliciting prisoners for hits on prison officers, were outlined by a psychologist who reported to the board last April.

But the claims could not be substantiated because informants would not give evidence or recanted their statements.

Burton was moved into segregation as a result but never charged or disciplined. A psychiatrist who spoke to Burton about the allegations said he denied them.

The Parole Board decided last June to release Burton, who had been serving 14 years for murdering Paul Anderson, after a period of impeccable behaviour. Six months later he killed Wainuiomata father Karl Kuchenbecker, sparking a public furore over the decision to parole him.

The report also says the Parole Board acted somewhat prematurely in setting a prison release date for Burton on condition that a psychological report showed his risk of re-offending had reduced.
But board chairman Judge David Carruthers last night defended its actions: The review makes it clear that those sorts of assessments by psychologists still have to be balanced by the board’s assessment of all the other evidence as well.

The review was commissioned by the Parole Board and done by Chief District Court Judge Russell Johnson and Australian clinical forensic psychology professor James Ogloff.

It is one of two reports issued today. The second, an internal Corrections Department report, said the department’s provision of information to the board before Burton’s release was generally adequate, but could be improved.

The review report says the board’s decision to grant Burton’s application for parole was reasonable, but it cites several things the board could learn from the tragedy, including about its use of psychologists reports and how it deals with expectations of a prisoners release.

The board acted somewhat prematurely by setting a release date to be considered subject to the receipt of a psychological report if that can show what you have achieved has reduced your risk.

This is particularly the case since the previous psychological reports identified Mr Burton as having been at high risk or very high risk for violence.

When the board decided to release Burton last June, it said his risk to the community was not considered to be undue.

The reviewers also note a sense over time that the board had an expectation that Mr Burton should be released.

Judge Carruthers said he was pleased with the review’s overall findings.

It’s easy to look back at this in agony afterwards and think what could have been done, what could have been seen, but I agree with the review that on the information available it was a reasonable and responsible decision, he said

Judge Carruthers said the board had needed to judge each case on its merits. But it would look at the reviews recommendations.

After Mr Kuchenbecker’s death Judge Carruthers said he felt responsible. Last night he said he still felt that responsibility but the review was a form of reassurance that the right decision was made.

It helps us in that it shows that we have been careful and responsible about making the decision on what we had.

Nick Rae, who was attacked by Burton in the Hutt hills just he was caught by police, last night said he was unhappy with parts of the board’s report.

In particular it’s overall conclusion … I don’t accept that the Parole Board’s decision was reasonable on the basis of the information available to the board.

Freedom ends with deadly rampage

* Graham Burton was released on parole on July 10 last year after serving 14 years in prison for the fatal nightclub stabbing of Paul Anderson.

* In December, a warrant was issued for his arrest after he breached his parole conditions.

* Before he was caught he went on a four-day rampage that ended with the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Karl Kuchenbecker. Burton also fired at four others on a mountain bike trail near Lower Hutt.

* The 36-year-old was captured after police shot him in the left leg, which was later amputated.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: