The so-called jail house lawyer, Arthur Taylor, who will be released from prison next month intends to study and gain a law degree.
Mr Taylor, who is 62 years old has been granted parole following a hearing on 24 January before the Parole Board at Waikeria Prison by AVL from Auckland South Corrections Facility.
“Mr Taylor asserts that he will live a law-abiding life from now on,” the Parole Board report says.
Mr Taylor has spent about 40 years of his life incarcerated and was serving a 17 ½ year prison sentence for a raft of criminal offending. That sentence began in 2006.
This feature by RNZ from 2016 provides some insight into the character of Arthur Taylor.
The Parole Board report says Arthur Taylor will live at a semi-rural location in Dunedin. There is a separate sleep out where he will be housed and that he has developed a close relationship with his sponsors, of which one has or will shortly graduate as a lawyer, so there will be intellectual stimulation, the Parole Board report says.
It says Mr Taylor has an ambition to gain a law degree and to continue to work in the social justice arena, something that he has been able to do even as a prisoner for a number of years as illustrated in this media coverage relating to a perjury case and the prison smoking ban.
The Board says Mr Taylor has a strong release plan, which includes a support network, future employment prospects and a well-planned pathway forward.
It says Mr Taylor is excited about the future work opportunities of a para-legal kind for different organisations.
“He mentioned that he has a High Court civil trial that is to commence in February in Auckland and is confident that many opportunities will present to him. There is a strong argument that his involvement in the legal world has raised his own personal understanding of the need to comply with lawful directions, including statutory directions such as complying with standard and special conditions set by the Board. It has also enhanced his understanding of the consequences of breaching such conditions and of course, reoffending,” the Parole Board report says.
Arthur Taylor has been a high profile prisoner. There’s even a Wikipedia page dedicated to him, so most people are aware of who he is, and of his extensive criminal past.
After nearly four decades of incarceration, many may question whether Mr Taylor will live up to his law-abiding intentions upon being released from prison.
However Parole Board statistics show parolees over the past five years have about a 70% success rate of completing their parole period.
In 2017/2018, 2214 people were on parole.