California Court of Appeal, First District, Second Division
[DEPUBLISHED BY ORDER]
Alameda County Superior Court. Hon. Larry J. Goodman. (Alameda County Super. Ct. No. 91694B).
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Keker & Van Nest LLP, Under appointment by the Court of Appeal, Jon B. Streeter, Sharif E. Jacob, Benita H. Brahmbhatt, San Francisco, Attorneys for Petitioner.
Attorney General of California, Kamala D. Harris, Jennifer A. Neill, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Claudia H. Amaral, Supervising Deputy Attorney General, Amber N. Wipfler, Deputy Attorney General, Attorneys for Respondent.
Inmate Roy Thinnes Butler pled guilty to second degree murder in 1988, when he was 20 years old, for his participation in the slaying of a man who had repeatedly, physically abused two other people. Despite the recommendation of the California Department of Corrections (CDC) that Butler be placed on probation, he was sentenced to an indeterminate term of 15 years to life. The Board of Parole Hearings (Board) has found him unsuitable for parole five times since he first became eligible in 1998. Here, Butler seeks a writ of habeas corpus directing the Board to set aside its order denying him parole, which the Board based on the dual grounds that he lacked insight into the murder and sufficient parole plans.
Under our tripartite system of government, the Legislature has directed that parole is the rule, not the exception; the Board, as a part of an executive branch exercising its broad discretionary authority, determines parole suitability pursuant to certain regulatory guidelines and proceedings; and we, mindful of these directives and discretionary authority, as well as constitutional mandates, review the Board's decision to determine whether the prisoner has been afforded due process. This delicate balancing of responsibilities amongst the three branches has sometimes resulted in difficult questions about our role.
Fortunately, our Supreme Court has answered these questions, most recently in In re Shaputis (2011) 53 Cal.4th 192, 134 Cal.Rptr.3d 86, 265 P.3d 253
( Shaputis II ). Put simply, we review the Board's decision to deny a prisoner parole to determine if it reflects individualized consideration of all the relevant facts and suitability factors and, if it does, is supported by some evidence that the prisoner currently poses a threat to public safety. ( Id. at pp. 209-212, 219-221, 134 Cal.Rptr.3d 86, 265 P.3d 253; In re Prather (2010) 50 Cal.4th 238, 255, 112 Cal.Rptr.3d 291, 234 P.3d 541 ( Prather ); In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal.4th 1181, 1211, 1212, 1232, 82 Cal.Rptr.3d 169, 190 P.3d 535 ( Lawrence ).)
It almost goes without saying that the bedrock of this standard is due process . The Board's decision must reflect consideration of the interrelationship of all relevant facts and suitability factors in determining whether a prisoner is currently dangerous. ( Shaputis II, supra, 53 Cal.4th at p. 225, 134 Cal.Rptr.3d 86, 265 P.3d 253; Prather, supra, 50 Cal.4th at p. 255, 112 Cal.Rptr.3d 291, 234 P.3d 541; Lawrence, supra, 44 Cal.4th at p. 1212, 82 Cal.Rptr.3d 169, 190 P.3d 535.) A prisoner cannot be denied parole based on the Board's consideration of only one unsuitability factor, or a few. And because parole can only be denied upon due consideration of all relevant facts and factors, and given the great deference we must afford the Board in its decision-making, when the Board has denied parole for two reasons, one of which is not supported by some evidence of current dangerousness, and we cannot determine whether the Board would have denied parole for the remaining reason stated, we must grant the petition, vacate the Board's decision, and remand for further Board proceedings. ( In re Criscione (2009) 180 Cal.App.4th 1446, 1461, 103 Cal.Rptr.3d 549 ( Criscione II ); In re DeLuna (2005) 126 Cal.App.4th 585, 598, 24 Cal.Rptr.3d 643 ( DeLuna ); In re Smith (2003) 114 Cal.App.4th 343, 373, 7 Cal.Rptr.3d 655 ( Smith ); In re Capistran (2003) 107 Cal.App.4th 1299, 1306-1307, 132 Cal.Rptr.2d 872 ( Capistran ); Cf. In re Dannenberg (2005) 34 Cal.4th 1061, 1100, 23 Cal.Rptr.3d 417, 104 P.3d 783 ( Dannenberg ).) Both Butler and respondent acknowledge that this is the appropriate procedure.
The Board's decision to deny Butler parole does not meet a number of essential due process requirements. Its first reason for denial, that Butler lacked sufficient insight into the murder, is not supported by any evidence. Butler has expressed responsibility and ample remorse for, and an understanding of why, he participated in, the murder. The Board's decision, therefore, should be allowed to stand only if it is clear the Board would have denied Butler parole based on the only other stated reason for the denial, Butler's insufficient parole plans. It is not clear that it would and, for this reason, we must grant the petition, vacate the decision, and remand for further proceedings.
Three other aspects of the decision inform this conclusion.
First, the Board related its concern that Butler had insufficient parole plans directly to insight, making it even less clear that it would have denied him parole for insufficient plans alone.
Second, as both Butler and respondent acknowledge, if the Board's decision does not reflect individualized consideration of all relevant facts and factors we also must grant the petition. The Board's decision here does not. After the most general and pro forma of references to the record and regulatory factors, the Board focused entirely on just its two reasons why Butler was unsuitable for parole, despite a record replete with reasons for suitability. This is insufficient, and makes it particularly unclear what the Board would have decided based on its parole plan concerns alone.
Finally, the Board's reasoning about Butler's parole plans was flawed in several respects.
Therefore, we grant the petition and remand the matter to the Board for further proceedings.
BACKGROUND AND PROCEEDINGS BELOW
Butler was born in August 1967. His home life was not stable. At the age of three, his mother, who was then 17
years old, surrendered custody to a woman who was not a relative, but who Butler called his godmother. Although the chronology is somewhat vague, it appears that this woman raised Butler until he was 15, at which point he committed a petty theft that resulted in him being declared a ward of the juvenile court. After spending six months and graduating from Alameda County's Senior Boys Camp, Butler resumed living with his mother. When she moved away, Butler tried living with his biological father, but then returned to his godmother. He did not complete high school, but obtained a GED at the East Bay Skill Center. It was about this time, when he was 20 and not regularly employed, that Butler met Jane Woods.
Butler's first contact with Woods, who was 24 years old at the time, was on a social party line. It was after they met that Butler learned of Woods's relationship with one Richard Davis. Woods lived with Davis, who was 17 years old. Even from afar, Davis evoked revulsion from correctional officials who had subsequent dealings with Butler. One of those officials described Davis as, " to put it mildly, maladjusted," who was " using his roommate ... as a punching bag, beating her as often as four times a week and causing her to be sent to the hospital on several occasions. She also lost her baby due to a miscarriage following a beating." Determined to put a halt to this, Woods and Lanzester Hymes, who had his own issues with Davis, " decided that Davis would have to be taught a lesson so that he would stop brutalizing this woman." Butler was drawn into the plot.
The Commitment Offense
Although some details remain murky, the general features of Davis's death on September 28, 1987, are fairly clear. Initially, while walking on the street, Davis was attacked by a stranger with what was described as a baseball bat or ax handle. Butler certainly knew in advance, almost certainly facilitated the attack, and may even have instigated it. Bloodied, Davis staggered to a hospital, where he was treated and released. Davis then returned to his apartment with Woods, unaware that, having been alerted by Woods, Hymes and Butler were waiting for him, having resolved that he should die. Hymes stabbed Davis once in the chest while Butler was hiding in the bathroom; although armed with a knife, he did not use it. Butler " snuck out" of the house, discarded the knife and was arrested shortly thereafter.
Hymes pled guilty to first degree murder, while Woods and Butler pled guilty to second degree murder. The probation officer did not actually recommend that Butler be admitted to probation, but (reading between the lines) his report was sufficiently sympathetic that it prompted the trial court to request " [a] diagnostic study and recommendation [pursuant to] Penal Code section 1203.03... [¶] ... with the objective of assessing [Butler's] potential for functioning successfully on probation."
The CDC's recommendation was as follows: " Despite Mr. Butler's plea to [m]urder [s]econd, diagnostic staff regard him to be a suitable probation candidate. He has an insignificant record, and his role in the offense was a minor one. There is no evidence that he identifies with delinquent values, and he is not viewed as a threat to the community. He is seen as having the wherewithal to succeed under local supervision." " The offense is seen as being highly situational. It is therefore recommended that [Butler] be given a suspended prison sentence with probation and the conditions he serve an appropriate period of local confinement, possess no weapons, maintain gainful employment, and perform 200 hours of community service work."
The recommendation was not accepted. On August 29, 1988, Butler was sentenced to state prison for a term of 15 years to life.
Butler had an initial spate of disciplinary problems— none involving violence of any kind— and they abated in time. From May 1989 to April 1998, Butler received 11 " [CDC]-115 Rules Violation Reports." The first nine of these violations classified as " serious," the last two (both in April 1998) as " admin," apparently a reference to the matter being handled " administratively," which we assume is a less formal approach. From August 1998 to September 2008, Butler accumulated 10 " 128A's," which are characterized as " Custodial Counseling" reports and address incidents that do not amount to a 115 violation (in Butler's case, such things as grooming standard violations and being late or failing to report.) Butler appears to have remained discipline-free for the three years prior to his most recent psychological evaluation in September 2011.
Butler became eligible for parole in 1998. Jane Woods was released on parole in September 2000. The Board refused to set a release date for Butler in 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2009.
In the evaluation prepared for Butler's 2005 hearing, correction officials noted under the heading " FUTURE PLANS" : " If Butler were to be granted parole, he plans on relocating to San Jose and liv[ing] with his grandmother.... If he were not granted a transfer to Santa Clara County, he would live with his godmother ... [in] Oakland. [¶] ... [¶] If Butler were to be granted parole, Butler claims that he would be able to obtain employment with his cousin, Art (last name, address, and telephone number unknown) who has his own construction business in San Jose. [¶] ... [¶] Butler's parole plans are not backed up with any letters of support verifying his plans either for employment or housing. While it is noted that Butler was raised by [his godmother] while growing up, a letter of support is needed to confirm."
In a one-paragraph handwritten letter sent to the Board in 2005, Butler's grandmother stated: " I understand that you would like to know if Roy will have a place to live when he come home.... He has a place to stay with me his Grand Mother."
One other letter was sent in 2005, from Dr. Tony Williams of the Maranatha Christian Center in San Jose. Salutation and closing aside, it proceeds in its entirety as follows: " As senior pastor of the Maranatha Christian Center, I am writing to offer community support for Mr. Roy Butler following his release. [¶] Butler's mother ... is a member of our church, and
hopes to integrate him into our congregation should he be able to return to San Jose. [¶] We have a congregation that can surround [him] with an abundance of love, support and understanding. Ours is a congregation that has extensive prison ministries, and which works with homeless people and drug addicts as well. I serve as a volunteer for the San Jose County Jail, and am offering all available resources and support that myself and our congregation can provide to help restore this young man's life. [¶] We would appreciate the opportunity to help save and restore the life of this young man."
Almost identical notes were recorded in the evaluation for Butler's 2009 hearing: " FUTURE PLANS" : " If Butler were to be granted parole, he plans on relocating to San Jose and liv[ing] with his grandmother.... If he were not granted a transfer to Santa Clara County, he would live with his godmother ... [in] Oakland.... Letter is forthcoming. [¶] ... [¶] If Butler were to be granted parole, Butler claims that he would be able to obtain employment with Pastor Tony Williams. Letter forthcoming. [¶] Butler's parole plans are not backed up with any letters of support verifying his plans for either employment or housing."
What Butler told a psychologist preparing a psychological evaluation for the 2009 hearing was somewhat different: " The inmate reports he intends to live either with his aunt or godmother or sister in Oakland, California upon his release. He acknowledges he has no current letters supporting this claim, but will have them by the time of the Board Hearing. The inmate adds his employment plans are the same as they were in 2005. He suggests that he will be able to find employment from a pastor who operates several businesses and may employ him upon his release. The inmate will secure a letter to present at his Board Hearing." The psychologist further noted that Butler " appears to have the outline of a feasible parole plan," but that plan " would seem more credible if he were to have letters or information confirming his plans and contacts in the community." The psychologist reiterated at a later point that Butler's " parole plan lacks specifics and verification. There are outdated letters that reveal the inmate has employment and living opportunities available to him. He did not present current letters of support for job offerings or a place to live." Butler told the psychologist he " planned to present several letters of support at his next [hearing]." Despite these representations, no letters were submitted.
The evaluation concluded: " If the inmate remains in custody, it is recommended that he: ... 3.) verify all plans for residence and employment in the community...."
2012 Psychological Evaluation
In preparation for his February 2012 hearing, Butler was interviewed and evaluated by Dr. S. Thacker, a psychologist with the Forensic Assessment Division of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Dr. Thacker's 17-page report addresses many topics, but in the interest of not burdening this opinion with unnecessary detail, only the two subjects at issue will be discussed here.
Under the heading " PAROLE PLANS IF GRANTED RELEASE," Dr. Thacker reported: " Butler stated that his primary plan is to live with his mother in Santa Clara, California in her three-bedroom apartment ... in a very quiet neighborhood. His secondary plan would be to live with his maternal grandmother in San Jose. Regarding employment plans, he indicated that his mother's pastor has offered him a full-time job with the church and will be sending in an updated letter of support. He indicated that he would be working in the youth program doing mentorship, as well as odd jobs around the church such as cleaning. He did not know how much he would be paid. In addition to his work at the church, Butler stated that he would apply to be his mother's caregiver. Also, he again mentioned that he is close to starting training as a dental lab technician which he described as ‘ a realistic trade.’ When asked if having a job is important to him he replied ‘ of course ... to take care of myself ... be independent ... keep me out of negative stuff.’ He also stated that in a church environment ‘ you can not go wrong.’ He stated that his family, as well as the church pastor, will be willing to help him financially if needed and that they would definitely provide him with emotional/moral support. When asked in what other activities he would be involved in the community, Butler stated ‘ to be an activist for positive causes ... hunger drives, church things, educational kinds of stuff.’ He also explained again how he is trying to complete tutor training and could tutor youth in the community. When asked about his long-term goals, he replied ‘ be really involved in the community ... I want to open a center for youngsters ... they need alternatives.’ When asked what he would need to do to achieve this goal, he mentioned saving money and applying for grants. He also noted that he plans to start taking business courses through Coastline Community College in January, noting that his mother will help him with the cost for books. When asked to describe challenges he might face upon returning to the community, Butler mentioned staying away from negativity and staying focused. He noted that he ‘ has no habits like drugs or gangs' and added ‘ I see that as having a head start.’ He also mentioned how technology has changed so much during his incarceration but added that he has attempted to ‘ stay current.’
" Overall, Butler's parole plans appeared generally realistic and feasible; however, they were not particularly detailed or comprehensive. He appears to
have the basic building blocks in place (i.e., a place to live and a part-time job); however, it did not appear that he has thought through the various challenges or issues he may encounter in the community and how he plans to address each of them. For example, his plans do not include information regarding mental health resources available to him in the community should he experience difficulties related to any PTSD [] or depressive symptoms which might arise in the community. Additionally, he has never lived on his own and been responsible for maintaining a residence and will need to learn and develop those skills."
Under the heading " INSIGHT/SELF-ASSESSMENT," Dr. Thacker stated: " Overall, Butler presented as someone who has reflected upon his past and developed a fairly good understanding about why he made particular choices or decisions in his life, including his participation in the life crime. Mr. Butler appeared to have spent less time focusing on his future and how his insights regarding his past could be applied to his future to develop plans and goals about what to pursue, what obstacles he may encounter, and how he should best respond to and manage obstacles."
Under the heading " REMORSE AND INSIGHT INTO LIFE CRIME," Dr. Thacker concluded:
" It should be noted that insight and remorse are abstract concepts, which do not lend themselves to operationalized definition or measurement. Therefore, any opinions regarding insight and remorse are subjective in nature, and should be interpreted with this caveat in mind.
" In 1988, Butler underwent a Diagnostic Study and Recommendation at the Northern Reception Center which ultimately concluded that Butler was considered to be a suitable candidate for probation. During the study, Butler's account of the crime was consistent with records and was consistent with the accounts he has given throughout his incarceration. Over the years, he has spoken about various factors which he believed contributed to his participation in the crime. In the 1991 psychological evaluation for the Board, he reported ‘ ... that he had become involved with the wrong crowd and had not listened to his grandparents and had been blind in associating with hoodlums ... that he should have offered advice to the various parties to desist
from the physical abuse and if they did not wish to do so that he would disengage himself from the relationship.’ The evaluator stated that in the past, his risk for violence was average but was now decreased.
" In the 1997 psychological evaluation for the Board, Butler was described as showing considerable remorse and the evaluator concluded, ‘ This inmate has consistently admitted to the instant offense, and demonstrates appropriate remorse and self-criticism for his antisocial attitude at the time of the instant offense. He appears to have developed considerable insight into the contributing factors associated with the instant offense....’ The evaluator estimated that in the past his risk for violence was greater than average and was now significantly decreased.[]
" In the 2000 evaluation he again accepted full responsibility and demonstrated ‘ considerable remorse.’ The evaluator opined that his risk for future violence was low and that he was unlikely to engage in violence in the future.[]
" In 2005, he spoke of his ‘ immature decision making’ and again stated that at the time he thought he was helping someone and that although he was not in the room where the stabbing occurred, he sensed that something was going to happen and that he could have taken action to stop it. The evaluator rated his risk for future violence as low.
" In 2008, Butler stated that prior to coming to prison, he thought he knew it all and was immature and not an independent thinker. He thought he was helping a friend ‘ exact revenge.’ The evaluator wrote ‘ The inmate acknowledges he is the person to blame for the crime. He could have left the scene and not gotten involved at all.’ The evaluator concluded ‘ His remorse for the loss of life seems appropriate; however, he seems to minimize his role in the crime.’ This evaluator also placed his risk for future violence in the low range.
" During the present interview, Butler again discussed his immaturity and ignorance as factors influencing his involvement in the crime. He described how he believed his past experiences influenced his decision making in this situation, especially an experience during which his cousins were discussing exacting revenge against a man who had beaten his mother. He noted that this experience made him believe ‘ this is how you handle this type of situation.’ He also insightfully spoke about having witnessed police brutality in his neighborhood and other people's reactions to the police which contributed to his belief back then that you did not go to the police for help. In contrast, he stated that he now believes that one must abide by laws and rules in order to be successful. He stated that he would now alert police of the abuse and that if the person being abused did not want help getting out of the abusive situation then he would have to ‘ let them go’ (discontinue his relationship with them). When asked about his leadership role in the crime, Butler stated that he believed ‘ it was a collective idea to go after him ... me, Julio and Warren ... she [his female friend who was being abused] found out later on ... she had to give him the illusion everything was okay and she was not angry so she could take him to the swimming pool [so that Julio could hit him with the axe handle] ... going there was a normal thing ... I was not the leader of the whole thing but I had influence and a role in there ... I could have given a good influence ... not told Julio who he was ... not give nothing to go on ... then there would be no assault ... if there was no assault then there would be no murder.’ When asked who or what he blames for the crime, he stated that he blame[s] himself noting ‘ I made the decision to get involved.’ When asked for his current thoughts about the crime he replied ‘ now I think everything happens for a reason ... I take a spiritual perspective ... we have to learn certain lessons ... it was something that could have been prevented ... I don't like what happened and being locked up ... I can't dwell on it ... I have to learn from it.’ When asked who has been affected by the crime he mentioned that the victim's mother and father attended his grandmother's church and that they experienced great pain over their son's death. He also mentioned the overall affect the crime had on the church, as well as the victim's friends. He also spoke about how the crime affected his [Butler's] mother but added that it was worse for the victim's family because at least he is alive and his mother can talk to him. When
asked what factors would help keep him out of trouble in the future, he responded ‘ the way I think now ... more productive, positive ... not dysfunctional ... mature ... I set goals and surround myself with people doing the same thing ... my maturity.’
" Overall, Butler's account of the crime was consistent with the various accounts he has provided over the years. He presented as someone who has spent time and energy exploring and attempting to understand the motivating factors in the crime. He has developed good insight into those factors which included his tendency to go along with other people and his general level of immaturity, his association with antisocially minded individuals, his antisocial mindset in this situation which had been influenced by his earlier experience when he overheard his cousins planning revenge following his mother's beating, as well as his antisocial mindset which included believing that police were not helpful and, in fact, could be harmful (stemming from the police brutality present in the community). Butler did not appear to try to blame these factors but instead seemed to seek to understand them in order to understand the motivations for his behavior."
Under the heading " INMATE UNDERSTANDING OF LIFE CRIME," Dr. Thacker summarized that " He stated that it was his ignorance and immaturity that led up to his involvement in the crime. He indicated ‘ my intention overall was to help somebody but I went about it wrong ... I had dysfunctional thinking.’ When asked to describe his dysfunctional thinking and where it came from, he replied ‘ my environment ... my peers ... I saw how they reacted ... I was thinking violence was the way to deal with that situation ... to give him a [taste] of his [own] medicine.’ "
Under the heading " REMORSE AND INSIGHT INTO LIFE CRIME," Dr. Thacker concluded: " He appeared to accept his role in the life crime as someone who had equal influence in the situation and could have made either a positive or negative impact, and chose to make a negative impact. This evaluator did not sense that Butler sought to minimize his role in the events that occurred and that he held himself responsible for the victim's death; not solely responsible but equally responsible."
Under the heading " ANALYSIS OF RISK POTENTIAL," Dr. Thacker explained the results of several tests administered to Butler: The LS/CMI is " the most widely used risk assessment/management instrument among parole release authorities." " Butler obtained a total score on the LS/CMI that was higher than 3% of the normative sample of incarcerated male offenders in the United States, meaning that 3% of inmates evidenced fewer risk factors associated with general recidivism and that 97% of inmates evidenced more risk factors associated with general recidivism."
Dr. Thacker explained that, " The most pertinent risk factor identified by the LS/CMI for Mr. Butler was his lack of having incorporated the fostering of pro-social relationships with acquaintances and friends, as well as organized resources in the community. As noted, his parole plans were feasible but very basic and lacking in detail. Such detail could be incorporated by researching and contacting support agencies in the community to which he plans to parole and noting how such resources could be used if he is released to the community to help facilitate his successful transition and guard against the possibility of influence by negative sources. This concern stems from Mr. Butler's reports that he was often involved in criminal or negative behavior in order to fit in with his peers. He began to address the issue somewhat through his plans to be involved in church; however, this issue could be more extensively addressed by developing more detailed plans."
Butler was also administered the PCL-R, which Dr. Thacker described as " a standardized instrument developed to assess the lifetime presence of psychopathy and psychopathic traits among men and women in correctional settings." On this test Butler " obtained a Total Score ... that was higher than 9% of the normative sample of North American male offenders, meaning that 9% of male offenders evidenced fewer traits of psychopathy than Butler and 91% [offenders] evidenced more traits of psychopathy than Butler."
Next was the HCR-20, " a structured professional judgment approach to assessing violence risk potential in forensic psychiatric, civil psychiatric, correctional/prison, and community settings," and " among the most widely used violence risk assessment instruments." Butler's historical analysis was mixed, in part because of his life crime and " early maladjustment" as a juvenile, instability in his intimate relationships and difficulties in his early work performance in prison " largely related to his not reporting to work. On the other hand, his more recent work performance has been much improved." 
" Clinical Analysis: [Butler] presented with good insight into his past criminal/violent behavior. He was able to meaningfully discuss factors which contributed to these problems. He has been responsive to treatment while incarcerated and has not evidenced significant problems with impulse control or aggression during incarceration.... He did not currently present with symptoms of a major mental illness...."
" Risk Management Analysis: Butler has worked toward preparing himself to transition to the community and to manage the challenges of parole. His prospective plans for parole were generally feasible in that he planned to live with his mother, work part-time in his mother's church and apply to become his mother's caregiver. It appeared that Butler also continues to receive support from his siblings.[] It is likely that Mr. Butler will be exposed to some stressors or de-stabilizers in the free community including, but not limited to the typical stressors associated with returning to the community after a long period of incarceration, and family or relationship conflicts. Also, he has never established and maintained his own residence and will need to learn those skills. Mr. Butler seemed to have a limited understanding of the potential challenges or stressors he may encounter in the community and is encouraged to further explore this area and enhance his parole plans so that his plans address how he will manage any potential challenges.
" SUMMARY OF VIOLENCE RISK ANALYSIS: After weighing all of the data from the available records, the clinical interview, and the risk assessment data, it is opined that Butler presents a low/moderate risk for violence in a free community. A low/moderate risk indicates that this evaluator believes the individual represents a slightly elevated risk of violence. He presents with few risk factors that may warrant situational monitoring or risk reduction strategies.
" Based on a review of the case, the risk factor currently of most concern for Mr. Butler involved his parole plans. He reported that he plans to live with his mother, work part-time at his mother's church, and apply to be compensated for being his mother's caregiver. He stated that he would be involved in other positive activities to help the community such as hunger drives, etc. but did not have specific information regarding possible agencies or organizations with which he could become involved. He also had not sought out resources or agencies available to him for support in the community such as mental health services or access should his symptoms of PTSD or depression return. When describing himself, Mr. Butler admitted that he can be lazy at times. His plans appeared to rely heavily upon his mother, suggesting that he has opted to rely upon his mother and has not exerted the effort to establish plans which also include potential resources/sources of support outside his mother.
" Mr. Butler's risk of violent recidivism would significantly increase if he associated with antisocial peers. His risk of violent recidivism would likely also increase if he used ...