So, the holidays are almost over and the New Year begins in a few days. The thing about New Years is, it is a time to reflect and a time to plan what you want to accomplish in the next year. This is especially true for those who are incarcerated. If they take this opportunity to make a plan for the next year and what they want to achieve, they can be ahead of the curve. What classes could they take? What attitude adjustments could they make? After all, attitude is just how you react to things that happen to you. A change in attitude can change your life.
The most important thing you, as a loved one or family member of an incarcerated person, can say for the New Year is that it is another year closer to their release and new hope. It is not another year to dread, but a new beginning to prepare for when they are released. So, It is never too soon to begin making up a parole package. A parole package is what will be presented to the parole board when parole comes up for the inmate. I have taken some information from JPay Forum posted by “Texas June Bug” This is just a sample and can be revised to fit the circumstances. It can be prepared by the inmate or by someone else.
The Parole Package should contain:
1st page- Cover Letter, Be sure you put: “Parole Review Plan” Inmate’s Name and Inmate’s Federal or State Number, centered on page.
Pg 2. Table Of Contents
Table of Contents
Section 1: The Game Plan
The Parole Release Plan
Section 2: Letter From (Inmates Name)
(Inmate Name)’s Personal Letter of Support
Section 3: Support Letters
Letter of Support from (Significant Other’s Name)
Letter of Support from (Their Mother and/or Father’s Name)
Letter of Support from (Their Sister’s/brother’s or friend’s Name)
Letter of Support from any other entity, particularly one who might be willing to employ inmate.
Section 4: Community Resources
Job Resource Site
Area Narcotics Anonymous Schedule
Alcoholics Anonymous Schedule
Section 5: Pictures
Pictures of (Inmates Name)
Pictures of Where He/She Will Live
Pictures of People Who Support (Inmate)
pg 1 of section 1
(Inmates Full Name)
Parole Release Plan
Prepared by: (My name) (or inmate’s name)
At the request of: (Inmates Name)
Opening Statement: (Inmates Name) has served nearly XX years calendar time and accrued additional good time on his/her XX year sentence. This is his/her XXXX time in prison, and all his/her past offenses have been drug related. (Inmate) acknowledges that his/her poor decisions have placed him/her where he/she is and is remorseful for the impact those choices have had on his/her family and others. He/she has spent his/her time behind bars furthering his/her education, reconnecting with the God of his/her understanding, and learning work skills and tools to effectively handle his/her addiction. Today, (Inmate) has plans for a better future and desires the opportunity to become a productive, contributing member of society. If given the opportunity to parole, (Inmate) has a plan in place to ensure a successful transition back into the free world. This Parole Release Plan will outline the details.
Date of Birth: Age: Race: Sex:
Height: Weight: Hair Color: Eyes:
Marital Status: Children:
Siblings: Place of Birth:
Last Place of Residence:
DOC/ FEDERAL/ STATE Offense and Sentence Information:
Significant Controlling Offense:
County of Offense: Date of Offense:
Felony Level: Case/Cause #:
Original Parole Eligibility Date: Outcome:
Max Discharge Date:
Listed Projected Release Date*:
Flat Time Served in*:
Statistics for Offenders with Same Offense of XXXXX:
With the same offense: XXXX Offenders Avg Term w/ same offense: XX Years
Max Term w/ same offense: XX Years Min Term w/ same offense: 0 Years
Avg Time Spent: XXX Years Avg % of Time Spent to Term: XX.XX%
Where Does Parolee Plan to Reside? He/she will reside in XXXXX located at (Street Address) (City), (State) in County. See Housing Confirmation for details of property.
Will There Be Minor Children in the Residence? . Yes / No Description of:
Is There an Alternate Place Parolee Can Reside If Needed? Does Parolee Have a High School Diploma? (Inmate) has completed classes for and earned his GED while in the Custody of XXXX.
What Classes and Personal Improvement Activities Has Parolee Participated In While Incarcerated? In addition to completing his/her GED, (Inmate) has taken substance abuse classes, participated in AA meetings while in XXXX, gathered information on College classes from XXXX University. He/she is also currently attending XXXX.
Does Parolee Have a Trade or Skill to assist in obtaining employment? (Inmate) has previous experience in XXXXX.
What Employment Opportunities Does Parolee Have or Plan To Pursue? (Inmate) prefers to find a job in (City), where he/she will be living. The job market is strong in XX City. (Inmate) has been offered an opportunity to work with XXXXX in XXXXXX.
How Will Family Members Be Participating or Available To Assist in the Parolee’s Release Plan? (Inmate) has a very supportive family. His/her mother, who visits him/her regularly and currently puts money on his/her books every month, will continue to help financially support her son/daughter, spend time with him/her, and ensure his/her needs are met. (Inmate) also has a very supportive close family friend, (My Name), who has known him/her for XX years that, in addition to housing and transportation, will provide (Inmate) with emotional and moral support as well as food and clothing.
What Other Activities and Organizations Does Parolee Plan on Attending or Participating In? (Inmate) will be attending XXXX XXXXXX Church in (City). In addition to weekend services, they have a very active XXXX group and men’s/ women’s group for men/ women in their XXs. (Inmate) will also be attending 12 step meetings, such as AA, NA, and Celebrate Recovery in (City) and (Another City) at a minimum of 3-4 times a week. Also, as mentioned earlier, (Inmate) would like to attend Job Skills Classes at XXXX County Job Corp or pursue a degree at an accredited college.
Brief Description of Parolee’s Future Goals: (Inmate) looks forward to redeveloping a relationship with XXXXX family members and continuing to develop even stronger relationships with XXXXX. He/she plans to find a job so he/she can pay child support and provide for himself/herself. By working hard and continually developing his/her skills, he/she plans to continue to find better and better opportunities as time passes. Eventually he/she would like to pursue a degree in counseling and start a career as a substance abuse counselor, where he/she can take his/her experiences and the lessons he’s/she’s learned while in XXXXX and using it to help others make better decisions with their lives than those he/she made in the past.
Closing Comments: (Inmate) has grown a lot as a person and turned his/her life around during his/her time in XXXX. He/she would be very grateful for the opportunity to rejoin society and be there for his/her family and for his/her children. He/she has a strong support system that will help keep him/her on the right track as he/she transitions into a new life. (Inmate) is a good person who made some bad decisions in the past, but he/she has learned from them and is ready to move forward. Please allow (inmate) the opportunity to make us all proud by granting his/her parole and sending him/her home. Thank you for your time and your consideration.
Section 3, Support Letters:
Section 3, pg 2
Sample Support Letter
Month, XX, XXXX
Parole Board Members
Board of Pardons and Parole
State and Zip Code
Attn: (Inmates Name)
Dear Parole Board Members,
My name is (His/her Moms Name). I reside with XXXX at XXXXXXXX, (city), State, XXXXX. I have lived in XXXXX for most my life. I have worked at XXXXXXXXXX. I attend church every week at XXXXX Church in (City) and actively assist with their youth ministries.
I am the Mother of (Inmate Name), #XXXXXXX.
This is my son’s/daughter’s first time to be incarcerated in prison. I visit (inmate) as often as possible, and correspond regularly. Since incarceration, I have noticed many new, positive changes in his/her life. (Inmate) has accepted full responsibility, and remorse, for his/her actions, and is at peace with himself/herself. I feel he/she is doing all heshe can do to improve his/her life. He/she has completed substance abuse programs, and his/her GED and is attending AA meetings and church meetings as well. A number of the inmates come to (inmate) for spiritual help, and advice. (Inmate) obeys the rules, and has had no discipline problems since his/herincarceration.
As his/her mother, I love (Inmate) very much and I have a willingness to support my son/daughter in every way possible in the event of parole. A family friend has offered him/her housing, transportation to and from work, clothing, some financial help, and support. I will also help out financially, with clothing, advice, love, accountability and emotional support. Everyone involved with (Inmate) cares about him/her deeply and takes his/her reintegration into society very seriously.
I truly believe that my son/daughter has changed for the better. (Inmate) is not a violent person, and he/she would be an asset to his/her family and the community if he/she were to be paroled.
* All statistics regarding Offenders with Sam Offense and Regarding Offense and Sentence Information are from a Customized Parole Review Report prepared by www.parolesource.com. No template was used for the creation of this Parole Release Plan, though lots of time went into researching what information it should contain and lots of communication between the inmate and family took place to put this report together.
THE FOLLOWING IS COPIED FROM TEXAS PAROLE NOW. COM (This contains general information which can be used in any state, however one should always check state regulations for the state the inmate has been sentenced in.)
Preparing a parole package increases the chances of the offender making parole for a number of reasons, but chief among them is that it makes that potential parolee stand out from the rest of them. Since the statistics show that only a few minutes is spent, on average, with each parolee’s file anything which catches the attention of the hearing officer in a positive way would increase their chances.
The following excerpt, which discusses what we feel is the most important part of the parole packet, is from our book, “How to Prepare a Texas Parole Presentation Package”, available from RebellionBooks.com:
The awarding of parole to an offender in Texas often appears to be completely random. Two individuals, each with nearly identical cases and history, can receive wildly different results.
Unfortunately, the decision on who makes parole can be based on something as simple as whether the voting members of the parole board “have a bad day”.
The volume of cases voted on in any given month is tremendous and some estimates are that each file is subjected to an average review of 3-5 minutes.
It is this tremendous volume that makes it so important for the potential parolee to make an effort to distinguish their file (in a good way) from the hundred, or thousands of others under review.
The most important thing that can be done to improve the chances of parole is to influence the basic human nature of the voters by “humanizing” the potential parolee.
“Humanize: 1 a: to represent as human: attribute human qualities to b: to adapt to human nature or use. 2: to make humane.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/humanize;
The first way to humanize the potential parolee is through the use of photographs. Typically, the only visual representations of the person contained in the parole file are “mug shots” or photos taken when the offender first enters the prison system. These are taken within hours of their head being shaved (in the case of males) and typically after long periods without sunshine or adequate rest, resulting in a photograph that makes the person look like someone who shouldn’t be allowed to walk the streets.
The example Parole Presentation Package that is part of this e-book has places for a number of photographs, along with captions. The photograph on the cover page should be of the potential parolee alone, and be the best possible photograph you have available. The others in the package should show the person at work or home, interacting with other people including family members. The “caption” below each photo should explain who is in the picture along with what was happening.
Be sure that the photographs do not show anyone, particularly the potential parolee, engaging in or conducting activity the voters may feel is inappropriate. It would not be wise to include photographs of anyone with drug paraphernalia, alcohol, tobacco, or wearing any clothing depicting these. With computers as they are today a few minutes with a software package can remove or cover up any offensive objects. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, almost any print or copy shop can provide you a reference to an individual or company who can “photo shop” pictures into an acceptable format at a very reasonable cost.
People ask us “When is the time to start preparing a Texas parole packet?” Most of you know that a parole packet or a parole presentation package is a collection of documents and pictures sent to the Texas parole board to help them get to know the potential parolee a little better. This is particularly important in Texas since there is not an interview nor does the offender ever meet with an actual member of the parole board who will be voting.
Our answer as to when to start is always the same.
There are many reasons for this, but the main thing to remember is it is better to have the information and not need it, than to need it and not have it. Many times it takes much longer to get the information together than you would think and people are forced to submit packets without all of the materials. When you are trying for parole in Texas you need every bit of help you can get.