Posted on 4/17/23

If you are going before a parole board, you may have questions about the process. You and your family can take steps to help you receive a favorable review. For example, your loved ones can submit letters of support that can help the parole board make a favorable decision.

What Does it Mean to Be in Parole Review?

In Texas, inmates go before a parole review board six months before their first parole review date or four months before any subsequent parole review date. Theoretically, a Texas parole board can vote to release or deny release to an inmate at any time during the four or six-month review period. Most parole boards vote on an inmate within a few weeks of the parole review date. Having an inmate in “parole review” means that the board is on the clock for preparing his or her file for the board to vote on and completing the inmate interview. It also provides specific timelines for parole attorneys to prepare and submit the inmate’s parole packets and support material. 

When to Submit Letters of Support to the Parole Board?

According to Texas Administrative Code Rule 141.60, “copies of all information and arguments in support of an offender’s release may be submitted to members of the parole panel designated to hear the case” during the review period. The “review period” for submissions ends two months before the month in which the inmate’s parole is scheduled for a vote. A panel can decide to consider documents filed after the review period ends, but the best practice is to get all materials to the board promptly and not violate the rule. 

What Should My Support Letter Say?

Family members and friends can submit support letters in favor of the inmate getting out on parole. If you are a loved one, the best thing you can do is make your letter as specific as possible. For example, do not just say that an inmate is a good person. Provide specific examples of why an inmate is a good person and how they have helped you or your community. If you believe that your loved one has matured or changed, tell the board specific details about what is different and what you have noticed. Parol panels are busy, and providing specific details can help the good aspects of your loved one’s character stand out.

Do I Need a Parole Lawyer?

Working with a parole attorney can be helpful, especially if your case is not straightforward. The Texas parole board is required to implement the Texas Administrative Rules. Working with an attorney familiar with the process can help you understand the process and give your loved one the best chance of having a favorable outcome. If you or your loved one would benefit from having experienced legal representation as you move through the parole process, we are here to help. Contact the criminal appeals attorneys at Abel Law Firm to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about how we can help you. 

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