Parole Support Letter Advice

The most important part to any support letter is to be :

Accurate

Detailed

Fact Bound

Sincere

Genuine

Supporting all of your statements with examples, facts, or other proof to the best of your ability.

Support letters should be addressed to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Employment

Employment letters should be detailed as possible and focus on the type of work that will be done, whether it will be full time or part-time. The letter should be written on company letterhead (or at least

staple a business card to the letter if at all possible). It is important to any offer of employment that the employer is aware of previous crimes and related problems. The more information that is placed in this direction in the letter the better. The importance of this information being provided by the actual potential employer is that it allows you to show the Board that you are very up-front with all the persons in the plan revealing your awareness of the offenders criminal past. Letters of Employment are not a contract and they do not obligate the potential future employer. But they should be sincere well thought out offers.

Potential Employment should reflect the employer's ability to allow the employee to serve their parole requirements, and the possibility of future advancement are all worthwhile topics that the letter may address. A letter maybe used that indicated the offender is free to make an application to a given employer, is acceptable.

***Separate statements with medical documentation to reflect if offender is physically or mentally unable to seek employment.

Living Arrangements

Indicate in your letters who will be providing living arrangements, and the type of arrangements involved. Is this the prior address where the prisoner lived? Is the address in the same county where the crime occurred? If it the same address as before, try to show why the prior crimes that occurred there won't happen again (greater family awareness, disassociation with people and activities with whom the client was previously

involved, ect.). Whether a rent will be involved, if there is a limited duration that is available and what are the circumstances of his/her living arrangement, as well as other persons in the house and any conditions they may have.

Means of Transportation

This is a smaller issue and should simply state if a car or local bus service is available. If that car is your car and is being made available then you should indicate whether it can be used for all purposes, or just for going to and from work only.

Moral Support

Moral support, speaks for itself to some extent, but you want to be as detailed as possible. Letters that say "He made a mistake and he has learned his lesson" are not nearly as effective as a letter with a few

examples of how the prisoner use to act before and a few examples of how he acts now and a conclusion that he will not make the same mistakes in the future. (Note: I do not think anyone can give an guarantee to the Parole Board as to what the offender may or may not choose to do once he/she is released)

Note how often you visit the unit, for how long you have been visiting the unit and how far is the drive for you to his unit. Indicate how often you exchange letters and for how long have you been exchanging letters.

Giving the Parole Board examples and information to work from so they can draw their own conclusions (and agree with your conclusion) are much more effective letters than requesting them to accept your conclusions on blind faith.

Keep Copies

KEEP COPIES OF ALL OF YOUR INFORMATION. You do not even need to hand in originals. Once you send in material to the Parole Board it becomes part of your loved one's original file and you will not be able to recover the information. Always at least keep copies if not the originals.

Pictures

Some pictures are nice for personalizing a file. I recommend a sensible number of pictures. I prefer a few pictures with several loved ones in the photos rather than a bunch of photos each with a few people in them. If you want to photograph the house or car I'd also include family members in the picture. Some place a photo of each person in a corner of their respective support letter. Others get the whole family together with a sign saying "We look forward to your return (Loved One's Name)". These can be a nice touch.

But don't get carried away in this area. Your loved one will surely get more out of the photos than they will contribute to the decision making process.

Remember the Voting Parole Board Members are bound by the facts in the file and cannot make decisions based on sentiments.

 

**** NOTE: This is not legal advice and it is not a guarantee for parole release.

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