Parole Representation Services
It's not uncommon for people to have a misunderstanding about what exactly parole means. According to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, parole is the discretionary release of any offender, and the release is made according to the Board of Pardons and Paroles decision. With parole, the offender must serve the remainder of their sentence in the community under close supervision. Parole is strictly a privilege, and it is not a right.
Not all offenders are eligible for parole; those offenders convicted of offenses listed under §508.149(a) of the Texas Government Code, are not eligible for parole. The parole board may also deny a mandatory release on a case-by-case basis for offenders who committed the crime on or after September 1, 1996 (Discretionary Mandatory Release).
With Mandatory Supervision, the prisoner is released to parole supervision when he or she has a combination of actual calendar time and good conduct time that equal the sentence. An offender is credited with good conduct time when he or she participates in work and self improvement programs.
ELIGIBILITY FOR PAROLE
It is the responsibility of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to make decisions in parole cases, to make efforts to restore human potential, and to provide prudent conditions of release for the structured reintegration of the offender back into society, and to always be conscious of public safety. When the Parole Panel is voting on an individual parole case they take into consideration the following:
- The seriousness (nature) of the offense;
- Any letters of support or protest;
- The sentence length;
- The amount of time served;
- The offender's criminal history, including other arrests, probation or parole;
- The offender's number of prison incarcerations;
- The participation in specialized programs; and
- The offender's age.
The Correctional Institutions Division Records Office of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is responsible for calculating parole eligibility dates for all of the state's offenders, with the exception of those offenders on death row or under other circumstances. Just how much of a sentence must be served in order to reach eligibility varies according to the nature of the crime as specified by statute. Additionally, the parole eligibility time may be influenced by good conduct time.
PAROLE REVIEW PROCESS
The Parole Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice identifies offenders six months before they are eligible for parole, and four months before their subsequent review dates. The Parole Division is the division that pulls the case files for review. The Parole division sends notices out to trial officials, the victims and the victim's family members. At this point in time, an Institutional Parole Officer or (IPO) of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles interviews the offender and puts together a parole case summary for the Board to review. The Parole Officer (IPO) will send the offender's file to the appropriate board office to be reviewed and voted on by the Parole Panel.
The panel consists of three (3) voting members, with the majority of two votes being needed for a final decision. If the two votes are the same, the vote is final. If the first two votes are different, then the third vote will break the tie. It is up to the discretion of the Parole Panel whether or not to interview the offender, as are interviews with individuals that either support or contest the offender's release or parole; however, the Parole Panel must grant an interview with victims as defined by statute and upon their request.
The offender will not be told of the decision at the review, instead they will be notified of the Parole Panel's decision via correspondence. If they are approved, it may include special conditions, whereas if they are denied, it will include the next review date.
For a free, confidential consultation contact the Law Offices of Daniel & Hudson at (210) 222-2297. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.