Be Careful What Is In the Texas Parole Packet
One of the ways in which having a Texas parole lawyer can help is that the professional can take an objective look at the materials and know what should, and more importantly should not, be in there.
As our book, How to Prepare a Texas Parole Presentation Package (available as an ebook and in print), points out, a major function of the parole packet is to help the voting members of the parole board able to see the offender as a person rather than just as a mug shot, a TDC number, or a file.
However, the person preparing the packet needs to use care in picking out and including anything that might give the wrong impression (or even a correct one that you don't want them to have). For instance, I saw a parole packet that one person had done and had to make a suggestion. They had done a wonderful job and obviously spent a lot of time selecting photos and other materials showing the person as they knew them. Unfortunately, the person was in prison for a felony DWI and every picture they had showed the person with a beer in their hand or on the table next to them. The family member didn't think anything of it because they were used to seeing the family member like that and, of course, beer plays a function in many family gatherings. However, when you're trying to get someone released early from prison you don't want to give the Texas parole board the impression that the person can't function without a beer in their hand. In one photo the person was even wearing a t-shirt that showed a cartoon of a beer can lying on its side with a marijuana plant growing out of it. Not the best impression.
Of course, they were mortified when they realized what they had almost done and quickly remedied the situation with new pictures and by "photoshopping" the pictures.
The simplest way to avoid a mistake is to have someone who is neutral review the parole packet when it is finished. Be sure and tell them that it is important they be brutally honest in their review and, if they are, then it can only help you.
By the way, the printed copy of our book makes a great Christmas present that can be sent into a prison and give the incarcerated person something to do during the holidays. You can show them how much you are looking forward to seeing them again and get their help by sending them this book.
A Tip: Discussing preparing a Texas parole packet is a great way to spend a little time during a visitation at Texas prison. It not only lets the prisoner know that you are concerned about helping them to get out of prison soon but they may have some great ideas of pictures to use or people to contact for support letters.