Unfortunately, the legal and “justice” system in Texas is confusing and geared primarily for people who can afford an attorney.
While that is undoubtedly true, it doesn’t mean there are not a number of ways to prepare for the system rather than doing nothing and just taking a chance on the offender making parole. In this article, we will discuss several of those methods, including the book we publish, as well as both the advantages and disadvantages of each method.
Hiring a Parole Lawyer
Without question, this method is the easiest and the most expensive of the choices. For those who can afford the attorney’s fees, which can range from $2500 to considerably more, this is the best method for the reasons explained below.
A lawyer is already familiar with working within the system and will not have to learn what has to be done to give the convicted person the best chance of making parole. Usually, the fee is due in advance but in many cases, the lawyer’s office already has a form or forms set up for the parole packet and the person hiring them will be responsible for doing the majority of the legwork and get the materials for the packet and provide them to the attorney.
Unlike many states, there is no mandatory meeting with the voting members of the parole board. You may remember from movies like The Shawshank Redemption and Ocean’s 11 that the prisoner appears in front of a panel and answers questions designed to allow the parole board to make their decision on whether additional prison time is required or whether the person can be released. Texas doesn’t have this. While some lawyers will try and call the parole board members to ask for a meeting, there is no requirement that this be agreed nor are there any statistics which demonstrate whether it is or is not effective.
Still, if money is not an issue, a Texas parole lawyer is a worthwhile investment.
- No need for the offender or anyone helping them on the outside to do anything other than follow the lawyer’s directions
- The easiest way to put together a professional parole packet
- Costs, many people are already working with a budget and cannot afford additional attorney’s fees
- No court-appointed lawyers for this process
- People will still spend significant time gathering materials for lawyers
- No statistics indicating having a lawyer gives an advantage
Hiring a Parole Packet Preparation Service
In addition to lawyers, there are a number of services advertising they prepare Texas parole packets for people. You often see these ads when searching online, on Craigslist.org, or in the local free sales papers such as the Thrifty Nickel.
There is nothing uniform about these services since they are not a part of a lawyer’s office and are often just people who have been through the parole process themselves. I’ve seen a number of the packets they’ve produced and they do not seem to be created with any particular strategy in mind, and often they use poor English and grammar. I did see a couple which had obviously purchased our book and used our strategies and forms, since I recognized the language.
One issue which I suspect is going to catch up with them one day is several lawyers have opined they are almost certainly crossing the line into practicing law without a license. For this reason, in addition to the reality that there is no indication they actually are any more successful than a person preparing the packet themselves, I wouldn’t recommend using a service like this.
- Doesn’t require much work on the part of the offender or anyone helping them
- Less expensive than an attorney
- No guarantee as to the training these people have undergone
- No guarantee they know what they are doing
- Extremely unlikely they understand the legal concepts behind the packet
- May be unreliable
- No way to know if their work is acceptable
- Likely illegal for non-lawyers to prepare a parole packet without a law license
Books and Websites on Preparing a Texas Parole Packet
There are a number of free “How To” guides on the internet and which are supposed to be about preparing a Texas parole packet. Certainly, if you cannot afford to spend money on learning how to do a correct one, then these guides are better than nothing but we have read through them all and note a number of problems with them.
First, they are not written by attorneys, which raises the issue of whether the author has a thorough understanding of the system. They seem to be written by people who successfully made parole and those people are assuming that since it worked in their case it will work in everyone’s case. That is an absolutely incorrect assumption.
Second, they are usually outdated and do not have the correct information to be used in calculating the Parole Guidelines Score among other things.
Third, they rarely have forms which you can follow. Also, the writers universally do not seem to understand what the voting members of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles will be looking at which reflect negatively on granting parole. If you do not understand what you are fighting against, then you cannot prepare an effective presentation.
Finally, they often give information which is wrong. For an example, one states you should not send a copy to the regional parole office even though they are the ones who will actually be voting.
Their argument is that they will get their copy from the main office. This ignores completely the fact that not only does the information not get forwarded properly on occasion but also documents get destroyed, as in the situation from a few years ago where TDCJ personnel in Austin were shredding all parole support documents including support letters, re-entry plans, and offers of employment. By sending a copy to both the main office and the regional office you ensure the voting members will get copies of the packet. Again, this is an example of a novice writer attempting to provide information on a topic for which they are not really trained.
Since we believe we publish the only book on this topic and certainly publish the only one which is constantly updated and for which there is no charge for the updates, we are probably a little more positive about this choice.
Our book, How to Prepare a Texas Parole Packet, is available through our publishing website, www.RebellioBooks.com, and Amazon.com. It is available as an instant download in PDF format (which allows you to copy and paste sections directly into the word processor you are using to prepare the parole packet), as a printed book, and as a bundle which includes the PDF copy and a printed copy which can be mailed to you or to someone in prison so they can assist in preparing their packet. It is important that you purchase only from us or from Amazon.com, and not some other seller advertising on Amazon, since that is the only way you can guarantee you are getting the latest version,
The books are updated throughout the year as new material is released or changes are made to the laws.
Our book has also been ordered by a number of law firms and the strategies and forms we set forth are now used by those law offices for their own services.
Our book was originally written by an attorney who graduated from a Texas law school, passed the bar examination, and was in active practice for twenty years. He now writes full time for a number of websites as well as both non-fiction and fiction books. While an active attorney he wrote and published articles in a number of legal journals and wrote and published papers, as well as speaking at, a number of Continuing Legal Education seminars each year.
- The price for the book is much lower than any other choice
- Updates to the e-book are free
- When you order, you are guaranteed to get the latest version of the e-book or the printed book
- The book is written in simple, easy to understand language
- Forms and examples are included
- There is a specific strategy set forth in the book as well as the reasoning for this strategy
- All that is needed to create an effective Texas Parole Packet are explained
- The personal information which is needed and the reason for it is set forth in detail
- You still have to gather the personal materials and information and do the work to prepare the parole packet
While you have three, clear options available for preparing a Texas parole packet, only two of these are proven reliable. Whether you choose to hire a Texas parole lawyer or you choose to invest in How to Prepare a Texas Parole Packet, you should do so as early as possible so that you have plenty of time to put the materials together.
A good parole packet can mean the difference between being approved for parole and being denied and having to spend additional months, or even years, in prison. While no method guarantees success these offer the best chances.