This is going to be a short article and is written just to answer a specific question asked by new Texas parole lawyers as well as prisoners representing themselves. That question is, “Can I see my entire parole file?”
In general, the answer to this question is “no”. Unlike the underlying criminal case, there is no right to discovery in an application for parole. This has been set forth, very poorly, in a variety of statutes and in case law.
Most Texas parole lawyers will say this denial of information is both unfair and unconstitutional and, based on basic legal theories, they would be right! Unfortunately, so long as Texas is conservative and continues electing conservative lawmakers and judges it isn’t likely to change.
In the simplest terms, the State and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) believes that Texas paroles are a privilege, not a right. Because it is a privilege, then the standard protections do not apply.
In our book, How to Prepare a Texas Parole Packet, we explain what we have found to be contained in the parole file which is reviewed by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles (TBPP). We also explain how to counteract some of the contents which do not look good for the incarcerated as well as some documents which can be submitted by the potential parolee to make it easier to get a “yes” on the application and thus get the Texas parole granted.
Also, please note that the system set forth in our book is designed to be used by the incarcerated person as well as a person on the outside who can get access to the materials needed to submit the best Texas parole packet possible.
If you have an incarcerated loved one, we suggest you take a look at our book How to Prepare a Texas Parole Packet. The book provides easy to follow instructions and forms for creating a Texas parole package.
How to Prepare a Texas Parole Packet is available in ebook format as an instant download or in bundled form with an ebook and a printed book to be sent to an offender in prison or someone at home. Since we are an approved vendor there are no issues receiving our books at any of the Texas jails or prisons.