Parole Day from a Texas Prison

After the parole packet has been completed and submitted there is the long wait until the decision is made and the inmate and family notified then the even longer wait until the actual day of parole. Bear in mind that things can still go wrong, new warrants can appear, the inmate can do something that causes the parole to be withdrawn (so tell them to stay out of trouble!) but for most it is just a matter of waiting the two or three months.

There are more than one place in Texas now that prisoners are actually transferred to and released. The most famous of these, and the original release point, was from The Walls in Huntsville.

The prisoners being released on parole and those who are being released because their sentence have been completed are treated virtually the same, with the exception that the ones on parole have to make a stop by the parole board office at the prison.

On the day of their release, prisoners begin by eating breakfast just as on every other day of their sentence. They then gather their items and wait to be called. The soon to be ex-prisoners clear their accounts at the medical facility on site (if necessary), receive their "walking money" ($100 for released prisoners and $50 for parolees) and some type of clothing, At the TDC release points it is usually donated "street clothes" and at privately run facilities like the one at Mineral Wells it will be a jumpsuit. They also receive a bus voucher to the closest bus station to their approved release  residence and in some cases a ride to the bus station. For those inmates who have family or friends waiting to pick them up there is no need for the bus voucher.

Parolees are informed of the date, time and place of their first parole appointment, usually within 48 hours. At that appointment they will be instructed on expected behavior and often tested for drug use. Unfortunately, many fail this first test due to drug use either in prison or in "celebration" of their release. 

It is important for the family and friends to remember that there will be some adjustment to life "in the world" no matter the length the people were imprisoned and so patience may be required.

Don't be surprised if the requests the releasees make seem trivial. A favorite television show, a favorite food, or just some time alone, all are common items that we take for granted, but which are dear to someone that has been locked up.

Author: Staff Writer