How important are support letters? How many should you send? What should they look like?
While all of these questions and many more are answered in our book, "How to Prepare a Texas Parole Presentation Package", I did want to address the issue briefly.
It is estimated that the voting members of the parole board average about three minutes review per file. If nothing else is presented by the offender or his family the file will consist of what was sent by the District Attorney, the victim if any, any paperwork from the prison system, and the mug shot of the offender taken when he entered the prison system, typically showing them pale and, if a man, with their head shaven.
Parole letters are just one way the offender can make his file stand out from the hundreds, if not thousands, of others under review by the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole.
The letters serve a multitude of purposes, but one is purely psychological. They let the Board know that there are people in the "real world" who care about and are waiting on what, to them, is not a real person, just a number and a mug shot.
Anything you can do to humanize the someone trying to make parole can only help.
For more information on support letters and other ways to increase the chances for a parole in Texas see our book, available for instant download or in printed form.