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Cell Phones in Prison and How They Can Affect Parole

Cell Phones in Prison The prison systems are now taking the position that the #1 problem in the facilities are contraband cell phones. To support their case they are arguing the cell phones create a "danger" of escape, being used to arrange illegal activity, etc. Why Is It a Big Deal? The prisons and legislators point to a case where a contract killer was allegedly hired by a prisoner via cell phone to kill someone. However, the real reason that they are being pursued so heavily is that it is an additional wayRead More


TDCJ Unveils New Inmate Censorship Policy

In the new Offender Orientation Handbook released this earlier this month, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice instituted a new policy punishing offenders for having a social media presence even if it is managed by a friend or family member.   The new offender manual creates a prohibition on inmates "maintaining active social media accounts for the purposes of soliciting, updating, or engaging others, through a third party or otherwise."   Offenders who violate the new policy will be charged with a level three disciplinary violation which can result inRead More


Getting Your GED While Incarcerated

Windham School District (WSD) provides a GED preparation program for inmates seeking to obtain their GED while incarcerated and is available for any qualified inmate in a Texas county or state jail or prison at no charge. When inmates enter TDCJ they are tested to determine their academic level.  Inmates are then placed in educational program based on their Individualized Treatment Plan, which outlines education services for the offender.    Inmates are taught the skills needed to prepare for the GED test.  Classes are typically three hours a day andRead More


Christmas and Holidays in a Texas Prison

Turkey Day is followed immediately by an onset of shopping with the retailers playing Christmas music, decorating their stores, and doing everything possible to get you into the holiday spirit but inside the prisons it's just another endless stretch of sad days for most of the prisoners, missing their family and trying to find a way to kill time and prevent boredom until they are released.  To make it even more boring, school and the other classes are usually canceled for an extended period. While some of the offenders don't likeRead More


3g Offenses and Why They Matter

In Texas, the date of theoretical parole eligibility depends primarily on whether the offense is "3g or non 3g". So what does the term 3g mean? 3g is a shorthand way of saying that an offense is considered aggravated under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 42.12 (3) (g). The crimes under this section are: Capital Murder, Murder, Indecency with a Child by Contact, Aggravated Kidnapping, Aggravated Sexual Assault, Aggravated Robbery, Sexual Assault, Injury to a Child, Injury to an Elderly Person, Injury to a Disabled Individual, Sexual Performance by a Child,Read More


Texas To Close Two Prison Facilities

Budget negotiators at the Texas Senate and House have tentatively agreed to close two private run state prisons resolving a political feud that threatened the criminal justice agency. Under Friday’s agreement, the Texas Board of Criminal Justice will decide which two prisons to close. Legislators agreed to cut $97 million from the criminal just budget under new wording in the budget, which requires two facilities to be closed.  Although the bill does not specifically name the Dawson State Jail in Dallas and the Mineral Wells Pre-Parole Transfer Facility, the $97Read More


Are You Working on the Parole Packet?

Texas is working hard to shut prisons and grant paroles. There are more empty beds in TDC than there have been in years and, thank God, it looks like the Dawson State Jail will finally be shut down. That place is awful. There are less prisoners because of the terrible budget situation Texas finds itself in and that isn't likely to change for a while. This situation means that the time is perfect to apply for parole if some time and care is taken to do a good parole packet.Read More


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, aRead More


Why Parole Packets Are Important for Texas Paroles

A good parole packet can be the difference between making parole in Texas and having to do more time in the Texas prisons. However, many people are discouraged because they can't afford a Texas parole attorney and don't think they can do the work themselves but luckily they are incorrect. While if you can afford a Texas parole lawyer then by all means hire one (especially one supports us providing important information by advertising on here!) but if you can't afford the expense then your loved one still has hope.Read More


Texas Lawsuit Alleges Prisons Without Air Conditioning are Inhumane

A lawsuit was filed by the Texas Civil Rights Project on behalf of 58 year old Larry Gene McColuum who died while suffering a seizure in the soaring 100 degree heat while incarcerated in a Texas prison.  McCollum was taken to the hospital where his body temperature was measured at 109.4 degrees Fahrenheit.  He fell into a coma and died six days later of what an autopsy concluded was hyperthermia "due to housing in a hot environment without air conditioning." Only 21 of Texas' 111 prisons are fully air conditioned.Read More