The Importance of Support Letters
There are no accurate statistics available on the effect,if any, support letters have on an inmate or offender making parole but we do discuss them in detail and provide examples in our book How to Prepare a Texas Parole Packet.
The problem that we are seeing is that a number of different websites have examples on them of support letters which were obviously drafted by people with no legal or psychological background and the letters have nothing in them which provides any information llikely to be of benefit in persuading a voting member of the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole to grant parole. If something is not going to provide a positive benefit then it will only detract from the "good" parts of the parole packet.
As we explain, our book and all of the forms and examples in it were drafted by a former trial lawyer and criminal defense attorney and reviewed and approved by a different person with education and training in psychology. As the book sets out, these were not just randomly written or chosen but were designed to be a part of an overall package with specific goals in mind, the ultimate one being to personalize the offender seeking parole and to get a positive vote from the initial two voting members, thus having parole granted without the necessity for a third vote.
Effective support letters can provide the parole board with evidence of how the offender will reintegrate into society and be both responsible as well as complete their parole with no violations. The support letters are the evidence which combine with the "blueprint for success" set forth elsewhere in the parole packet.
Be very careful when choosing what support letters to provide as well as what is contained in them. Be sure they fit into the overall plan and don't just clutter up the file, possibly pulling attention away from other important sections.