Preparing a parole package increases the chances of the offender making parole for a number of reasons, but chief among them is that it makes that potential parolee stand out from the rest of them. Since the statistics show that only a few minutes is spent,on average, with each parolee's file anything which catches the attention of the hearing officer in a positive way would increase their chances.
The following excerpt, which discusses what we feel is the most important part of the parole packet, is from our book, "How to Prepare a Texas Parole Presentation Package", available from RebellionBooks.com:
The awarding of parole to an offender in Texas often appears to be completely random. Two individuals, each with nearly identical cases and history, can receive wildly different results.
Unfortunately, the decision on who makes parole can be based on something as simple as whether the voting members of the parole board “have a bad day”.
The volume of cases voted on in any given month is tremendous and some estimates are that each file is subjected to an average review of 3-5 minutes.
It is this tremendous volume that makes it so important for the potential parolee to make an effort to distinguish their file (in a good way) from the hundred, or thousands of others under review.
The most important thing that can be done to improve the chances of parole is to influence the basic human nature of the voters by “humanizing” the potential parolee.
“Humanize: 1 a: to represent as human: attribute human qualities to b: to adapt to human nature or use. 2: to make humane.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/humanize;
The first way to humanize the potential parolee is through the use of photographs. Typically, the only visual representations of the person contained in the parole file are “mug shots” or photos taken when the offender first enters the prison system. These are taken within hours of their head being shaved (in the case of males) and typically after long periods without sunshine or adequate rest, resulting in a photograph that makes the person look like someone who shouldn’t be allowed to walk the streets.
The example Parole Presentation Package that is part of this e-book has places for a number of photographs, along with captions. The photograph on the cover page should be of the potential parolee alone, and be the best possible photograph you have available. The others in the package should show the person at work or home, interacting with other people including family members. The “caption” below each photo should explain who is in the picture along with what was happening.
Be sure that the photographs do not show anyone, particularly the potential parolee, engaging in or conducting activity the voters may feel is inappropriate. It would not be wise to include photographs of anyone with drug paraphernalia, alcohol, tobacco, or wearing any clothing depicting these. With computers as they are today a few minutes with a software package can remove or cover up any offensive objects. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, almost any print or copy shop can provide you a reference to an individual or company who can “photo shop” pictures into an acceptable format at a very reasonable cost.
People ask us "When is the time to start preparing a Texas parole packet?" Most of you know that a parole packet or a parole presentation package is a collection of documents and pictures sent to the Texas parole board to help them get to know the potential parolee a little better. This is particularly important in Texas since there is not an interview nor does the offender ever meet with an actual member of the parole board who will be voting.
Our answer as to when to start is always the same.
There are many reasons for this, but the main thing to remember is it is better to have the information and not need it, than to need it and not have it. Many times it takes much longer to get the information together than you would think and people are forced to submit packets without all of the materials. When you are trying for parole in Texas you need every bit of help you can get.
We discuss the various parts of the packet in our eBook, How to Prepare a Texas Parole Presentation Package, available as a download which can then be used to prepare the packet or as a download and printed copy. As a bookstore, we can mail the printed copy to a prisoner at his unit or directly to you. By all means, if you can afford a parole attorney, hire one, but if you can't, our low priced eBook will help you to do the best job possible.