The title to this article may be just a little misleading because every part of a parole packet, especially when done using the system we describe in our book How to Prepare a Texas Parole Packet, is important. That's due to the fact that the system is set up to cover all areas and appeal to whatever the specific voting members of the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole think are important.
However, there is one part of the packet that we see people messing up on very, very often and that is they either leave photos out entirely or use photos which don't cast the potential parolee in the best light.
The person preparing the packet has to be aware the statistics show each voting member only has a few minutes to review the incarcerated individual's file. You can be assured that the first few pages of the file will prominently feature at least the "mug shot" taken of the person when they are processed through the intake center of the Texas prison system. Those pictures are taken in harsh lighting, the person has just had all of their hair cut off, and it's likely they have had very little sleep and so the pictures are horrible.
It's important to counter these photographs with pictures of the person in a more relaxed environment, hopefully one in which they are happy and with family and friends.
It's also critical the photograph not show the applicant drinking alcohol or with any drug paraphernalia on their person or in the picture. Your goal is to show them in the best possible light, not in a way which would indicate they have bad habits that may cause them to break the many rules of parole.
As an example, I've seen people submit photos where the person is smiling and looks happy, but they are wearing a shirt with a marijuana plant growing out of a beer can and with beer bottles covering the table near them.
It's not the message you want to send.
Almost every one can find a picture of a loved one somewhere. You may have to call friends and family to get it but in this day and age you can also look on social media accounts, computers, cell phones, etc. to find a few pictures which depict the person in the best light possible.
A parole packet is extremely important and if it is important enough to do, it is important enough to do correctly.
If you're not sure what a parole packet should consist of then you may want to seriously consider our book, How to Prepare a Texas Parole Packet, available as an ebook or as a package including both the ebook and a printed copy that can be sent into the prison to the person who is seeking parole.