When is an Inmate Eligible for Parole?

When is an Inmate Eligible for Parole?

The process for parole begins at the sentencing.  Unless the court has specified a minimum amount of time for the offender to serve, parole eligibility is based on the sentence type, amount of time served, and good time accumulated.

What is Parole?

Parole is the early release of an offender who will serve the remainder of their sentence under the supervision of the Texas Department of Pardons and Parole.  An offender can only be paroled if they have served enough time to be eligible and are approved by the voting members of the parole panel.  

Parole is only available for inmates who are sentenced in the Institutional Divisional of the TDCJ and not to those in sentenced in state jail.

The chart below is the statutory guidelines for parole eligibility.  All dates  are calculated by the Correctional Institutions Division Records Office at TDCJ.  Once an inmate is processed, the Records Office will provide a time calculation sheet showing the initial parole eligibility date. The type of convicted offense determines the eligibility date and can change based on good time conduct.

Parole Eligibility Chart

Offense/Sentence/Enhancement/Affirmative Finding Statute inmate was sentenced under: Parole eligible in:
Death sentence   Not Eligible
Life w/out parole   Not Eligible
Continuous sexual abuse of a young child/children § 21.02, Penal Code Not Eligible
Minimum 25 year sentence for aggravated sexual assault § 22.021(f), Penal Code Not Eligible
Aggravated sexual assault with enhancement § 22.021 with enhancement under §12.42(c)(4), Penal Code Not Eligible
Life sentence for capital felony –
offender younger than 18yo
§ 12.31(a)(1), Penal Code 40 years (no good time included)
SENTENCED to life in TDCJ for an offense of:
– 20A.02(a)(7) or (8): Trafficking a child and caused the trafficked child to engage in, or become the victim of,
– Continuous sexual abuse of young child or children,
– Indecency with a child,
– Sexual assault,
– Aggravated sexual assault,
– Prostitution,
– Promotion of prostitution,
– Aggravated promotion of prostitution,
– Compelling prostitution,
– Sexual performance by child, 
– Employment harmful to children, 
– Possession or promotion of child pornography, OR
– Received a benefit from participating in a venture that involves one of the offenses above, or engages in sexual conduct with a child trafficked in a manner consistent with one of the offenses above. 
– 21.11(a)(1): Indecency with a child by sexual contact,
– 22.021: Aggravated sexual assault,
– 22.011: Sexual Assault,
– 20.04(a)(4): Aggravated kidnapping with intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually, or
– 30.02(d): Burglary of a habitation and defendant committed the offense with the intent to commit a felony of
– 20A.02(a)(7) or (8): Trafficking a child and caused the trafficked child to engage in, or become the victim of,
– Continuous sexual abuse of young child or children,
– Indecency with a child,
– Sexual assault,
– Aggravated sexual assault,
– Prostitution,
– Promotion of prostitution,
– Aggravated promotion of prostitution,
– Compelling prostitution,
– Sexual performance by child, 
– Employment harmful to children, 
– Possession or promotion of child pornography, OR
– Receives a benefit from participating in a venture that involves one of the offenses above, or engages in sexual conduct with a child trafficked in a manner consistent with one of the offenses above. 
– 21.11(a)(1): Indecency with a child by sexual contact,
– 22.021: Aggravated sexual assault,
– 22.011: Sexual Assault,
– 20.04(a)(4): Aggravated kidnapping with intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually, or
– 21.11: Indecency with a child

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AND has previously been convicted of

– 43.25: Sexual Performance by a child,
– 43.26: Possession or promotion of child pornography,
– 43.23(h): Second degree felony obscenity 
– 20A.02(a)(7) or (8): Trafficking a child and caused the trafficked child to engage in, or become the victim of,
– Continuous sexual abuse of young child or children,
– Indecency with a child,
– Sexual assault,
– Aggravated sexual assault,
– Prostitution,
– Promotion of prostitution,
– Aggravated promotion of prostitution,
– Compelling prostitution,
– Sexual performance by child, 
– Employment harmful to children, 
– Possession or promotion of child pornography, OR
– Receives a benefit from participating in a venture that involves one of the offenses above, or engages in sexual conduct with a child trafficked in a manner consistent with one of the offenses above. 
– 21.02: continuous sexual abuse of child or children,
– 21.11: Indecency with a child,
– 22.011: Sexual assault,
– 22.021: Aggravated sexual assault,
– 25.02: Prohibited sexual conduct,
– 20.04(a)(4): Aggravated kidnapping with intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually
– 30.02(d) and defendant committed the offense with the intent to commit a felony of
– 20A.02(a)(7) or (8): Trafficking a child and caused the trafficked child to engage in, or become the victim of,
– Continuous sexual abuse of young child or children,
– Indecency with a child,
– Sexual assault,
– Aggravated sexual assault,
– Prostitution,
– Promotion of prostitution,
– Aggravated promotion of prostitution,
– Compelling prostitution,
– Sexual performance by child, 
– Employment harmful to children, 
– Possession or promotion of child pornography, OR
– Receives a benefit from participating in a venture that involves one of the offenses above, or engages in sexual conduct with a child trafficked in a manner consistent with one of the offenses above. 
– 21.02: Continuous sexual abuse of child or children,
– 21.11: Indecency with a child,
– 22.011: Sexual assault,
– 22.021: Aggravated sexual assault,
– 25.02: Prohibited sexual conduct,
– 20.04(a)(4):Aggravated kidnapping with intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually
– Or an offense in another state that contains similar elements to one of the offenses listed above

§ 12.42(c)(2), Penal Code 35 years (no good time included)
Criminal Solicitation § 15.03, Penal Code ½ of sentence or 30 years, whichever is less, but in no event less than 2 years
(no good time included)
Murder1 § 19.02, Penal Code Same as above
Aggravated Kidnapping § 20.04, Penal Code Same as above
Trafficking of Persons § 20A.02, Penal Code Same as above
Indecency with a Child by sexual
contact
§ 22.11(a)(1), Penal Code Same as above
Sexual Assault1 § 22.011, Penal Code Same as above
Aggravated Sexual Assault1 § 22.021, Penal Code Same as above
Injury to a child, Elderly, or
Disabled Individual causing serious bodily injury if first degree felony and
victim is a child
§ 22.04(a)(1), Penal Code Same as above
Aggravated Robbery § 29.03, Penal Code Same as above
Burglary in habitation and offender
intended to commit therein felony continuous sexual abuse of young
child/children (§ 21.02), indecency with a child (§ 21.11), sexual assault (§
22.021), or prohibited sexual conduct (§ 25.02).
§ 30.02(d), Penal Code Same as above
Compelling Prostitution § 43.05, Penal Code Same as above
Sexual Performance by Child § 43.25, Penal Code Same as above
Enhancement of sentence for use of
child in the commission of offense
§ 481.140, Health and Safety Code Same as above
Enhancement of sentence for offense in
drug free zone, if defendant had previously been convicted of an offense and
punishment enhanced under listed subsections
§ 481.134(c),(d),(e), or (f), Health and Safety Code Same as above
An offense for which the judgement
contains an affirmative finding that the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon
occurred during the commission or flight from the commission of an offense,
or an offense for which the judgement contains an affirmative finding that a
firearm was used or exhibited during the commission or flight from the
commission of an offense
§ 42A.054(c) or (d), Penal Code Same as above
Continuous Trafficking of Persons § 20A.03, Penal Code Same as above
Engaging in organized criminal
activity
§ 71.02, Penal Code Same as above
Directing activities of criminal
street gangs
§ 71.023, Penal Code Same as above
Enhancement of sentence for offense in
drug free zone
§ 481.134, Health and Safety Code 5 years or sentenced term, whichever is less (no good time included)
Any other inmate (except those chosen
for Medically Recommended Intensive Supervision (§ 508.146 Gov’t Code))
N/A Actual time + good time = ¼ of the sentence OR 15 years, whichever is less

For every 12 months that elapse between the date the arrest warrant is issued after an indictment for the offense and the date the inmate is arrested, the earliest date on which the inmate is eligible for parole is delayed by three (3) years from the date otherwise listed in the chart.

Texas Parole Packet

Many parole packets are simply not adequate. They do not contain the necessary information a voting member of the parole panel needs to make an informed decision.  As we describe in our book, How to Prepare a Texas Parole Packet, a proper Texas parole packet will not only show the progress the potential parolee has made since incarceration but it also focus the the viewers attention on the prisoner as a person, rather than just as a number. Our book, How to Prepare a Texas Parole Packet, can show you how to prepare a quality parole packet which can be the difference between release and waiting for the next parole review.