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Texas Parole, Probation, Work Release & Community Service All information & questions relating to parole, probation, work release & community service in the State of Texas should be posted here. Also found here is information in creating Parole Packets, discussion of Parole Attorneys, etc.

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Old 03-06-2011, 10:27 AM
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Hallwaywalker Hallwaywalker is offline
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Default How are our letters and his file presented to the board?

My question is: how does the board see what we submit? Do they have physical paper files? If not, are the documents scanned in the computer and they can see the letters themselves in pdf (or some other document viewing software) form?

My support letter has two pictures in it, and I was curious how exactly the file looks when it arrives at the desk of the board. Will they see the pictures in my letter?

Also, my father is a retired professor (he taught criminology, ha ha isn't that ironic, etc. etc. ) and he sent his vita in with his support letter for the first review last August (his vita is BOUND, and it's massive - like I said, he's retired, and it has all his publications, etc. listed and so it's very, very long). I told him not to send his vita in again (omg if some poor clerk has to retype the entirety of the support dox into some old mainframe computer, I am thinking she will show up at my dad's house and break his fingers in retribution or something), thinking that the file will probably include all the previous letters/support documents, and if the board is so inclined (ha ha again) they can look back at anything they have questions about.

So what does the board see when they get the file?
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Old 03-06-2011, 03:26 PM
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This is a great question! I wish I had more info for you, and I'll be interested in the other replies. I do know that many files are hard copy paper files, but they have started electronic files now, too. I have heard some members say that when they sent their parole packets with a binder of some sort, their inmate has told them that the IPO tore the binder off and threw it in the trash. I remember one member being highly upset by that because she said the binder was expensive. But I don't know if they are scanning things in or not now for the electronic files. Good question!
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:03 AM
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It depends upon how each persons file is done. Some are all electronic, from what I understand, but others are all paper. Robin's was/is an all paper file and all that paper is moved around in boxes so the documents themselves are available for the parole panel member to physically hold in their hand. I had this described to me once very well by a lady at one parole board office.

By the way, those of us that think it good idea to flood the parole board by sending in multiple copies of parole packets to a gajillion different people only clogs the system and it really gets under the skin of those having to deal with all the paper. I had sent in, by one avenue or ther other, four copies of Robin's parole packet when I first sent in her packet way back when and when I spoke with this woman who had Robin's file right in front of her, she counted for me (without knowing how many there were supposed to be) all four copies of the parole packet right there in her file. Three were bound just as I had bound them when I sent them in and the fourth was loose since it was the copy that I had sent Robin to give to the IPO. She went on to describe to me people who's parole file consisted of many boxes of material and much, if not most, of the content was repeated copies of the same thing over and over again. I can tell you that she didn't have a lot of patience with it and propably the parole panel member may not either and how do any of us expect them to take one look at a paper file that is so enormous and figure out where to look for the material that is the latest or that matters the most?

Ok, off my tangent now. Sorry!

Just wanted to assure that any and all material that is sent in (for a paper file, at least) is kept and shipped by truck by the ton each time the file goes out for review and it is there and available to the parole panel member.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:27 AM
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Hi Robinsman! So, we should send only one packet to the board? I was going to print out 3 copies so each voter could have one. What do you think?
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:43 AM
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You cannot know that each voter will get one at a time that they are interested inthe file. You will have to mail it in early and I would wager that anything that lands on their desk that isn't part of what they are voting on that day gets forwarded right on to the file anyway. That isn't to say that they may not glance at it to see what it is but it is going to be meaningless to them until/unless the file and vote is right there with them. So, the packet I would send one copy of except that I would send him an additional copy to personally hand to the IPO when he comes to make sure that at least one copy makes it to the file. An extra copy is fine for that purpose. On subsequent parole reviews I sent addendums to the original packet for new material or corrections to old but I did not repeat in a later packet what was originally written in the original that remained good information. This does not necessarily apply to individual letters supporting parole. Repeatedly beating an old dog with the same old stick reaches a point where it does no good but to strees or reiterate some things the right number of times (maybe once more) can be effective.

My strategy was to have a letter ready to send to the lead voter (you can send one to each if you want) that is relatively brief but hits what high points that you have and also refers to the packet you have sent or anything else that is in the file that you want them to look at and it is this that I sent to the voter(s). You must stay on top of it to make sure the file does not arrive at the parole board office without you knowing but you can wait until that happens and then fax or overnight the letter so that it is fresh when the file is actually there to be voted on. Most parole board offices will tell you which day they receive their files so you can call that day to know if it has arrived. In the case of review for parole, don't bother starting to call until some time after the visit by the IPO.

IMHO
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:00 AM
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Thanks so much Robinsman. I really appreciate your insight. What you've written here makes sense. My Gordo's IPO was on 3/3 so I know that I've got to get that packet in. Thanks again!
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:36 AM
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Well, this is all just so interesting and helpful - thanks a billion, Royce, I had no idea.

We have an atty, and she handled the packet his first time up, and she's handling it this time, too, so he didn't give one to the IPO (heck, at that point I don't think that we even had one put together, since he saw the IPO really soon after getting inprocessed).

I can empathize with the folks who have to deal with the paper - but just a little bit. If this process was more transparent, and we could trust them to do the right thing rather than just try to protect their own, I'm guessing that the massive amount of paper that has to be lugged around would probably dwindle down a bit. But it's good to know that - my father is one of those who thinks the best approach is to send a letter with a cc list at the end as long as your arm, and that includes God, Moses, AND the bullrushes.
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:49 PM
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one of the ladies at the amarillo board told me that they sent all packets they received to austin and that the people there took them apart and scanned them into the computer to be part of their electronic file. she said that when it came time for an inmate's file to be reviewed by the board, somebody there in the local office would print it out for the board members to review.

when the lead voter called me for our interview, she said "i see he has several support letters; im going to review them tonight and then start the vote." so i guess they do follow the file one way or another.

we didnt send in a huge packet. id heard to keep it short and sweet, so we had about six one-page letters from the people i felt most important. i didnt send in any pictures or bind it any special way...just stapled it together and sent the original to michael, a copy to amarillo and a copy to austin. i always felt the interview with the lead voter would humanize him and give him more of a voice than the support letters- and in our case, since he was given an FI-5 and sent to IPTC on a non-drug related charge, i think it was certainly true.
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:19 PM
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From what I am understanding from one of the parole offices at the Angleton board is that my hunnys file is all done online, So all his paperwork is scanned and that it is done by email, I think it is so much better than having a hard copy of the file, At times I 'm sure there are so many support letters that might make the file huge, You should be able to ask, Every case is different, I did not send anything fancy, Just a few support letters and copies of pictures which they would be able to scan, I wish you the best of luck!
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