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Old 05-25-2006, 10:47 PM
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Default Texas Board of Pardons & Paroles ~ Updated 5/27/06

Parole In Texas


Mission Statement:
The mission of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles is to perform its duties as imposed by Article IV, Section 11, of the Texas Constitution and:
  • Determine which prisoners are due to be released on parole or discretionary mandatory supervision;
  • Determine conditions of parole and mandatory supervision;
  • Determine revocation of parole and mandatory supervision;
  • Recommend the resolution of clemency matters to the Governor
Board Rules
The Board adopts administrative rules to clarify and explain statutory provisions. Before a new rule or an amendment to an existing rule goes into effect, the Board publishes two public notices, a proposal notice and an adoption notice, in the Secretary of State's weekly publication, the Texas Register. This is available on the Secretary of State's web site. Click HERE to go directly to the Texas Register.
The proposal serves to notify the public of the Board's interpretation and administration of the statute. During the 30 days following the proposal notice, individuals may comment on the proposed rule.
After reviewing and researching any comments, the Board makes appropriate changes to the proposed text and formally adopts the new rule or rule amendment. The text of the adopted rule is then published in the Texas Register in its final form.
The Rules of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles are found in the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 37, Part 5. The Secretary of State's Office maintains the TAC on their web site. Click HERE to go directly to the rules.

Latest Board Rule revision date January 2006.

http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/bpp/policies_directives/policies_directives.html
for more details about policies


Members of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles

Rissie L. Owens
  • YEAR OF BIRTH: 1959
  • RESIDENCE: Huntsville
  • ASSIGNMENT: Huntsville
  • APPOINTED: 2004
  • TERM EXPIRES: 2009
  • EDUCATION: Master of Arts, University of Houston (ClearLake). Bachelor of Science, SamHoustonStateUniversity, Huntsville, Texas.
  • BACKGROUND: Five years experience in education and 15 years experience in criminal justice, and social services work.
Rissie Owens, Presiding Officer

Mailing Address:
Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles
P. O. Box 13401
Austin, Texas78711-3401

Austin Location
209 West 14th Street, Suite 500
Austin, Texas78701
Phone: (512) 936-6351
Fax: (512) 463-8120


Huntsville Location
1300 11th Street, Suite 520
Huntsville, Texas77342-0599
Phone: (936) 291-2161
Fax: (936) 291-8367


Charles Aycock
  • YEAR OF BIRTH: 1941
  • RESIDENCE: Farwell
  • ASSIGNMENT: Amarillo
  • APPOINTED: 2004
  • TERM EXPIRES: 2011
  • EDUCATION: Doctor of Jurisprudence, University of TexasSchool of Law. Bachelor of Business Administration, TexasTechUniversity.
  • BACKGROUND: Attorney. FormerParmerCounty attorney (23 years).
Poland, James C.
  • BORN: 1946
  • RESIDENCE:Austin
  • ASSIGNMENT:Amarillo
  • EMPLOYED: 2004
  • EDUCATION: Bachelors Degree in Police Science and graduate studies in Criminology and Corrections, SamHoustonStateUniversity, Huntsville, Texas.
  • BACKGROUND: Over 30 years criminal justice experience: Mr. Poland began his career in corrections in l973 when he was employed by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles as an Institutional Parole Officer. During his tenure with the agency, he also served as a Parole Analyst, Institutional Parole Supervisor - Northern Region, Program Administrator, and Director, Community Services Division.
In 1989, he entered the corrections private sector where he held positions of Facility Administrator, Vice President for Business Development, Regional Director, and Vice President for Texas Operations. He remained in the private sector until the time of his selection as Parole Commissioner.
  • MILITARY SERVICE: Three and one half years active duty US Air Force, Security Police. Honorably discharged in 1970.
Amarillo Board Office
5809 S. Western, Suite 237
Amarillo, TX79110
806-359-7656
806-358-6455 Fax

Charles Aycock, Board Member
(Farwell) (
2-1-11)*

James Poland, Parole Commissioner

Vacant, Parole Commissioner


Units Assigned to Amarillo
  • Clements
  • Dalhart
  • Daniel
  • DickensCounty
  • Formby SJ
  • FortStockton
  • Jordan
  • Lynaugh
  • Middleton
  • Montford
  • Neal
  • Roach
  • Roach Boot Camp
  • Roach Work Camp
  • Robertson
  • Rudd
  • Sanchez SJ
  • Smith
  • Tulia
  • Wallace
  • Ware SJ
  • WestTexasHospital
  • Wheeler SAFPF
  • Wilderness 3
  • Wilderness 4
  • Wilderness 8
Linda Garcia
  • YEAR OF BIRTH: 1961
  • RESIDENCE: La Porte
  • ASSIGNMENT: Angleton
  • APPOINTED: 2004
  • TERM EXPIRES: 2007
  • EDUCATION: Doctor of Jurisprudence, University of HoustonLawCenter. Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Houston.
  • BACKGROUND: 6 years as assistant district attorney, HarrisCounty. Seven years as executive secretary and employee relations coordinator, Mitchell Energy and Development Corp.
Ruzicka, Lynn
  • BORN: 1956
  • RESIDENCE:Houston
  • ASSIGNMENT: Angleton
  • EMPLOYED: 2004
  • EDUCATION: Bachelor's and Master’s degrees in Criminal Justice, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; has completed coursework and comprehensive exams for a doctorate in criminal justice.
  • BACKGROUND: Former professor in criminal justice at the University of Houston-Downtown and contract instructor with the HoustonPoliceDepartmentTrainingAcademy. Member of the Academy of Criminal Justice Science, Southwestern Association of Criminal Justice Educators and the American Correctional Association.
Freeman, Pamela D.
  • BORN: 1963
  • RESIDENCE: Corrigan
  • ASSIGNMENT: Angleton
  • EMPLOYED: 2004
  • EDUCATION: Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration from PaulQuinnUniversity.
  • BACKGROUND: Approximately 16 years experience in criminal justice/social services: Deep East Texas Council of Governments as Criminal Justice Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice as Diagnostic Interviewer/Correctional Officer, Dallas County Sheriffs Department, and DallasCountyYouthVillage as a Child Care Worker.
Angleton Board Office
1212 N. Velasco, Suite 201
Angleton, TX77515
979-849-3031
979-849-8741 Fax

Linda Garcia, Board Member
(
La Porte) (2-1-07)*

Lynn Ruzicka, Parole Commissioner

Pamela Freeman, Parole Commissioner


Units Assigned to Angleton
  • Carol S. Young Medical Facility
  • Central
  • Clemens
  • Darrington
  • Gist SJ
  • Hightower
  • Henley SAFPF
  • Hosp-Galveston
  • JeffersonCounty
  • Jester I SAFPF
  • Jester III
  • Jester IV
  • LeBlanc
  • NewtonCounty
  • Plane SJ
  • Ramsey I
  • Ramsey II
  • Terrell
  • Wayne Scott
  • Stiles
  • Vance
Juanita M. Gonzalez
  • YEAR OF BIRTH: 1954
  • RESIDENCE: Round Rock
  • ASSIGNMENT: Gatesville
  • APPOINTED: 2004
  • TERM EXPIRES: 2009
  • EDUCATION: Master and Bachelor of Social Work, Our Lady of the LakeUniversity, San Antonio, Texas.
  • BACKGROUND: Over 13 years experience with TDCJ-Parole Division. Approximately five years experience with Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department. Three years experience as a social worker in San Antonio, Texas.
Shipman, Charles
  • BORN: 1953
  • RESIDENCE: Wichita Falls
  • ASSIGNMENT: Gatesville
  • EMPLOYED : 2004
  • EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and BusinessAdministration, WaylandBaptistUniversity.
  • BACKGROUND: 1 yr. experience as parole officer with TDCJ-Parole Division; 2 years with Wichita County Sheriff's department, most recently as sergeant; over 21 years with U.S. Air Force as First Sergeant, Criminal Investigator, and Police Officer.
Hightower, Elvis
  • BORN: 1957
  • RESIDENCE: Georgetown
  • ASSIGNMENT: Gatesville
  • EMPLOYED: 2005
  • EDUCATION: Bachelor's degree, SamHoustonStateUniversity, Huntsville, Texas.
  • BACKGROUND: Eleven years experience as a prison warden. Disability examiner trainee for the Texas Rehabilitation Commission.
Gatesville Board Office
3408 S. State Hwy. 36
Gatesville, TX76528
254-865-8870
254-865-2629 Fax

Juanita Gonzalez, Board Member
(Round Rock) (
2-1-09)*

Charles Shipman, Parole Commissioner

Elvis Hightower, Parole Commissioner


Units Assigned to Gatesville
  • Allred
  • Bartlett SJ
  • Boyd
  • Bridgeport - Female
  • Bridgeport - Male
  • ComancheCounty
  • Estes
  • Gatesville
  • Halbert SAFPF
  • Havins SAFPF
  • Hilltop
  • Hobby
  • Hughes
  • Hutto
  • LimestoneCounty
  • Lindsey SJ
  • Lockhart (Men)
  • Lockhart (Private)
  • Marlin SAFPF
  • Mineral Wells CCA
  • Mountain View
  • Murray
  • San Saba
  • Sayle SAFPF
  • Travis SJ
  • Woodman
Rissie L. Owens
  • YEAR OF BIRTH: 1959
  • RESIDENCE: Huntsville
  • ASSIGNMENT: Huntsville
  • APPOINTED: 2004
  • TERM EXPIRES: 2009
  • EDUCATION: Master of Arts, University of Houston (ClearLake). Bachelor of Science, SamHoustonStateUniversity, Huntsville, Texas.
  • BACKGROUND: Five years experience in education and 15 years experience in criminal justice, and social services work.
Garrett, Gerald
  • BORN: 1950
  • RESIDENCE: Austin
  • ASSIGNMENT: Huntsville
  • EMPLOYED: 2004
  • EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science in Sociology, Stephen F. Austin State University; 36 Hours Advanced Study in Clinical Psychology, Texas Southern University; Master of Science, Criminal Justice Management, Sam Houston State University.
  • BACKGROUND: Over 20 years experience in the Texas parole system. Started as an Institutional Parole Officer and has held increasingly responsible positions over the years. Active member of Association of Paroling Authorities International (APAI); National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice (NABCJ); and Texas Corrections Association (TCA).
Fordyce, Thomas G.
  • BORN: 1947
  • RESIDENCE: Huntsville
  • ASSIGNMENT: Huntsville
  • EMPLOYED: 2005
  • EDUCATION: GraduateSamHoustonStateUniversity.
  • BACKGROUND: Retired Director Agribusiness/Land & Minerals, TDCJ; Marine Corps Khe Sahn, Viet Nam.
Huntsville Board Office
1300 11th St., Suite 520
P.O. Box 599

Huntsville, TX77342-0599
936-291-2161
936-291-8367 Fax

Rissie Owens, Board Presiding Officer
(
Huntsville) (2-1-09)*

Conrith Davis, Board Member
(Sugarland) (2-1-07)*

Gerald Garrett, Parole Commissioner

Thomas Fordyce, Parole Commissioner

Units Assigned to Huntsville
  • Byrd
  • Cleveland
  • Diboll
  • Duncan
  • Eastham
  • Ellis
  • Estelle
  • Ferguson
  • Gib Lewis
  • Goodman
  • Goree
  • Holliday
  • Huntsville
  • Kegans SJ
  • Luther
  • Lychner SJ
  • Pack
  • Polunsky
  • Wynne
  • Federal (FCI)
Jackie DeNoyelles
  • YEAR OF BIRTH: 1952
  • RESIDENCE: Flint
  • ASSIGNMENT: Palestine
  • APPOINTED: 2005
  • TERM EXPIRES: 2011
  • EDUCATION: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology; Secondary Teacher certification from StephenF.AustinUniversity.
  • BACKGROUND: Over 25 years in social, public, and community service, including legislative, public relations and economic development.
Kiel, James Paul Jr.
  • BORN: 1954
  • RESIDENCE:Tyler
  • ASSIGNMENT: Palestine
  • EMPLOYED: 2004
  • EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, SamHoustonStateUniversity, Huntsville, Texas.
  • BACKGROUND: Over 20 years experience with TDCJ-Parole Division, serving as a Parole Officer, Unit Supervisor, and Assistant Regional Director; over 3 years experience with the Texas Dept. of Corrections as a Correctional Officer and Sociologist.
Palestine Board Office
207 E. Reagan
Palestine, TX75801
903-723-1068
903-723-1441 Fax

Jackie DeNoyelles, Board Member
(
Flint) (2-1-11)*

James Paul Kiel, Parole Commissioner

Vacant, Parole Commissioner

Units Assigned to Palestine
  • Beto I
  • Billy Moore
  • BowieCounty
  • Bradshaw SJ
  • Choice Moore
  • Coffield
  • Cole SJ
  • Dawson SJ
  • GreggCounty
  • Gurney
  • Hodge
  • Hutchins SJ
  • Johnston SAFPF
  • Michael
  • Powledge
  • Skyview PSY
  • Telford
Jose Aliseda, Jr.
  • YEAR OF BIRTH: 1956
  • RESIDENCE: Beeville
  • ASSIGNMENT: San Antonio
  • APPOINTED: 2004
  • TERM EXPIRES: 2009
  • EDUCATION: Doctor of Jurisprudence, University of TexasSchool of Law. Bachelor of Arts, University of Texas at Austin.
  • BACKGROUND: Attorney and rancher. FormerBeeCounty attorney (eight years). FormerBeeCounty judge (four years).
Speier, Charles C.
  • BORN: 1949
  • RESIDENCE: San Antonio
  • ASSIGNMENT: San Antonio
  • EMPLOYED: 2004
  • EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science, Law Enforcement, SouthwestTexasStateUniversity, San Marcos, Texas.
  • BACKGROUND: Over 30 years criminal justice experience: Former Texas Parole Board Member, Over 25 years with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice/Parole Division; San Antonio Police Department assigned to patrol/SWAT team; military service in the United States Air Force assigned to Security Police.
Thrasher, Sr., Howard A.
  • BORN: 1954
  • RESIDENCE: Round Rock
  • ASSIGNMENT: San Antonio
  • EMPLOYED: 2005
  • EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, graduate studies in Public Administration, SouthwestTexasStateUniversity, San Marcos, Texas.
  • BACKGROUND:Over 20 years experience with TDCJ-Parole Division serving as an Institutional Parole Officer, Parole Analyst, and Senior Program Administrator; over 3 years experience with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles as a Program Administrator for Board Specialized Support, and served as the Director of Administration.
San Antonio Board Office
2902 N.E. Loop 410, Suite #206
San Antonio, TX 78218
210-564-3721
210-564-3726 Fax

Jose L. Aliseda, Board Member
(Beeville) (2-1-09)*

Chuck Speier, Parole Commissioner

Howard Thrasher, Parole Commissioner


Units Assigned to San Antonio
  • Briscoe
  • Connally
  • Cotulla
  • Dominguez SJ
  • Garza East
  • Garza West
  • Glossbrenner
  • KarnesCounty
  • KleburgCounty
  • Kyle IPTC
  • Lockhart (Initial reviews only)
  • Lopez SJ
  • McConnell
  • Ney SAFPF
  • Segovia
  • Stevenson
  • Torres
  • Willacy CountySJ
*Reflects expiration date of six year term of office.

Hearing Operations Locations

Abilene H. O.
100 Chestnut,
Ste 105
Abilene, Texas79602
Phone: (325) 676-4204
Fax: (325) 677-8960


Amarillo H. O.
5809 South Western St., Ste. 237
Amarillo, Texas79110
Phone: (806) 457-8557
Fax: (806) 457-8386


Angleton H. O.
1208 N.
Velasco
Angleton
, Texas77515
Phone: (979) 848-5715
Fax: (979) 848-8271


Arlington H. O.
1201 N. Watson Rd., Ste. 250
Arlington, Texas76006
Phone: (817) 633-3731
Fax: (817) 640-8924


Austin H. O.
2101 E. Ben White #1-A
Austin, Texas 78741
Phone: (512) 462-3502
Fax: (512) 445-0157


Corpus Christi H. O.
5233 IH 37, Ste. A-6
Corpus Christi, Texas78408
Phone: (361) 888-5769
Fax: (361) 888-4407


Dallas Regional H. O.
1010
Cadiz, Ste.105
Dallas, Texas75215
Phone: (214) 428-8338
Fax: (214) 426-6239


El Paso H. O.
5929 Brook Hollow Dr.
El Paso, Texas79925
Phone: (915) 778-4233
Fax: (915) 772-4031


Harlingen H. O.
232 Hanmore Dr.
Harlingen, Texas78550
Phone: (956) 428-0335
Fax: (956) 428-2017


Houston Regional H. O.
4949 W. 34th St., Ste. A-3
Houston,
Texas 77092
Phone: (713) 681-4828
Fax: (713) 681-4504


Huntsville H. O.
1300 11th St., Ste. 505
Huntsville, Texas77320
Phone: (936) 291-2244
Fax: (936) 291-6852


Lubbock H. O.
1220 Broadway, Ste. 1907
Lubbock, Texas79401
Phone: (806) 747-0484
Fax: (806) 747-2962


Odessa H. O.
3603
Andrews Highway
Odessa, Texas79762
Phone: (432) 550-0131
Fax: (432) 550-0912


Port Arthur H. O.
5860 9th Ave., Ste. A
Port Arthur, Texas77642
Phone: (409) 960-7077
Fax:
(409) 960-7011

San Angelo H. O.
938 Arroyo
San Angelo, Texas76904
Phone: (325) 947-8644
Fax: (325) 947-8599


San Antonio Regional H. O.
2902 N.E. Loop 410, Suite #219
San Antonio, Texas78218
Phone: (210) 564-3737
Fax: (210) 564-3728

Tyler H. O.
517 N. Glenwood, Ste. A
Tyler, Texas 75702
Phone: (903) 531-0057
Fax: (903) 531-0134


Waco H. O.
801 Austin,
Suite 135
Waco, Texas76701
Phone: (254) 752-3753
Fax: (254) 752-1104


Wichita Falls H. O.
3100 Seymour Hwy, #118
Wichita Falls, Texas 76301
Phone: (940) 322-2721
Fax: (940) 766-4216




Staff Contacts

Position
Telephone Number
Fax Number

Vacant
Board Administrator
(512) 406-5452/5453
(512) 406-5482

Laura McElroy
General Counsel
(512) 463-1702
(512) 463-8120

Michael Billings
Director - Operations
(512) 406-5452/5453
(512) 406-5482

Abel Alaniz
Director - Administration
(512) 406-5452/5453
(512) 406-5482

Maria Ramirez
Clemency Administrator
(512) 406-5852
(512) 467-0945
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  #2  
Old 05-26-2006, 09:09 PM
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Default Clemency/Pardons/Sentence Commutation

Full Pardon Information and Checklist
(PDF Printable Version)

WHAT IS EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY?
The governor has the authority to grant executive clemency upon the written recommendation of a majority of the Board of Pardons and Paroles. Executive clemency includes full pardons, conditional pardons, pardons based on innocence, commutations of sentence, and emergency medical reprieves. In capital cases, the Board considers petitions for commutation of sentence to life in prison and for a reprieve of execution. If the Board recommends clemency in a death penalty case, the governor may grant commutation or reprieve. The governor can also grant a one-time thirty-day reprieve of execution in these cases.

WHAT IS THE EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY SECTION?
The Executive Clemency Section processes clemency requests and is a source of information on executive clemency. The Clemency Section mails out pardon application packets, analyzes and researches clemency requests, and prepares clemency files for consideration by the board. The Section may be reached at (512) 406-5852 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

WHAT IS A FULL PARDON?
A full pardon restores certain citizenship rights forfeited by law as the result of a criminal conviction, such as the right to serve on a jury and the right to hold public office. In Texas, voting rights are automatically restored when one discharges a felony sentence. (See more detailed explanation in the next question, HOW ARE VOTING RIGHTS RESTORED?)
A full pardon will remove barriers to some, but not all, types of employment and professional licensing. However, licenses are granted at the discretion of the state licensing boards of each profession, and it is advisable to contact those boards directly to learn whether a pardon is necessary or sufficient to restore licensing eligibility in a particular field. A pardon will not restore eligibility to become a licensed peace officer in Texas.
A person who is convicted and who receives a full pardon is entitled under Article 55.01(a)(1)(B) to an expunction of all arrest records relating to the conviction. The arrest is not automatically expunged upon a grant of a full pardon. This can only be accomplished by petitioning a court in the county of conviction.
Requests for Full Pardons must be mailed to:
Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles
Executive Clemency Section
P.O. Box 13401, Capitol Station
Austin, Texas78711
For additional information, you may contact Executive Clemency staff at (512) 406-5852 or by Fax at (512) 467-0945
HOW ARE VOTING RIGHTS RESTORED?
In past years, Texas law specified that citizens convicted of a felony offense were ineligible to vote in the State of Texas until two years after full discharge of their sentence.
Effective September 1, 1997, the legislature restored voting rights to felons convicted in Texas once a person fully discharges the felony sentence, including any term of incarceration, parole, or supervision, or completes a period of probation ordered by any court. See Texas Election Code, 11.002.
Before voting in local, state, or federal elections, a person must meet the minimum qualifications such as being a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years of age, and mentally competent. A person must register to vote in the county of residence and may obtain further information from the Registrar of Voters Office in that county or from the Elections Division of the Secretary of State's Office.
Please note that the Texas law does not affect voting rights in other states.

WHAT IS A CONDITIONAL PARDON?
A person with a conditional pardon remains subject to conditions of release. A conditional pardon does not restore civil rights or rights of citizenship, and the governor can revoke the pardon if a person does not comply with the conditions of release.
WHAT IS A PARDON BASED ON INNOCENCE?
A pardon based on actual innocence exonerates an individual of the crime and erases the conviction. In order to consider a pardon for innocence, the Board requires either evidence of actual innocence from at least two trial officials; or the findings of fact and conclusions of law from the district judge in a state habeas action indicating actual innocence.
WHAT IS A COMMUTATION OF SENTENCE?
Commutation of sentence results in a reduction of the sentence to a lesser time period. A commutation can be granted for time served. Commutations of sentence will be granted only upon the written recommendation of a majority of the applicant’s trial officials in the county of conviction, stating that the penalty now appears to be excessive, recommending a definite term, based on new information not before the judge or jury at trial, or a statutory change in the penalty.
WHAT IS A REPRIEVE FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL, FAMILY, OR CIVIL COURT PROCEEDINGS?
A reprieve is a delay or temporary suspension of punishment. Inmates who are terminally ill or require medical treatment unavailable within TDCJ-CID but who are ineligible for Medically Recommended Intensive Supervision (formerly Special Needs Parole) may seek an emergency medical reprieve. Inmates also may seek a reprieve to attend civil court proceedings. As with other forms of clemency, the governor may grant the reprieve upon a written recommendation of a majority of the Board members.
A request for a reprieve for family emergency to attend funerals or to visit critically ill relatives may be made through application to the Executive Clemency Section. However, the more practical alternative, time-wise, is to request a special absence (furlough) from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
PETITIONS FOR REPRIEVE OF EXECUTION AND COMMUTATION TO LIFE IN PRISON IN CAPITAL CASES.
In capital cases, the Board considers a petition for commutation of sentence to life in prison and for a reprieve of a scheduled execution. If a majority of the Board members make a written recommendation for clemency in a death penalty case, the governor may grant commutation or a reprieve. The length of the reprieve can be 30 days or longer, in increments of 30 days. The governor also has the power to grant a one-time thirty-day reprieve of execution in capital cases.

Contacting Executive Clemency
Persons needing information or assistance in clemency matters in Texas may contact:
Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles
Executive Clemency Section
P.O. Box 13401, Capitol Station
Austin, Texas78711
Phone (512) 406-5852
Fax (512) 467-0945
  #3  
Old 05-26-2006, 09:18 PM
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Default Parole Revocation Process

INTRODUCTION
Prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U. S. 471, 33 L. Ed.2d 484, 494 (1972), there were no “due process” requirements regarding parole revocation. The supervising parole officer generally determined when the offender's administrative release status was revoked. The Morrissey decision provided for the establishment of an administrative hearing process by which hearings were conducted by both parole officers and supervisory personnel from the Parole Division.
The Operations Section was created as a separate entity on
October 1, 1980.
The reasons for the establishment of a separate section were threefold.
  • First, the number of hearings administered on a monthly basis increased to the point that there was interference with the primary job of the Parole Division personnel.
  • Second, the ever-increasing “due process” legal requirements necessitated a specialized Hearing Officer position, which would possess the requisite body of specialized knowledge.
  • Finally, the Morrissey decision required that the hearing officer be neutral and detached.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE OPERATIONS SECTION OF THE BOARD OF PARDONS AND PAROLES?
The role of the Operations Section is to facilitate the administration of the parole revocation hearing process. This includes:
1) scheduling hearings;
2) reviewing and acting on attorney determination requests, with appointment of attorneys when needed;
3) conducting preliminary and/or revocation hearings;
4) reviewing/processing hearing reports and waiver packets (for those who have chosen to forego hearings) and making recommendations for case disposition;
5) handling hearings and extradition matters with respect to out-of-state cases being supervised by Texas under the Interstate Compact; and
6) providing a process for reconsideration of a revocation decision.



WHAT ARE THE LEGAL AUTHORITIES AND REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF PAROLE REVOCATION MATTERS?
The legal authorities and requirements for the administration of parole revocation matters are contained within:
1) Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Articles 42.11 (Uniform Act for Out-of-State Parolee Supervision)
2) Texas Government Code, Chapter 508 (Parole and Mandatory Supervision Law),
3) Rules of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, and
4) applicable court rulings.
Additional authorities and requirements are mandated as a result of rulings made by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the United States Fifth Circuit Court. The activities of the Operations Section are the means by which the due process requirements, as outlined in Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U. S. 471, 33 L. Ed.2d 484, 494 (1972), are administered. The Supreme Court’s decision in Gagnon v. Scarpelli, 411 U.S. 778, 36 L.Ed.2d 656, 666 (1973), provided further clarification regarding due process requirements as they relate to the conditional right to be represented by an attorney.



WHAT TYPES OF ADMINISTRATIVE REVOCATION HEARINGS MAY BE CONDUCTED?
Some alleged parole violators are legally entitled to both a preliminary hearing and a revocation hearing, others to only a revocation hearing. The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to determine whether probable cause exists to believe an offender has violated one or more conditions of parole. If probable cause is found, then a second hearing called a revocation hearing may be held. In order for the Board to revoke an offender's parole or mandatory supervision based on a revocation hearing, there must be a finding, based on a preponderance of credible evidence, that one or more conditions of release have been violated.
The preliminary and revocation hearings are both bifurcated (two-phased) hearings. The first phase of the hearing is the allegation phase, which is restricted to presenting evidence concerning the alleged violations. The hearing does not proceed to the second phase unless the applicable level of proof has been established for at least one of the alleged violations. The adjustment phase is normally referred to as a mitigation hearing, and it provides an opportunity to consider evidence concerning an offender's adjustment while on parole, such as work history, compliance with prescribed drug treatment programs, adherence to conditions of administrative release and previous violations of parole or mandatory supervision.

HOW DOES THE BOARD PANEL DECISION MAKING PROCESS WORK?
Three member Board Panels typically review waivers and the hearing reports generated from the hearing process. There are currently six panel locations throughout the state. The panel location where a case is considered is generally determined by the geographic location of where the hearing or waiver of a hearing has occurred. Board Panel analysts are located at each panel location. They are responsible for reviewing hearings and waivers for presentation to the Board Panel.



WHAT ACTIONS MAY THE BOARD PANEL TAKE?
The Board Panel may order various actions in the revocation process. Such actions may include the following:
  • proceed to a revocation hearing;
  • transfer to a Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility;
  • do not revoke, but allow to continue on supervision, either with or without modification of conditions of release;
  • do not revoke but allow to discharge if the offender is past his or her discharge date;
  • revoke release; and
  • reversal of previous revocation action.
WHAT ROLE DOES THE TDCJ-PAROLE DIVISION PLAY IN THE PROCESS?
The TDCJ - Parole Division is responsible for the supervision of offenders on parole or mandatory release. The Parole Division is also responsible for the violation process whereby warrants are issued for offenders who are alleged to have violated a condition of parole. The Parole Division issues all such warrants and also tracks all offenders arrested under their authority. When appropriate, such as may be the case with a first time administrative violator who has a valid release plan and no additional criminal law violations, the Parole Division rather than pursuing revocation may withdraw its warrant and continue supervision of administrative release status, possibly with impositions of some sanctions. The Parole Division may also choose to proceed with the violation process and schedule a hearing. In that event, the alleged violation will be considered by the Board.



WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE HEARING PARTICIPANTS?



OFFENDER
The offender is under no obligation to answer questions or provide any information concerning the alleged violation(s). The offender or his or her attorney has the right to request witnesses and should direct such requests to the parole officer. The offender or his or her attorney may ask direct and cross-examination questions of the witnesses. The offender may testify in their own behalf and present testimonial and documentary evidence in support of his or her position. An offender or his or her attorney may make objections and motions and may raise concerns regarding procedures or evidence.


HEARING OFFICER

The hearing officer is an employee of the Board and is responsible for conducting revocation hearings on behalf of the Board. Authority to convene hearings is derived from Chapter 508 of the Texas Government Code and the Rules of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles (Published in Title 37 of the Texas Administrative Code). The hearing officer is a neutral and detached fact finder who determines the relevant facts of a case. Hearing officers are skilled examiners who are trained to identify pertinent information and objectively summarize that information in a report for presentation to the Board for a final decision.


PAROLE OFFICER

The parole officer is an employee of the TDCJ - Parole Division and is responsible for bringing forth the information to support the alleged violations. The parole officer also has a duty to present exculpatory evidence that will tend to demonstrate a violation did not occur. The parole officer is responsible for obtaining subpoenas for all offenders and adverse witnesses. All requests for witnesses should be submitted to the parole officer as expeditiously as possible. The parole officer notifies all parties of witnesses expected to testify, serves subpoenas, and provides to the offender and hearing officer, copies of all documents to be presented at the hearing as evidence.


ATTORNEY

Offenders may hire an attorney, at their own expense, and have a conditional right to be represented by a state appointed attorney at the revocation hearing. Factors used in determining whether the offender is to be appointed an attorney are: 1) whether the offender is indigent, 2) whether the offender lacks the ability to articulate or present a defense or mitigation evidence in response to the allegations, and/or 3) the complexity of the case and whether the offender admits the alleged violations. The attorney will examine witnesses, present witnesses, and address each allegation in defense of the offender.


WITNESSES

It is the duty of witnesses to attend hearings as requested and to tell the truth by responding to relevant questions presented by the affected parties.


OBSERVERS

Observers are not allowed to participate in the administrative hearing process. The attendance of observers is subject to access restrictions imposed by local jails or other confinement facilities. If permitted to attend, observers are simply there to watch the proceeding. They may not interrupt or interject during the proceeding.


HOW DOES THE WARRANT ISSUANCE PROCESS WORK?
The supervising parole officer submits a report of violation when an offender on parole or mandatory release status is believed to have violated terms or conditions of supervised release. The report of violation is what determines whether a warrant will be issued. Personnel within the Parole Division will review the report of violation and determine if there is probable cause to believe a violation of parole conditions has occurred. If such a finding is made, and no other suitable sanctions appear warranted, a warrant is issued to detain the offender pending an administrative hearing. The warrant is typically published in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and/or the Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC) fugitives warrant database.
Once an offender is detained on a parole warrant and the sheriff having custody has notified the Parole Division of arrest, the Parole Division determines whether to place the case into the hearing process. If the violations are administrative only (no criminal law violations pending disposition in a court of law), or include adjudicated charges (a conviction) and the offender has discharged any imposed sentence, a request is made for a hearing to be scheduled. The sheriff having custody is also required to notify the Parole Division when criminal charges have been dismissed and when any imposed sentence resulting from a conviction has been discharged. In instances where there are criminal charges pending adjudication, the Parole Division will normally defer the revocation process pending final disposition of the criminal charges.


WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE WARRANT IS EXECUTED?
Once a warrant has been executed and the Parole Division has decided to proceed with an administrative revocation hearing, the offender is interviewed by a parole officer. At that time, the offender is advised of his or her rights in the revocation hearing process. The following reflects the list of rights on the notification of alleged violations form (PSV-48).
1. The right to be personally served with written notice of the rules and conditions alleged to have been violated.
2. The right to a preliminary hearing unless the offender has been alleged to have committed only administrative violations or has been convicted of a new criminal offense. The hearing will be at or near the place of the alleged parole or mandatory supervision violation. The purpose of the preliminary hearing is to determine whether there is probable cause or reasonable grounds to believe a condition of release has been violated. In some circumstances the offender may choose to waive his or her right to a preliminary hearing.
3. The right to a revocation hearing if the offender is alleged to have committed administrative violations or has been found guilty in a criminal case.
4. The right to full disclosure of all the evidence to be used against the offender. The offender will be allowed to see everything before the hearing.
5. The right to hire an attorney and, under certain circumstances, the conditional right to a state appointed attorney.
6. The right to be heard in person by telling the hearing officer what happened and to present evidence, affidavits, letters, and documents in support of the offender's position. This includes the right to subpoena witnesses through the parole officer.
7. The right to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses (unless the hearing officer finds good cause to deny confrontation) by asking questions at the hearing.
8. The right to be heard on the violations by someone designated by the Board.
If parole or mandatory supervision is revoked as a result of the hearing, the offender will receive a written report by the hearing officer which sets forth the evidence relied upon in support of the finding of a violation of one or more conditions of parole or mandatory supervision. In some circumstances the offender may request that the Board reopen the revocation hearing.

HOW DOES THE ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING PROCESS WORK?
Generally, there are two categories of offenders arrested under a warrant issued by the Parole Division:
1) those entitled to both preliminary and revocation hearings, and
2) those entitled to a revocation/mitigation hearing only.

At the initial interview, the offenders are required to choose whether they want to have or waive their administrative hearing(s). Those entitled to do so, may waive either or both hearings.
The following procedures are used for those offenders entitled to a preliminary and/or revocation hearing:
When the preliminary hearing is requested:
A. After a pre-revocation interview, the parole officer will schedule a preliminary hearing and notify the offender of the scheduled date and time of the preliminary hearing.
B. A hearing officer will conduct the preliminary hearing and review all the information and evidence presented at the hearing. A determination will be made as to whether there is probable cause to believe a violation has occurred. The probable cause determination will determine how the case will be processed.
C. If probable cause is found for at least one allegation, the hearing officer will initiate the following actions:
1. Decide if the case should proceed to a revocation hearing and afford the offender an opportunity to be heard at the revocation hearing or waive the hearing. If the offender decides to have the revocation hearing, it will be scheduled at the conclusion of the preliminary hearing and all parties will be notified at that time; or
2. If the offender decides to waive the hearing, or the hearing officer determines the case should not proceed to a revocation hearing, the hearing officer will forward the waiver or the preliminary hearing report to a Board Panel for disposition. The Board Panel will generally respond by taking one of the following actions:
a) continue the parole or mandatory supervision in a manner warranted by the evidence, which may include transferring the offender to a treatment facility, halfway house, Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility, or an Intermediate Sanction Facility;
b) direct the case to proceed to a revocation hearing; or
c) revoke the offender's administrative release status (only when the revocation hearing has been waived).

When the preliminary hearing is waived:
A. If the preliminary hearing is waived at the time the initial interview is conducted, the parole officer will forward the waiver with attachments to the Board Panel for disposition. The waiver will be reviewed by a Board Analyst. If there is probable cause to believe a violation has occurred, the Board Analyst may refer the case to a parole officer to schedule a revocation hearing; or may present the case to a Board Panel for disposition.
B. When a Board Panel receives a preliminary hearing waiver packet, the panel will generally take one of the following actions:
1. continue the parole or mandatory supervision in a manner warranted by the evidence, which may include transferring the offender to a treatment facility, halfway house, Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility, or an Intermediate Sanction Facility;
2. direct the case to proceed to a revocation hearing; or
3. revoke the offender's administrative release status (only when the revocation hearing has been waived).

THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURES ARE USED FOR THOSE OFFENDERS ENTITLED TO A REVOCATION HEARING ONLY:

When the revocation hearing is requested:
A. After the initial pre-revocation interview, the parole officer will schedule a revocation hearing if the offender is not entitled to a preliminary hearing, and the revocation hearing is requested. The parole officer will notify the offender of the scheduled date and time of the hearing.
B. A hearing officer who acts as the Board's representative will conduct the revocation hearing.
C. The hearing officer will review all the information and evidence presented at the hearing to determine if there is a preponderance of credible evidence to believe a violation has occurred. If it is determined that such evidence exists regarding at least one condition of parole or mandatory supervision, the hearing officer will proceed to the mitigation phase of the hearing.
D. Within a reasonable time after the close of the hearing, the hearing officer will forward a report summarizing the evidence, all documents and information received at the hearing to the Board for final disposition. The hearing officer and parole officer will each make a recommendation concerning the disposition of the case. A Board Analyst, who will also make a recommendation, will present the case to the Board. The Board Panel will dispose of the case by taking one of the following actions:
1. continue the parole or mandatory supervision in a manner warranted by the evidence; which may include transferring the offender to a treatment facility, halfway house, Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility, or an Intermediate Sanction Facility.
2. direct the case to proceed to a revocation hearing (only when considering a waiver of the revocation hearing);
3. revoke the offender's administrative release status; or
4. refer the case back to the hearing officer for further development of factual or legal issues.
E. If revoked the supervising parole officer will provide the offender a copy of the report of the hearing officer and notice of the right to submit a petition to reopen the hearing.

When the revocation hearing is waived:

A. If the revocation hearing is waived at the time the initial interview is conducted, the parole officer will forward the waiver with attachments to the Board Panel for disposition. A Board Analyst will review the waiver and attachments to determine if there is a preponderance of evidence that a condition of parole or mandatory supervision has been violated.
B. The Analyst will present the case to a Board Panel for final disposition. Waivers of revocation hearings sent to the Board result in one of the disposition options set forth above regarding revocation hearing cases.
UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES CAN A HEARING BE REOPENED?
When an offender receives notice that the Board's decision is revocation, he or she will have 60 days from the date of the decision to request a reopening of the case for any substantial error in the revocation process or upon newly discovered information.

A request to reopen the revocation hearing or reinstate supervision submitted later than 60 days from the date of the board panel's revocation decision will not be considered unless under exceptional circumstances including but not limited to:
  • judicial reversal of a judgment of conviction of a criminal offense where the offense constituted an underlying factor in the initial revocation decision
  • judicial order requiring a hearing
  • initial revocation effected without opportunity for a hearing or waiver as required under law.
Any such request for reopening made under this section must be in writing and delivered to the board or placed in the United States mail (certified, return receipt requested) and addressed to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, Board Administrator, P.O. Box 13401, Austin, Texas 78711.
Upon receipt of any request for reopening, the Board will dispose of such request by taking one of the following actions:
1. grant the motion and order the hearing to be reopened;
2. deny the motion; or
3. reverse the previous revocation decision.
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Default Revised Parole Guidelines

HISTORY
In 1985, the legislature mandated that the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles incorporate parole guidelines, with minimum release criteria, into parole decision-making. The enabling legislation required that the guidelines establish criteria on which parole decisions were to be made. Furthermore, the guidelines were to be developed according to acceptable research methods and be based on the seriousness of the offense (policy) and the likelihood of a favorable parole outcome (risk). [See Section 508.036 of the Texas Government Code.] In August 1987, the Board formally adopted parole guidelines.
In 1996, the Criminal Justice Policy Council conducted a study of the Board's use of the guidelines and recommended that revised guidelines be formulated in order to take a comprehensive approach to parole decision-making.
After extensive development and review, in August 1999 the Board issued a Request for Proposals for consulting services to develop a revised parole guidelines system. The board contracted with Security Response Technologies, Inc., (SRT) for the new guidelines, which were adopted by the Board at its January 18, 2001 meeting.

OVERVIEW
The Board’s contract with SRT developed into an 18-month project consisting of three distinct phases of work.
Phase I consisted of SRT’s comprehensive review of the Board's current practices as well as the practices of other states that use parole guidelines. SRT also completed a reliability test of the current Board guidelines.
Phase II activities involved completing a validation test of the existing guidelines and evaluating other selected factors that could be used for assessing risk. SRT used this information to develop a new set of guidelines for the Board to review and consider. After due consideration and revision of the draft guidelines, the Board adopted the final parole guidelines developed by SRT.
Phase III, the final project phase, consisted of training Board and Institutional Parole Officers (IPO’s) in the use of the new guidelines. This work required the drafting of new guidelines assessment instruments, with instructions on how to complete them. SRT also recommended other steps the Board needs to undertake to monitor and modify the guidelines on a regular basis.

COMPONENTS OF THE GUIDELINES
The revised parole guidelines consist of two major components that interact to provide a single score. The first is a Risk Assessment Instrument that weighs both static and dynamic factors associated with the offender’s record. The other component is Offense Severity class.

Risk Assessment Instrument
Static factors are those associated with the offender’s prior criminal record. They will not change over time. Dynamic factors reflect characteristics the offender has demonstrated since being incarcerated and are factors that can change over time.

Static factors include:
· Age at first admission to a juvenile or adult correctional facility
· History of supervisory release revocations for felony offenses
· Prior incarcerations
· Employment history
· The commitment offense.

Dynamic factors include:
· Offender’s current age
· Whether the offender is a confirmed security threat group (gang) member
· Education, vocational and certified on-the-job training programs completed during the present incarceration
· Prison disciplinary conduct
· Current prison custody level.
An offender can be assigned 0-9 points on static factors and 0-12 points on dynamic factors. A low score is associated with low risk. The higher the score, the greater the risk the offender presents for a successful parole:

Score Assigned Risk Level Based on the total of static and dynamic factor points, the risk level to be assigned to the offender should be determined below:


Low Risk
0-5

Moderate Risk
6-8

High Risk
9-11

Highest Risk
12+

Offense Severity Class
Members of the Board of Pardons and Paroles have assigned an offense severity rating to every one of the 1,931 felony charges in the Criminal Code. Offense Severity classes range from Low for non-violent crimes such as credit card abuse, to Highest for capital murder. An offender's most serious active offense is assigned an Offense Severity Class according to the established list.

Here is a link to the Offense Severity List.

THE PAROLE GUIDELINES SCORE

After both of the above factors have been considered, the two components of the guidelines are then merged into a matrix that creates the offender's Parole Guidelines Score based on the intersection of his risk level and the offense severity rating. Parole Guidelines Scores range from 1 for an individual with the poorest probability for success, up to 7 for an offender with the greatest probability of success.

Risk Level
Offense Severity Class ----- Higest ----- High ---- Mod. ---- Low

Higest -------------------------------1--------------2----------2--------- 3
High----------------------------------2--------------3----------4----------4
Moderate----------------------------2--------------4----------5---------6
Low-----------------------------------3--------------4----------6----------7







The higher an offender's score, the better risk he is predicted to be to complete parole. The guidelines are not automatic nor are the parole guidelines score presumptive as to whether an offender will be paroled. Board members retain the discretion to vote outside the guidelines when the circumstances of an individual case merit their doing so.


























Last edited by Daveswife; 05-27-2006 at 05:02 PM.. Reason: adding info
  #5  
Old 05-27-2006, 05:13 PM
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Default Texas Board of Pardons & Paroles FAQ

FAQ
The Frequently Asked Questions list is designed to give you answers to some of our most commonly asked questions:

The following topics fall under the jurisdiction of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Click on the link below for contact information.
– Complaints against the Correctional Institutions Division (Correctional officers, etc.)
– Complaints against the Parole Division (Parole officers, etc.)
– Reporting offenders who violate conditions of parole/mandatory supervision
– Unit medical issues/conditions
http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/compact-w-texans.htm

– Time calculations
– Parole release dates
– Offender unit assignments and transfers
– Visitation list information
– Inmate trust fund information
http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/faq/faq-home.htm

Use the Victim Services link below to obtain contact information regarding the following:
– General protest letters
– Victim registration and notification services
– Victim/parole panel member interviews
– Victim’s input into the criminal justice process
– Victim/offender mediation
– Victims Clearinghouse and support
http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/victim/victim-home.htm

Information concerning the following topics can be found in the Parole in Texas handbook
– The difference between parole and mandatory supervision
– Parole panel decision-making and the parole process
– How to help a loved one during the parole review process
– Parole attorneys or consultants
– Factors decision-makers consider before granting parole
– Why parole may be denied
– Offenders on parole/mandatory supervision
– Offenders in specialized programs
– Administrative hearing information
http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/bpp/publ...ns/PIT_eng.pdf
http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/bpp/publ...(07-18-05).pdf


Parole Review Results

Q: My relative received an FI vote and it was taken away. Why? How do I find out who submitted protest letters?
A: Previous decisions are reconsidered when the Board receives new information in regard to a particular case. That information may include new disciplinary allegations, protest information from trial officials or victims, or new information regarding the case. Protest letters are considered confidential. Neither the Board nor its staff will release information about protest letters.

Q: My relative received a denial reason “1D” and is not a gang member. Obviously, there is incorrect information in the file. How does the offender get a special review?
A: Each standard denial reason contains several factors, only some of which will likely apply to a specific case. Because not every component within a particular reason will apply to your relative’s case, you should not conclude on this basis that the file is incorrect. See Board Rule §145.17 for Special Review criteria.

Q: When will I know what the parole panel members have voted on a case and how will I find out?
A: You may contact the voting board office or the Review and Release Processing Section of the TDCJ Parole Division in Austin and ask for a status update on a case. Please have the offender’s name, TDCJ-ID number and/or date of birth available to assist the staff in obtaining the correct information.

Revocation Hearings/Waivers
Q: How long after a revocation hearing does it take to get the hearing decision?
A: Two to four weeks

Q: How does the releasee get the decision?
A: The Parole Division sends a parole officer to deliver the Board’s decision to the offender.

Q: How can a person get a copy of the hearing tape?
A: Call the Tape Request Desk at (512) 406-5476 or write: Tape Request Desk, Board of Pardons and Paroles, 8610 Shoal Creek Blvd., Austin, Texas, 78757. A fee will be charged for the copying and shipping of tapes. Please provide the offender’s name, TDCJ-ID number and the date of the hearing, if possible.

Q: Can a person appeal the revocation decision?
A: Yes. See Board Rule §146.11 for information on filing a Motion to Re-open.

Q: How does one find an offense severity rating for a particular offense?
A: See Offense Severity Rating list.


Parole Questions & Problems
** Please include offender's name in subject line of e-mail**
  • For questions or concerns regarding parole supervision, parolee location, parole review process, and parolee conduct contact: parole.div@tdcj.state.tx.us
  • For questions or concerns regarding executive clemency (full pardon information, medical reprieve, and commutation of sentence), special review, and Board of Pardons and Paroles issues contact: bpp-pio@tdcj.state.tx.us
  • For Parole Division Open Records Requests, please submit to: parole.pio@tdcj.state.tx.us
Due to the high volume of e-mails received, it may take up to six weeks to receive a response. If you require a quicker response time, please try the telephone request line. If your request/concern is an emergency please note in the subject line.
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