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  #1  
Old 02-29-2004, 10:02 PM
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Default Sample Letters for the Parole Commisson

I have several letters that I have wrote on behalf of someoen else. I have been asked my many how to write letters and I decided to share with others what I have wrote. I can write letters for someone I know, but I just dont know what to tell someone else when they want to know what to put or not to put in their letters. This is the best way for me to help everyone else . Some of these may not apply to your situation, but in general they will give you some idea of what the letters need to say.

When writing a letter there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. Rather it be judges or the parole commission you need to keep your letters limited to a few paragraphs. They simply dont have time to read long winded letters. It's probably best not to write the letters based on all emotion. You dont want to sound like your begging. You want to letters to be based on facts and to the point, but you do want some emotion behind it. The key to a good letter is how it's worded.


If anyone has any questions then I am more then happy to try and help. You will find 3 of the letters that I have and I will dig out more letters and add them soon.

Last edited by TNC; 02-29-2004 at 10:11 PM..
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  #2  
Old 09-08-2004, 11:29 PM
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As a former Institutional Parole Officer, Let me tell you that the last set of guidelines here are what you should base your letters on. Letters of a personal, emotional nature are fine as well, but must be targeted along the lines set forth and with an eye toward illustrating the criteria the guidelines give. The first three letters are excellent letters no doubt. But what is best to put forth is something that doesn't sound like all the 1000's of other letters the Parole Board receives all the time.
Her advice to keep it short and concise is also very important, as Parole Boards could just about swim in the paperwork about them. Emotive qualities should be self-evident in the letters as you discuss the points listed above. Because, even though your fiancee or husband is so dear to you, so are so many of the guys who go up for parole to their loved ones. Many rotten boys have mammas and girls who love them dearly. Most all inmates need to get home as fast as possible to help out their families. Most all inmates have families who suffer through incarceration right along with them. Many inmates have strong support networks out there (or at least people who would love to be strong support networks.) The questions to ask are: 1) What has the inmate done differently than ALL the other inmates (even sincere ones) to warrant their early return to the street? 2) How can you show that the inmate is not at risk for reoffending? (that would be things like stable employment, a lot of accountability and support in their environment, well defined goals and a delineated plan of action to accomplish those goals, etc.) 3) Has the inmate actually showed a behavioral change since the conviction? Can you prove this by a clean disciplinary record, or at least show a consistent improvement while incarcerated? 4) Is there a desire to succeed on the part of the inmate, and how the inmate represents that desire before the Board is very important. Like one Parole Board member said to me "I truly believe that 95% of guys who sit before me are speaking in complete honesty when they say that if they are paroled, they will not reoffend and will follow l the rules. And then we have to reconcile that with the fact that almost 75% will either reoffend or will willfully violate the rules of parole." When almost 3 out of 4 come back off parole, you should ask yourself "What will mak it different for my loved one." The first answer most people say is "Because he/she wants it so much! They want everything to work out so bad, and they'll work so hard to make sure it works." But want too often is just that -wants. Show in your letters why he/she will actually be successful on parole! That is the key! And how you present that to a Parole Board can make all the difference.
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  #3  
Old 01-19-2008, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NuBeginning
I found the following guidelines to be an excellent tool for letter structure and content. Used in conjunction with the Sample Letters that TNC has provided, just about anyone can become a pro at support letter writing.



Parole Support Letters:


The following information, taken from Parole Board guidelines has been published once a year for five years, to benefit family and friends of inmates who write letters to the Board of Pardons and Paroles.


Prisoners are encouraged by the Board of Pardons and Paroles to provide evidence of support for their release on parole. One way to do this is through letters supporting a Prisoners's release. The information below is provided for Prisoners and family members who have questions about such letters.




SUPPORT LETTERS FOR THE PAROLE FILE


There are no rules for support letters. These are only guidelines and suggestions. You must use what fits your own special situation. Don't be afraid to ask people to write letters. Many people care and want to help. Your request for help may give them a better understanding of the correctional process.



WHAT IS A LETTER OF SUPPORT?



Letters of support are evidence that the offender will have a network of friends and family to help when he or she is released.




They show:

1. Somebody know the prisoner and cares.
2. The prisoner has free world input while in prison.
3. Someone will help when he/she gets out.
4. The good side of the prisoner and thus help balance
the bad side which appears in his or her criminal record.



WHO WRITES SUPPORT LETTERS?


1. You, family members, close friends and loved ones.



2. Relatives, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.
3. Respected members of the community, such as
businessmen.
4. Prospective employers, school teachers,religious teachers,
students, counselors, etc.
5. The Prisoner's Corrections Counselor/Supervisor or other
people who have known him/her while in prison, e.g.
chaplain,counselor, teacher,volunteers from the community.
If you can't find anyone who knows the prisoner, you may
ask for letters from people who know you and state that
your support will be of value during the offender's re-
adjustment to the community.
Also, people can write offering their support for the prisoner
based on their position in the community (such as a
minister in your church.)



HOW MANY SUPPORT LETTERS?


At the time of the parole interview, three to ten support letters should be enough. Keep sending support letters regularly, not just at the parole interview date. This shows consistency and active support and lets the Parole Board know that you'll stick by the prisoner after release.




WHAT TO SAY?


There are several general areas of information to be included in these letters.




1. State your name, age and occupation. If you have been on
the current job for a number of years, state the number of
years you have been similarly employed.

2. State your relationship with the prisoner and the length you
have known him or her.

3. Your belief that, despite his/her mistake, he/she is a good
person and the reason you feel this way.

4. Your belief that the offender will be a useful and law abiding
citizen if given the opportunity. You may describe
improvements in the prisoner's attitude, behavior, or efforts
he/she has made to improve himself/herself. If you will
provide housing, give the address and a phone number if
you have one. You can mention other kinds of help you can
provide, for instance, clothing or transportation.
Other people who will write a support letters may include
the same type of information. If they are willing to help the
prisoner in some way, they may include that in the letter.
Some people are willing to help, but don't have money or a
job to offer. They can offer to spend time with the offender
doing something positive and worthwhile, or they can offer
advice and encouragement. This kind of help is also
necessary for someone just released from prison.


NOTE: In some states, it is possible for prison employees to write letters of recommendation for parole. This is most commonly done by supervisors in a department where a prisoner works or by ranking officials on the unit who have personal knowledge of the prisoner.



OUTLINE OF THE SUGGESTED THINGS TO COVER IN THE LETTER


Salutation:



(Insert address for your particular Parole Board)



Parole Board Member
Board of Pardons and Paroles
P.O. Box 12345


Anytown, USA 78711



You may address your letters to a specific person on the Parole Board, if you wish, but it is also acceptable to address your letter Dear Parole Board Member:



FIRST PARAGRAPH


State your name, age, and occupation. If you have been on the same job for a number of years, state the number of years you have been similarly employed.



SECOND PARAGRAPH


State your relationship with him/her (e.g. friend, relative, teacher, employer, co-worker, etc.)



THIRD PARAGRAPH


Your belief that the, despite his/her mistakes, he/she is a good person; the reason you feel this way, your belief that he/she will be a useful and a law abiding citizen given the chance. Describe any improvements in the prisoner's attitude, behavior, or efforts he/she has made to improve himself/herself (education, treatment programs).



FOURTH PARAGRAPH


Your willingness to be supportive and how, e.g. if you will provide housing, give address and phone number if you have one, transportation, job offer. Other people who are willing to help, but don't have money or a job to offer, can be supportive and worthwhile by offering advice and encouragement.





Additional suggestions to go along with this information....


1. If you or someone you know has written support letters in
the past, make copies and include them with the parole
packet
2. Included in this packet should be any information and/or
photocopies of awards or achievements your loved one may
have achieved while incarcerated.
3. Write out a "game plan." What does your loved one plan to
do when he or she gets out? Be specific. Tell the board
what job opportunities are in the area.
4. Make a copy of the packet and send it to your loved one.
Your loved one should write up a similar type of packet
themselves. They can make a separate one, or include it in
the one you make for them. He or she should present the
packet(s) to the person who comes to interview them when
parole time approaches. It makes a much better impression
when they have obviously made preparations for their
future, as well as having a source from the outside who
cared enough to put together a presentation packet as well.




this really helps thanks!
  #4  
Old 02-13-2008, 06:39 PM
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This Is Great!!!!!!!!! Thanks So Much!!! I Will Need It Very Soon!
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  #5  
Old 02-19-2008, 09:02 AM
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When should we start sending these letters?
  #6  
Old 02-19-2008, 11:49 AM
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Just a few suggestions, I got out the phone book and lined up some business's that would write letters and give our loved one a chance for employment in the field he excels in and included photos of the business along with photos of everyone that wrote support letters.

The PB may not have time to read all the letters but they will glance at the photos and that makes it a little more personal and remembered.

Included photos of where he would live not only the house but the neighborhood and his transportation. This reinforces all. They have a better understanding of where he is going and that he does have the support the letters state he has.

I also sent photos of him as a child and now.

The Attorneys that looked at the packet said the tabs for the sections, education, employment, support letters, accomplishments, etc. was a excellent idea as it will be easier for the PB to find a section they are interested in.

Good luck and God Bless
SA Aunt B
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Old 03-16-2008, 07:44 PM
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I see that this post is from 2006? Is there any more recent iformation on how to write to a parole officer? I am needing to do this myself on the behalf of my son. Thank you to the person who originally posted the letter samples.
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Old 03-16-2008, 07:54 PM
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oh excuse me folks my mistake I see cashdiamond's letter to parole. Thanks cashdiamond this sure helps!!!!
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  #9  
Old 03-16-2008, 08:18 PM
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I am going to share any information I may find helpful to you all on PTO, I like to suggest to have people who actually can provide a postive recommendation like a former employer before incareration, mentors, clergy or a community group or person who knows the parolee. In my son's case his former boss offered to write a letter on his behalf. She has send him letters/cards since he has been in prison, that shows that she has been part of his support since he got locked up, and is very much interested in him doing well once he is released. of course I am writing I am his mother but also other family members too.
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Old 03-23-2008, 12:14 PM
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Default judicial support letters

when writing one do you address the judge seeing how he is the one that will hear the motion?
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:59 PM
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I wrote a letter for my boyfriend. He is going to court on wednesday. It's not for parole it's for his sentecing. I really really need suggestions. Please help!

To whom it may concern,

I am writing this letter on behalf of His name, an inmate at Elmwood Correctional Facility. I would like to start by saying I am Ryan’s girlfriend who loves and supports him. Ryan is very dedicated to his family, his friends, and me. I know we would all like to see Ryan come home. Seeing Ryan’s positive change in attitude following his arrest has made me believe that he should be home to start making changes in his life.

Ryan has been struggling to live on his own. A lack of support has influenced him to get himself into trouble. He understands the wrong path he chose and the severity of the crimes he committed. He looks back at his choices with remorse and embarrassment. Despite the situation he has created for himself he has developed an excellent outlook and positive plans for his future.

This experience has been a reality check for Ryan and everyone around him. Ryan has realized that he is in need of help. He has voiced his plan to get into counseling and start getting more involved in Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous meetings. He has many people involved in these programs that have expressed their support for him.

I am asking that Ryan be given a fair opportunity to pursue a new life. He change in attitude would be greatly beneficial to him if he was given this opportunity.
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:36 AM
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Great letter. If you have info that he has a home and a job that would be wonderful.
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:40 AM
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when do you start sending letters my fiancee is not up for parole for another year and a half he has merit parole review in a year
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Old 04-18-2008, 06:39 PM
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I am having a brain freeze.. I read post upon post and found the guidlines and read sample letters for your loved one when getting ready to go in front of the parole board... But I am having a VERY HARD time writing the letter.. I cannot think... I start to write and then I go blank.. Anyone have any suggestions? The one part in the guidlines it states to write why they will be a useful and law abiding citizen given the chance.. I have no idea what to write for that.. As far as being a law abiding citizen - because he learned from his mistake and does not want to go back - he wants to live his life now with his kids and I??? Then the useful part.. Umm useful by working - being a great father and boyfriend?? I am just sooooo stressed and my mind is constantly a mess.... I just want to make sure there are letters there - hoefully a packet from me for when he goes before the board and I want it to be the best it can... Sorry for the rambling mumbo jumbo..

Anything would be greatly appreciated

Thank you
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Old 04-18-2008, 07:09 PM
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Default Need sample letter for final sentencing.

Please helpl!! Need help writting a letter to the judge before final sentencing on May 22. Sentenced to 50yrs. And my boyfriend is 66yrs. old. Any help would be wonderful.
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:42 PM
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Extremely useful information and much appreciated.
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:10 PM
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i have a quick question??? I am at the beginning stages of putting our packet together and my husband is not yet been placed in a location, he is still in county jail waiting to be sent out to tdcj, now on the support letters do I have to write a letter to the governor of our state (TX) or just the parole board?

Your answers to my endless questions is appreciated......
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:52 PM
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Default help needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by scbydru View Post
I can also help anyone with writing letters. I have written quite a few and have gotten positive results. I have even gotten a commendation from a warden regarding the letter I wrote him in reference to visiting my fiance. Just give me all the important information that you want me to talk about and I'll draft something up.

I am in need of extreme help with a parole support letter. My father is up for parole and he is a man that I have met once and since he got locked up this last time i have had two daughters who he needs to meet. If you think you can help me please let me know and i will send you all the infor needed.

thank you
rene
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Old 09-27-2008, 01:15 PM
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PLEASE...PLEASE.....PLEASE
Do not put in these letters or ever say at a parole hearing that you NEED the inmate home for whatever reason. I promise this is a mistake. Most parole members view this as the family is set to overwhelm the prisoner at the first chance they get. I have been to thousands of hearings and this is what I have been told over and over again. I could go on for some time but please trust me on this.
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Old 11-16-2008, 12:56 AM
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Cool thanks for the information. NUBEGINNING....
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:14 PM
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Thanks for all the info, i sent out my letter(s) yesterday- his parole lady in there was helpen him wit the rest- she seems nice from what he says, is recommenden he makes it- but Lord Knows its in GODs hands!! Again thanks for the help! God Bless.
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Old 01-05-2009, 05:43 PM
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I've written a letter on behalf of my fiancee, I was wondering, if maybe, you could look over it, explain what needs to be changed, etc. I've never done this before, and have absolutely no idea.
thanks
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:17 AM
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Default Thank you for your help!

My ex-husband has been incarecerated since the first week of June 2005. I didn't find these posts until December 2008, while I was laboring over the letter of support issue. I read the posts here...and continued to labor. However, I came back to the post several times (I'm clearly a bit head-strong...and a worrier...an a perfectionist). Anyway, I wrote...read the posts here...edited...read the posts here...edited...then one day I just knew I had done all that I could do...and I sent my letter.

Eight other people sent letters as well. All the letters have been received by the parole board. ANd there is a parole hearing in a couple days. And as much as my personality pushes me to worry...I know it is gonna be okay. Because of your help, I feel like I have done my best and am okay.

I very much believe my husband (legally es-husaband) is coming home...and can hardly wait....But I KNOW that because of your help, I have done all that I can...Because of you, I have done well and can feel okay about my actions...my part in the process.

I can not thank you enough.

Richelle

PS The posts are fairly old...so I don't know if your still around...but I want to make my best effort to thank you, nonetheless.
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Old 02-22-2009, 10:31 AM
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Default Thank you!..ques on parole ineligibility

Thank you all for your incredibly insightful & helpful feedback on these parole letters! My brother was sentenced about a month ago to a 3 year flat with 1 year of parole ineligibility.

At first the term of 'parole ineligibility' confused me but I learned later that it meant he would be eligible for parole at the year mark, we hope! I wanted to ask a couple of things:

1... How early would you all recommend these letters are sent to the parole board? Months or weeks before?

2... My brother is currently working at the prison in the kitchen & some of the inmates tell him that he earns time off for working. Sooo, I'm wondering, when they say that he can earn time off does it mean time off the year of parole or of the whole sentence?

3.. Does anyone know the difference between parole & probation? If someone is out on parole, does it mean they're out on probation? These terms confuse me...

Any input would be great! Thanks so much for the time you take out to enlighten some of us that are new to this. I wish all of you & your loved ones in prison nothing but the best in the future...it's a journey for us all but this forum is one of the best things to help each day go by a little smoother....
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Old 02-25-2009, 05:45 AM
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I can see some of the posts here are quite old but, I want to thank you for your support, ideas and information shared. I will use it to the best of my ability to help my loved one.
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True Love is not a feeling, but rather a lifestyle
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