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Parole and the Possibility of Early Release from Prison

Criminal Law Blog by The Law Office of Greg Tsioros

Parole and the Possibility of Early Release from Prison

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Parole and Early Release in Texas

When a person is sentenced to incarceration in prison in Texas, they are expected to serve a certain proportion of their allocated time behind bars. In some cases, they are mandated to serve the entirety of their sentence with no possibility of early release. However, in many cases, a person who is sentenced to incarceration has a possibility of being released before the full duration of their sentence has passed. This type of early release is called parole.

In Texas, there are very specific rules that apply to the parole process. Not everyone is eligible for parole and those who are eligible may not all become eligible in the same way. Learning more about the parole process can help people have a better understanding of their unique situation.

Defining Parole

To put it briefly, parole is a process by which an incarcerated inmate can be released from prison before the end of their sentence. If parole is granted, an inmate serving time can be allowed to live in free society rather than behind bars. However, this freedom comes with certain conditions.

In order for parole to remain valid, the parolee must abide by certain terms, including:

  • Reporting to their parole officer
  • Keeping a steady job
  • Staying away from drugs and alcohol
  • Attending substance abuse recovery meetings
  • Avoiding contact with old criminal associates

If any of these parole conditions are violated, the parole may be revoked and the person may be returned to prison. In some cases, new charges may be filed.

In most cases, a parolee must serve the remainder of his or her original sentence while on parole. If they are sentenced to three years in prison and paroled after two years, they must serve one year on parole.

Who Can Get Parole?

Not every inmate will be granted parole. In most cases, a person must serve a predetermined portion of their sentence before they can be granted parole. In Texas, a person convicted of an aggravated offense must serve:

  • A minimum of two years
  • From one-third to one-half of the original sentence

A person who is convicted of a non-aggravated offense must still serve some of their original sentence, but they are allowed to earn credit for good behavior or work performed while incarcerated.

After a person serves the appropriate amount of time, they can appeal to the parole board.

What Is the Parole Board?

The parole board is a group of people who determine whether or not an inmate can be released on parole. In most cases, an inmate will have to submit an application to the parole board explaining why they are eligible for early release.

For example, they could explain that they have turned their lives around while incarcerated. They could point out their participation in work programs, their good behavior and their lack of disciplinary infractions.

Inmates will usually have to convince the parole board that they are sorry for their actions and they have no plans to re-offend. For this reason, it’s usually a good idea to explain to the parole board that the inmate has plans to reintegrate into society after being released. They could explain that they have job skills that they will use to find employment and that they have friends and family members who will help support them and keep them out of trouble.

It’s not always easy to convince the parole board to grant early release. It may take more than one attempt and it requires a lot of time and effort. Hiring an attorney may be extremely helpful in this situation. An attorney may be able to help an inmate prepare a parole application. Some attorneys who are familiar with the parole process may be able to help inmates use the right language when crafting their application letter.

If you or someone you know is eligible for parole, Greg Tsioros can help you through the process. Contact him today at (832) 752-5972.


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