Austin, TX

What Makes A Good Parole Packet?

What Is a Parole Packet?

A parole packet in Texas is essentially a collection of documents presented to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles (TBP) to support an inmate’s release on parole. While not mandatory, a well-prepared packet can significantly improve the chances of a favorable decision from the Parole Board.

Experienced Texas Parole Lawyer Rob Chesnutt helps his clients prepare the parole packet and provide representation at the parole review hearing. Although success is never guaranteed, statistics show that offenders who a represented have a better chance of freedom.

Many offenders can benefit from a good parole packet.  Letters and other supporting documents can make a difference in the outcome.

The Parts of a Parole Packet

Here’s a breakdown of what goes into most parole packets, though a Texas parole attorney is often limited only by his imagination as there are only loose guidelines to follow.

Essential Components:

  • Introductory Letter: This should be around 1-1.5 pages, requesting parole and briefly introducing yourself. Explain your current state of mind compared to when you committed the offense, highlighting personal growth and remorse. Mention relevant prison accomplishments like education or programs completed.

  • Supporting Documents:

    • Prison Records: These provide background on your incarceration history, including disciplinary infractions and participation in rehabilitation programs.

    • Certificates and Achievements: Showcase any educational credits, vocational training certificates, or awards earned while incarcerated.

    • Letters of Support: Gather positive character references from family, friends, employers, religious leaders, or community members who know you well.

    • Release Plan: Detail your intended living arrangements, potential employment opportunities, and how you plan to manage your finances and support yourself on parole.

    • Victim Impact Statement (optional): If applicable, include a statement acknowledging the victim’s suffering and expressing remorse.

Additional Considerations:

  • Photos: While not essential, photos (avoid prison uniforms) can help personalize your case.

  • Legal Documents: Include court documents related to your sentence, appeals, or parole eligibility.

  • Maintain Organization: Arrange documents logically and chronologically. Ensure everything is legible and free of errors.


  • The TBP considers various factors, including the severity of the criminal conviction, prison conduct, release plans, potential gang affiliation, and risk of re-offending.

  • While a parole packet can be impactful, it’s not a guarantee.

  • Consulting an attorney for parole representation can be helpful in navigating the process and crafting a compelling packet.

Parole Interview

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is not required by law to give a parole interview, but they usually will afford the opportunity. Most of the time, the parole interview is conducted via phone with just one member of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. This one-on-one conversation is an opportunity for you or your parole lawyer to personally present your case. It’s crucial to prepare diligently for this interview, as it can significantly influence board members’ decision regarding your parole candidacy.

Unlike the movies, in most cases the parole hearing takes place over the phone.

When preparing for a parole board interview, it is important to communicate effectively and present a compelling case for release. Parole board members often look for insight into the offender’s personal growth, lessons learned, and plans for a law-abiding future.

They may ask about the offender’s prison record, accomplishments while incarcerated, and the support system awaiting them upon release. It is essential to answer truthfully, express genuine remorse for their criminal case, and demonstrate a commitment to change.

Your loved one should also be ready to articulate how they have prepared themselves for re-entry into society, including any skills or education acquired while in prison. It can be advantageous to involve a parole attorney in preparation for this process, as they can provide valuable guidance on how best to approach the interview.

How a Texas Parole Attorney Can Help Increase Odds of Release

An experienced parole attorney can provide assistance in navigating the complex and often daunting process of seeking parole. They can help gather and organize necessary documents, advise on strategies for presenting a strong case, and advocate for your loved one during the hearing itself.

In addition, an attorney can also assist with addressing any potential issues or concerns that may arise during the process. This can include addressing any past criminal history, demonstrating evidence of rehabilitation and reformation, and providing a solid plan for successful re-entry into society as a law-abiding person.

Overall, having a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney by your side can greatly increase the chances of a successful parole hearing and ultimately securing release for your loved one.

Release Plan

The parole board will be looking for a solid release plan. A parole release plan is a comprehensive blueprint for how an offender will reintegrate into society post-release. It typically includes details like housing arrangements, employment or education plans, and measures for ongoing support such as counseling or addiction treatment if applicable.

The plan should be practically feasible and should demonstrate a clear path towards a law-abiding life. It’s essential that the plan covers all basic needs, including stable accommodation, a source of income, and access to healthcare. It should also detail how the parolee intends to avoid situations with potential triggers that could lead to re-offense.

Moreover, the plan should include a robust support network comprising family, friends, mentors, or support groups that will aid the offender in their transition and help them stay on the right path. Lastly, a parole release plan should clearly articulate the offender’s commitment to follow the conditions of their parole and their determination to lead a responsible, crime-free life.

Attorney Rob Chesnutt represents clients in front of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.  Inmates or their families can call for a consultation

Contact a Texas Parole Attorney

ATX Legal offers a free consultation for inmates seeking release on parole. It is best to contact a Texas parole lawyer at least one year before the inmate is up for parole. This gives enough time to interview the incarcerated person and their family, gather letters and other documents, and prepare the parole packet.

Rob Chesnutt accepts criminal defense clients in Williamson, Hays and Travis Counties, and provides parole representation statewide. Fill out a contact form to schedule a consultation.

Additional Resources

505 West 12th Street, Suite 200 Austin Texas 78701

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