View Full Version : Sample Letters to the Parole Board


mrsdragoness
09-25-2005, 04:06 PM
Please share your letters or at least parts of them so others can get some ideas of what to write when its their turn!

mrsdragoness
09-25-2005, 04:06 PM
Dear Parole Board Members:

My husband ___ is coming before the board on ___. Allow me to share my life with you as you consider releasing him from custody.

A mutual friend gave him my address in 1998, telling him a bit about me, including that I was going through a difficult time in my life. Our life together began as we became not only pen pals, but friends and started to confide many things to each other. Eventually we realized we were falling in love and destined to be together for the rest of our lives.

Accepting (his) crime was not easy to do, but I looked past his crime and looked at the man who, through friendship, helped me regain self-esteem and self-worth I had lost many years before. We married in 2000 and have never looked back. (We) maintain as good a marriage as we can while he is incarcerated. I visit, he calls and we continue to send letters to each other. We have had some major ups and downs in our relationship, but no matter what, we work through those issues.

During his incarceration, ___ has done many things to improve himself. He has furthered his education and has been a willing, active participant in any classes required by the Michigan Department of Corrections as well as other classes he volunteered to take. He participated in Project ____. At ____ acting as Leader for the group. He was in the ____ Program at ______ until transferred. He participated in a voluntary group for Offenders at ___.

Through his incarceration he has come from a misdirected man to a very together, well rounded and very responsible individual. He has worked diligently on making mature and levelheaded decisions when dealing with daily stress and I know he has committed to himself and his family the will become a productive and law-abiding member of society. Most importantly, he has learned how wrong his actions were and vows to never harm another.

I was employed by the State of Michigan for 23 years, retiring with full benefits in 2002. Eighteen of those years were working for the Department of Community Health. I now work for mental health at the county level. I believe my work experiences will help my husband and I maintain a healthy, happy, successful family life upon his release from prison. We are a model family at visitation, we will continue that venue when he comes home.

I own our home, which is across state from his hometown, and can provide him with the means to start this next step in his life a little easier. He has a vehicle available so he can look for work and get to work once he obtains employment. I have spoken to several employers in our area who have expressed an interest in giving him employment, but due to his unknown status, they are unable to extend a definite offer.

Our children are grown so we will be the only ones living in the home. My children and friends as well as his family are ready to show him a lot of support upon his reentry to society. We plan on being active in support groups in the community. My mental health insurance plan will provide the means for continuing therapy for both of us to adjust to what he needs to do, including following his parole and relapse prevention plans when he comes home.

Hopefully you will allow us to start that next stage of our lives by granting him a parole and allowing the MDOC to see that he has served his time, now it’s time for him to start giving back.

Respectfully,

Bearsbabie
09-26-2005, 11:47 AM
Thanks MrsD, I didn't have a clue how to start my letter, now I have some ideas.

MrsBenji
10-17-2006, 09:29 AM
Dear Parole Board Member,

My name is NAME. I am AGE years old. I have completed a degree in DEGREE. I am currently employed as a EMPLOYMENT.

INMATE and I will be together six years as of this October. This is no easy achievement, especially when you consider that more than two years of it has been under extreme stress. Many couples would have folded under this stress, but INMATE and I have used it as an opportunity to strengthen our relationship.

When we noticed problems that were eventually diagnosed as Adult Attention Deficit Disorder, we immediately began treatment. Treatment involved medication and a lot of learning about and changing behaviors and reactions. We attended therapy as a couple all the way up until INMATE’s incarceration and we learned a great deal. We have continued to use these learned skills throughout INMATE’s incarceration and we are stronger now than we ever have been. INMATE has worked hard to better himself from the start this has continued during his incarceration and I have no reason to believe this will stop. We know parole will not be easy but we also know that we have what it takes to succeed. A successful parole involves both of us working together and we are very well prepared to meet this challenge.

INMATE has made tremendous changes while incarcerated. He has developed patience and control. He has come to admit his complete responsibility for his past actions. He has come to understand the impact he had on the victims and is remorseful for his actions. He has identified what led him to his illegal activity and created a very thorough plan to avoid these situations. He has studied hard in the horticulture program. He is now doing advanced work and studies at the request of Mr. Dodge, the director of the greenhouse. INMATE has secured employment in horticulture/foods and will be working with me as a medical legal consultant.

INMATE has also been very successful in Sexual Offender Therapy at Parnall. He will continue therapy for his Adult Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and will continue with sex offender therapy with his original psychiatrist, PSYCHIATRIST in Holland, Michigan. (See letter from PSYCHIATRIST)

INMATE is a wonderful, supportive and educating father with his three children. All three of them miss him very much. Moving INMATE to Community Corrections now will minimize the negative impact on the children while allowing him to be monitored to assure he continues to pose no risk to society.

We have a very large, supportive group of family and friends that have remained even through his incarceration. They have supported us through INMATE’s incarceration and have pledged to continue their support upon parole. A safety net this large doesn’t happen by chance. It’s mostly due to INMATE’s extremely caring and nurturing personality.

Prior to his incarceration INMATE spent an entire year on house arrest with tether demonstrating he is very compliant and willing to obey rules. He is an extremely good candidate for community corrections.

I agree with his ARUS and your assessments that he is a very good risk and has a high probability of parole. He has adjusted well to institutional life and has had no tickets during his entire stay!

I ask that you grant his parole as soon as possible. I assure you that we will work together to make his parole extremely successful.

Sincerely,

rebastat
11-13-2006, 08:32 AM
Here's the letter I wrote on my boyfriend's behave...

Dear Parole Board Members,

I am requesting that Leon have his parole reinstated. This request is due to Leon's 11/8/06 arrest; an arrest made as a consequence of violating his parole. While his parole guidelines specify that he has no contact with me because of a Personal Protection Order (PPO) issued by myself in August 2006, this order was lifted by me on November 8, 2006. In this letter, I will explain the incidents surrounding the issuance of the PPO, as well as why Leon and I are now making a sincere effort to reconcile our differences. It is my hope that by explaining this unfortunate situation, the board will take my explanation into consideration when considering the reinstatement of his parole.

To elaborate, Leon and I have been involved for about two years. During our two years together, we have experienced an assortment of challenges. These challenges not only include his being on parole, but also include his ongoing battle with substance abuse. To be specific, he has been addicted to crack cocaine since he was nineteen years old; consequently, this addiction has made it very difficult for us to have a vibrant and healthy relationship. In fact, it was because of his addiction that I sought the PPO in the first place. This is because while he was using this drug, he would become very controlling, manipulative, and intimidating. He would also regularly steal my vehicle, which would often prevent me from getting to work in a timely fashion.

In an effort to protect myself from his addiction, I decided to put the PPO in place. Because I also felt my life was in danger as a consequence of his addiction, I spoke to Parole Agent Hunter about this situation. She, in an effort to help me during my plight, placed components of the PPO as a restriction to Brownlee’s parole. In this sense, I thank Ms. Hunter for doing this because she not only took her position as Brownlee’s Parole Agent seriously, she cared enough about my well being to insure he knew about this special condition related to his parole.

About three months after the PPO took effect, I found out from a related third party that Leon had enrolled himself into a rehabilitation facility ran by the Salvation Army. Leon had also told this related third party member that he wanted to make amends with me because he had realized that his addiction was the cause of not only our breakup, but of the issuance of the PPO, too. In addition, he also explained that he virtually had no emotional support from his family or friends; for this reason, he yearned to see me as a way to get the additional support he needed to fulfill the rehabilitation program requirements.

Upon hearing this news, I knew that the right thing to do would be to go see about him. This is because I knew his family and friends were incapable of giving him the support he needed—primarily because they are substance abusers, too. Thus, during the weeks of October 14-November 3, I visited him during Salvation Army’s Sunday service to insure he had the support he needed to make it through the program; I also went to investigate the possibility of reconciling our differences.

However, because Leon and I were busy making a sincere effort to reconcile our differences, I never thought about canceling the PPO. In addition,Leon was also going through another dilemma; he had a desire to switch to another rehabilitation program in an effort to go to school and work part time. However, in order for him to do that, he had to have the option of leaving the current rehabilitation program he was in. Because he was on restriction, he had no way to investigate possible alternatives to alleviate the current situation he was in. He also faced the possibility of not being able to vote or to strengthen his support system by participating in holiday-related activities. In this sense, he also sought me out as a resource to help him in these areas.

Though all of this is a lot to handle in a relationship, it is something I am willing to do (with assistance) because I love him. However, I will still need the help of the courts to insure we have a successful and happy relationship. This is because I know that he will always be a substance abuser; I also know that though abusive behavior can be changed due to it being a learned behavior, it is a change that will require time, patience and outside help. Further, because he has been either institutionalized or incarcerated throughout his lifetime, he has a limited educational background and hence, a limited way of legally empowering himself financially.

All this and more would make the average person run away in fear; however, I refuse to because his life is a reflection of what mine could have potentially been. In fact, it is because I had such a strong parental upbringing that I am a successful English Composition Instructor; Leon never had this type of strong upbringing. Instead, he grappled with a mother who had selfish tendencies and a serious addiction to painkillers. This, along with no consistent father figure—in addition to being a product of the Michigan Foster Care system—has made it extremely difficult for him to be a successful and productive citizen. In this sense, I believe it is up to all of us to help him to realize his true potential.

In this sense, I am requesting that you reinstate Leon's parole. I am also requesting that once his parole is reinstated, that the courts support us as a couple in getting the appropriate resources we need to grapple with his addiction. To be specific, Leon will need assistance in getting into a drug rehabilitation program that will also allow him to go to school and work part time to help myself and my household. Though all this and more may appear to be too much to ask, I believe that the Michigan Department of Corrections has the ability to help those on parole to realize their full potential.

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide in this matter. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via email at (edited e-mail per policy) I (rebastat@I) can also be reached by phone at either [phone numbers here].

Sincerely,

Arreba S.

soontobewife
11-13-2006, 09:50 AM
Thanks for the letters being posted. Invaluable for those of us who are just starting the parole process (my fiance' was handed his PER forms last week). Keep those letters comin' !

abrokenvessel
11-13-2006, 11:51 AM
Just wondering if any these letters resulted in a parole? I am trying to decide what to write for my son. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

DJB's Wife
11-13-2006, 06:01 PM
There's more sample letters and tips here (http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=174150).

The letters are a good way of showing there is family and friend support. Some of the letters posted resulted in parole and some did not. There's just no way to tell what the parole board will do.

shell021001
11-25-2006, 08:29 AM
Brian went for his pre release class? Parole readiness I think it is called....(could that mean he will see the parole board before Dec. 2007??)

here is the letter the DOC gave him along with some ? asked by the parole board at the interview.

hope it is helpful!!

1234 E. Main Street
Hometown, MI 4888
August 22, 1998

Michigan Parole Board
c/o John Doe
SMT-1790 E. Parnall Road
Jackson, MI 49201

Dear Parole Board Member,

Soon you will be considering whether to parole John Doe - 212121. John is my brother. I hope that you will consider the following factors when reviewing John's parole eligibility.

I have maintained contact with John throughout his period of incarceration. I have viesited approximately once a month and we talk on the phone approximately once each week. Through that contact, I have seen, what I consider to be, some significant changes in John's demenor and behavior. Contrary to when he first entered the system, he is now able to talk freely about his offense. He has talked about the events which led to the offense and he has explained in detail the event itself. He accepts full responsibility and has acknowledged, more than once, his concern for the impact on his victim.

John has also talked at length about his threapy experience. He has shared his relapse prevention plans with me and with other members of our family. We all also understand that we can be of some help by providing safe social situations and encouraging John to seek help if he demostrates signs of stress or isolation. We all understand that this will be a lifelong effort for him.

John has accepted my offer to live with me until he gets established. We have been told, by others, that it may take as long as six months. That is acceptable to me. I and other members of my family are also prepared to provide transportation for him (to work, therapy, parole office, etc.) until he is able to afford a car of his own. Aside from myself, my father and sister-in-law are willing to assist with this effort. Neither of them work outside the home, so their schedules are flexible enough to provide transportation at odd hours, if needed.

We understand that the adjustment to the free world is a difficult one. We are anxious to have John home and are prepared to help wherever practical.

Sincerly,

Jane S. Doe


And the questions from actual parole hearings asked by a parole board member at a 1998 and 200 interview.

1. General questions about statistical risk, parole plans, past history, confirmation on dates, age etc.

2. Asked about "A" prefix case, details of the case. What did I learn while serving "A" prefix (clinically speaking.

3. Asked about "B" prefix details, why did I commit another crime. Referred to "A" prefix on anything learned (clinically assaultive)?

4. Why do I commit assaults? Re-Offend?

5. Institutional misconducts were mentioned.

6. Representative's statement (closing)

7. Prisoner's Statement (closing)

8. What would you do if you were granted a parole?

9. What have you done (accomplished) that makes you feel a parole is justified?

10. What changes have you made since being in prison that can assure you will not go back and re offend?

11. What have you learned most about being in prison?

12. What is the most important thing you learned in assaultive/sex offender program that you feel has made you a better person? Give a detailed answer.


I hope this helps out a bit. Good luck to everyone who is facing this time in the process!!!!

Michelle

Billys girl
11-29-2006, 07:09 PM
mrsBenji
I have a few personal questions maybe you can help me with after reading your letter please pm me thank you so much

d_dtap
11-29-2006, 08:18 PM
Thank you so much for posting the sample parole letters. I've never encountered nor had to write one before, and may have to prepare one in the future. Again, thank you.

MrsBenji
12-02-2006, 07:52 PM
mrsBenji
I have a few personal questions maybe you can help me with after reading your letter please pm me thank you so much

The letter above isn't my own. I posted it from a friend, but I'd be more than happy to try to help, if I can!

Jenn

MrJustice
12-02-2006, 08:14 PM
My approach to parole is to describe life as a car broken down. When something breaks, what would the inmate do to address the break down? If the car does not start and all you do is scream "HELP" then your chances of parole are practically non existant. However, a mechanic would resort to the use of tools. In a similar manner, a parolee should show evidence of having learned how to use the tools that are made available to him. What/who are those tools? Counsellors, therapists, doctors and other medical specialists, his wife/mother/family and friends, his parole officer is an invaluable tool if you learn to develop a positive relationship with her, AA and NA sponsors, police officers, employers, minister/priests/ rabbis and other religious figures in the inmates life. In short, the offender must show that he/she has given serious thought to what to do in the event of a possible relapse. The Board will want to know, not only that there is a strong support system out there to support the offender but, more to the point, that the offender, and yes his spouse, knows how to make use and, indeed, will make use of those support systems or TOOLS which have been provided. I, in particular, like to see a spouse who shows a willingness and an intention to actively participate in the offender's reintegration. Criminal activity is not only the offender's problem, it is a family problem and can only be defeated through a conserted family effort. And finally the Board wants to see PLAN that is already in place for the offender's return to society. Don't tell them that, IF he is released, he will do this or that. Tell them that he has already made contact with various resources in the community and that they have expressed a willingness to provide the counselling/treatment he needs. Obviously, it is difficult to obtain confirmation of a date when treatment is to begin. There are limited spots available for treatment and programs cannot set aside/reserve space on the off chance that your man will be released. The offender must nevertheless have shown that HE, NOT YOU, is actively pursuing these opportunities. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to send me a private message.

Aknapp
12-12-2007, 01:41 PM
Here is something that I went by..it was very helpful!

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 inmate and cares.
2. The inmate has free world input while in prison.
3. Someone will help when he/she gets out.
4. The good side of the inmate 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 inmates TDC supervisors 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 inmate, 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 inmate 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 inmate 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 inmate 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 inmate'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 inmate 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: It may be possible for prison employees to write letters of recommendation for parole. This is most commonly done by supervisors in a department where an inmate works or by ranking officials on the unit who have personal knowledge of the inmate.

OUTLINE OF THE SUGGESTED THINGS TO COVER IN THE LETTER
Salutation:

Board of Pardons and Paroles

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 inmate'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 from a lawyer friend 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.



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.

Also..
He needs a HOME PLAN and a JOB PLAN.

JaysWifeWaiting
12-12-2007, 05:44 PM
when should I send the letters??? also I kno someone else that wasnt sure when to send the letters to the parole board??? should I wait until my husband is up for parole??

DJB's Wife
12-18-2007, 03:50 AM
The letters are generally sent 30 days before the parole hearing.

sandymom
12-18-2007, 12:54 PM
Do the inmates send parole letters to the parole board too?

Nine
12-18-2007, 01:31 PM
Are your men up for parole soon? We do not know the date of my husbands yet but they completed the PER in October. We have no clue how long it is taking them to schedule. He begun his pre-release classes in October/November. I have begun to write his support letter but there are a few parts I am sort of stuck on. I am afraid in a few points it sound too "clinical" ( of course in my profession that is how I write) but I do not want it come accross as arrogent.

Tracy147
01-23-2008, 04:39 PM
Thanks thats very helpful. Although I still have 1yr. to go till my son goes in front of the board this gives me some idea where to go from here.

shell021001
08-15-2008, 02:33 PM
Writing another letter now...He just got pulled aside by a CO and told that he got an early call back for his parole hearing!! Keep your fingers crossed!!

Michelle

Hopeforprisoner
07-17-2011, 12:03 AM
:eek:Please keep on this site for a long time--Your words are very valuable.

im.his.baby
07-17-2011, 12:26 AM
Thanks for this thread. My man will be sending in a clemency packet next month and while I know what I want to write to the clemency board, I had no idea how to actually put it in words. Reading through your letters has given me ideas on how to properly word my own letter. Once again, thanks!