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  #1  
Old 09-13-2003, 07:36 PM
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JOHNNY'S ANGEL
 

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To those who care,

My name is Johnny and I am a prisoner at the Coffield Unit in Tennessee Colony. I would like to thank you all for the support we prisoners receive through the various groups: A,C.L.U., P.T.O., J.B.S., T.P.L.U., Tifatalks and T.I.F.A. You ladies and gentlemen are a real Godsend to us.

My wife, Lin, sends information that may be of interest from the different groups and I post it on our dayroom bulletin board. I get a lot of positive feedback concerning the many issues presented. Just recently, I posted the letter from Paul A. Hampel, parole lawyer from San Antonio, to the various groups requesting they send him blank paper with the different groups’ letter-headings. Ha! After reading Hampel’s statement we all wonder who he really works for. (?) Why not ask Hampel just how long the board spends on each case they review on any given day? Then ask him once more why he supports their current policy and system. We, the inmates, were told the board spends about 7 minutes on each case. And, they make a decision concerning someone’s life based on information read or heard in that little period? Get real Mr. Hampel!!!

The following a 3 year set-off with reason(s) listed, that a friend of mine received last week. Please note my friend has no disciplinary infractions and has met all requirements set down by the Inmate Treatment Program. (ITP)

Inmate’s name: XXX XXX XXX
S.I.O. Number: eight digits (Also withheld at request)
Next parole review date: 08/2006

(1D) You have been denied parole for the reason(s) listed below:

The record indicates that the inmate has repeatedly committed criminal episodes - or- has a pattern of similar offenses that indicates a predisposition to commit criminal acts when released -or- the record indicates that the inmate is a leader -or- active participant in gang -or- organized criminal activity; - or- the record indicates a juvenile -or- adult arrest -or- investigation for felony and misdemeanor offenses.

(2D) The record indicates that the inmate committed one or more violent criminal acts indicating a conscious disregard for the lives, safety, or property of others; the instant offense or pattern of criminal activity has elements of brutality, violence, or conscious selection of victim’s vulnerability such that the inmate poses an undue threat to the public; the record indicates use of a weapon.

Wow, isn’t all that good to know!? My friend has on idea which of those “or(s)” pertain to him. And, he also is concerned about the board’s decision to add that “or” pertaining to gang affiliation and organized crime since he has never been a gang member never considered being a part of an organized crime.

The reasons listed under 1D or 2D need not all apply to the person being reviewed. Any part that does apply brings about the entire listing.

Please note that the only change that can be made by an offender pertaining to these two stipulations is the part concerning gang members and organized crime. However, neither applies to the person in question. So, these same two reasons can be used over and over again to deny him paroles. In effect, the parole board is saying my friend is being set off for the seriousness and nature of his crime. And, of course, we all know that cannot be changed by anyone. So, why play head games and lead him to believe that if he is good he can go home sooner? Why even bring him up for parole?

The main problem(s) with our parole board lies within the policies used to determine who is denied parole and for what reasons. I agree with Mr. Hampel concerning downsizing the board. They should not be downsized. It is my opinion that more people should be voted in and hired.

As it stands now, the board has a larger workload than can be handled in a proper manner. Therefore, we inmates are being treated as numbers rather then humans. Especially those that have serious crimes such as murder, rape, robbery with a weapon, kidnapping or sexual assault of a child, and sometimes even D.U.I.’s. The board members do not know who these offenders have become during their time in prison. All they know is what that person(s) once done to get where he/she is now. It does not matter how long you have been incarcerated to them; they only seem concerned about what you did to get incarcerated. And, it matters not what you learn while being locked up or how good you become at following the rules. The only thing that matters is the seriousness of your past offense; or, just how much pressure the board just happens to be under when a case is brought before them.

It is my belief that the Board of Pardons and Parole should not be allowed to take “seriousness and nature of offense” into account. That issue has been dealt with in court already. The court takes into account when a person will be eligible for parole before that person is ever sentenced. Should not the parole board’s job be to determine whether or not a person has met all requirements set down by them for rehabilitation? I think they overstep their boundaries when they set a person off due to the nature of their crime.

I would like to know exactly what the board thinks a person can learn from a set-off of 1-5 years when the person has already done 20 flat years before ever having a chance at parole? Their current system is not designed to help rehabilitate offenders. It is designed to crush hopes and harden hearts. Therefore, their system needs to be changed. Our Senators don’t usually listen to us non-voters. So, it is up to our voting family members to force a long needed change. I know, as well as many others here, what a great job you people are doing. Once again, we thank you all for your support and future endeavors. Please keep in mind a board is only as good as the policies. We are all tired of head games.

Respectfully,


Johnny Collins #476768
Rt. 1, Box 150
Tennessee Colony, Texas 75884
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  #2  
Old 09-13-2003, 07:59 PM
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oh my gosh lin. next time you see your hubby give him a big ass honkey hug just for me! i agree w/200% of what he said.
---
and lin, who is MR. HAMPEL?? and in what relation is he to the prison system??

lol im sorry but i just re-read the "OR" part, & they did include a lot of "OR"'s.

thank you johnny for your nice letter. i agree w/lots of what you said. esp. the parole board. AND the issue of the courts dealing w/the sentencing..or sorry when one is elidgeable for parole.

you know, the prison system (esp. in texas) really REALLY sucks it does. not only do they murder an extremely high amount of people (youd think they were trying 2 set a record), but also the fact that they are throwing innocent people in prison..

as i always say...something BAD has got to happen before they even (CONSIDER) changing something.

but thanks again johnny!!! i really appreciated reading this. (put a smile on my face, cause it made me realize i wasnt the only one w/the same opinions).

-melissa
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Old 09-13-2003, 11:38 PM
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Very true indeed.
Courst deal with the offenses, Parole board should be dealing with their behavior SINCE their incarceration.
Your hubby knows his stuff, Lin
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Old 09-15-2003, 07:34 PM
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Thank each of you for your replies, they are on their way to Johnny. God Bless,
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Old 09-15-2003, 09:25 PM
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Although I agree in part to what Johnny is saying [in theory] I disagree that parole is always handled so badly ... if the guy has a good record and has attended the nesessary courses I say he should appeal this set off, ASAP ... I think a good "parole packet" is what comes into play here for a considered release ... all to sadly though, I would assume that a guy having done a flat 20 most likely does NOT have the family support to help provide the parole packet ... I do agree that a "blanket" response such as this ONLY breeds discontent ... whereby, everyone becomes a victim in far too many cases! ~ JMO ~
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Old 09-17-2003, 01:26 AM
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lin88jon lin88jon is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ~cheenna~
I would assume that a guy having done a flat 20 most likely does NOT have the family support to help provide the parole packet ...
Johnny just happens to be a guy that will do a flat 20 before he comes up for parole and trust me.....he WILL have a great parole packet.

But, do you know how much time they spend reviewing each inmate who comes up for parole? 4 MINUTES! The inmates are told around 7 minutes, but my co-workers tell me it is only 4! They seem to look at the seriousness of the crime and just set the guys off over and over. This needs to stop.

I will send your reply to Johnny. Thanks!
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