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Federal General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat Topics & Discussions relating to the Federal Prison & the Criminal Justice System that do not fit into any other Federal sub-forum category. Please feel free to also introduce yourself to other members in the state and talk about whatever topics come to mind that may not have anything to do with prison.

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  #1  
Old 04-11-2004, 01:40 AM
Zelda50 Zelda50 is offline
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Default How do I attend parole hearing?

My husband is an "old law" federal prisoner and is scheduled for a parole hearing in June at the FCI. He wants me present at the hearing and has filled out his parole hearing form listing me as his "representative." What do I need to do to make sure I am allowed into the institution and into the hearing and how soon do I need to do it? (I am approved for visiting him.) Can I bring paperwork with me to give to the hearings examiner (i.e., release plan, support letters) ? Will I be allowed to speak and is there a time limit on how long I can speak? I know there aren't likely to be many on this forum in this situation or with knowledge of it, but any information would be welcome. Maybe Howard??? Zelda
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Old 04-11-2004, 10:03 AM
hkieffer hkieffer is offline
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First, you do not necessarily need to be his "representative" in order to attend. Second, you probably do not want to be his representative in that there are responsibilities and expectations that are associated with anyone appearing in that capacity. You've touched on many of those by your questions.

Think about attending (if you are eligible) and having a representative that has the experience and training to properly accept the responsibilities involved AND provide for a meaningful review.
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Old 04-11-2004, 03:48 PM
Zelda50 Zelda50 is offline
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So if I do not attend as a "representative," who decides if I am "eligible" to attend as his wife? Do I have to apply and to whom? What is the process for me to get into the institution for the hearing? And are we given a specific time for the hearing (we have the date) - or just the date and you go in the a.m. and wait around until it begins. Thanks for any info you can offer. Zelda
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Old 04-11-2004, 09:01 PM
hkieffer hkieffer is offline
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Family members can attend. Even at high security institutions, arrangements can be made. Have him make the request when he revioews his mini-parole file (at the earliest date possible). Also, a cop-out to his case manager is a good move. Once the docket is set, you will get a time - subject to change because of waivers.
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Old 04-11-2004, 09:02 PM
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Oh, and think about engaging an experienced representative who can also review the case and the mini-file ahead of time and prep both of you.
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Old 04-14-2004, 10:46 PM
Zelda50 Zelda50 is offline
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Thanks. One more question. My husband says he has requested to see his "mini parole file" well in advance of each parole hearing but has yet to ever be able to review it. What's the remedy??? If he complains at the hearing that he didn't get to see it, then that will probably delay the hearing, eh? Plus I expect he's supposed to appear cooperative if he's asking to be paroled... Zelda
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Old 04-14-2004, 11:21 PM
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Yes, if he claims not to have reviwed the "mini-file" prior to the hearing, they will continue it. The remedy is to start with a cop-out to the case manager and formalize everything. If a verbal response is received, memorialize it in another cop-out. If this fails and you do not want a continuance, you should consider engaging an experienced and competent representative. This way the propoer preparations will be made and a proper presentation will be made at the hearing.
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Old 04-16-2004, 09:27 AM
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Institution staff (Unit Manager/Case Manager) are tio ensure that parole "mini-files" are reviewed in enough time to adequately prepare for a parole haering. This is RARELY accomplished and leads to many continuances. For some reason, inmtaes don't continue the hearing and attend unprepared. From their standpoint, they are probably sick of the delays. I don't know the answer, but read the rules and hold them accountable so it is done right the first time. They won't like it (BOP staff), but is is their job.
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Old 04-16-2004, 05:56 PM
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Lisa: Good commentary! You're right in that you have to hold them accountable and back it up with action - not a waiver!
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Old 04-17-2004, 09:40 PM
Zelda50 Zelda50 is offline
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Thanks for the info. I recognize that "holding them accountable" is one way to insure it begins getting done correctly but it can cost the inmate in delayed parole. Plus, the inmate appears adversarial before the person who is making the parole recommendation. I agree with you in theory but it's not an easy decision for the inmate. Also, my husband wants to know if you know of any "experienced representatives" who will work for a cheeseburger and a coke. As for attending the hearing, the answer he received from a cop-out he sent says that he DOES have to list me, his wife, as his "representative" on the form in order for me to attend. Go figure. I don't think the BOP staff really know what they're doing - probably have not been trained very much in parole procedures since there are so few old-law prisoners left. Guess we'll muddle through and hope I get in to attend the hearing. Zelda
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Old 04-19-2004, 12:55 PM
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I think there is some cinfusion that I do not want to perpetuate here.

When I talk about holding Bureau staff accountable in this context, I mean just that - hold them accountable for timely review of parole "mini-files." Do not let Bureau staff "cause" the inmate to be forced into a situation where s/he has to either waive or attend a hearin that s/he is unprepared to attend.

Bureau staff do NOT make parole decisions, nor recommendation (although a BOP "progree report" is a part of the parole "mini-file.").

As far as a spouse being the representative. I posted previously on this subject and opined on the inappropriateness - in most cases. That said, Bureau staff is WRONG in saying that the spouse "should" or "must" be listed as the representative. That would, in effect, preclude a "real" professional representative. Perhaps that is the aim? You are correct in that Bureau staff has little - if any - training in parole procedures. In fact, chances are that any staff member that has been with the Bureau that long is no longer working in Unit Mangement.

Yes, I do know of several experienced representatives for parole hearings. I would be happy to recommend several. In order to do so intelligently, I would need some case specific and personal information. Please feel free to PM me.
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