Parole Revocation Process

When a prisoner is released on parole or mandatory supervision, he becomes a “releasee” on conditional release.  His release is conditioned on him following the restrictions imposed by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.  
 
If any condition of release is violated, or if the releasee is charged with or convicted of a new crime, a revocation warrant (also called a “blue warrant”) can be issued and the releasee will be arrested.
 
After he is arrested and incarcerated, a parole officer will visit him, advise him of the allegations against him (the alleged parole or mandatory supervision violations) and provide him with a copy of the charging document.  
 
The parole officer may try to persuade the releasee to waive his constitutional right to a revocation hearing.  He may tell the releasee that if he waives his right to a preliminary and revocation hearing, the parole officer will make a favorable recommendation to the Board, or that the releasee will not be revoked, or that the releasee will be sent to an ISF (Intermediate Sanction Facility) or a SAFP (Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility).  The parole officer may even tell the releasee that by waiving his rights and signing a waiver, he will get out of jail sooner, or start earning time credit faster.  None of this is true. 

In 2015, Texas Government Code 508.254 changed to provide that "a person who is the subject of a warrant may be held in custody pending a determination of all facts surrounding the alleged offense, violation of a rule or condition of release, or dangerous behavior."  To be eligible for bail on a parole revocation warrant the Parole Division must determine that the releasee has not been previously convicted of an offense under Chapter 29, Penal Code;  an offense under Title 5, Penal Code, punishable as a felony;  or an offense involving family violence, as defined by Section 71.004, Family Code and that the releasee is not on intensive supervision or super-intensive supervision;  is not an absconder; and is not a threat to public safety.   Then a magistrate of the county in which the person is held in custody may release the person on bond pending the hearing if:  (1) the person is arrested or held in custody only on a charge that the person committed an administrative violation of release;  (2) the division, in accordance with Subsection (e), included notice on the warrant for the person's arrest that the person is eligible for release on bond; and (3) the magistrate determines that the person is not a threat to public safety.

If the releasee does not meet the criteria for release on bail pending the disposition of a parole revocation warrant, he will remain in custody (incarcerated) throughout the revocation process.  
 
The parole officer is not on the releasee’s side.  In the revocation process, the parole officer acts as the prosecutor.  Anything said to the parole officer can and will be used against the releasee.  If the parole officer wants to discuss the facts of the case, the releasee should tell him he has been advised by his attorney not to discuss the facts of the case, or waive any of his rights.
 
Regardless of what the parole officer says, the releasee should invoke all of his rights, including his right to a preliminary hearing and a final revocation hearing.  He should tell the parole officer that he wants a preliminary hearing and a revocation hearing.  He should not waive his right to a preliminary hearing or a revocation hearing. 
 
Releasees who waive their right to a preliminary and/or revocation hearing never have an opportunity to defend themselves or present their side of the story to the Board.  As a result, they usually have their parole or mandatory supervision revoked and return to TDCJ having lost all of their street time and good time credits. 
 
For information on the parole revocation process and representation in a revocation proceeding, see the document below and contact Yolanda Torres at yolandamtorres@gmail.com.
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Yolanda M. Torres,
Jan 24, 2017, 9:18 PM
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