Students will assist incarcerated individuals with preparation of a parole packet for submission to the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole. A typical parole packet includes a client narrative, photographs, letters of support, certificates, medical records, and other relevant documents. Students will conduct at least one interview with their client at their carceral facility to learn about their offense history, background, and plans upon reentry. Additionally, parole packet preparation typically includes additional interviews with family members, affidavit drafting, research, and writing. Some student volunteers may have an opportunity to represent the client in a parole hearing in front of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. Students will work in teams and must be able to commit to working on the packet throughout the academic year. Training sessions will be held in September and periodically throughout the year to address specific tasks (e.g., requesting documents) and skills (e.g., creating a reentry plan or drafting letters of support).
Parole Project, Mithoff Pro Bono Program
The Parole Project is an internal project of the Richard and Ginni Mithoff Pro Bono Program. Its mission is to prepare parole packets on behalf of incarcerated women in order to provide the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole with information that enables the Board to gain a more holistic, human picture of incarcerated individuals it reviews for parole.
- Project Start Date
- Approximate hours of work requested
- 30-40 hours over the course of the academic year, including training sessions; most packets will be submitted in March or April 2024 with a parole hearing in May or June, but final timing depends on agency timelines and hearings can run into July. Note that any formal obligation to the project terminates with the end of the academic year, but many team members opt to continue to work with their clients through the final hearing, regardless of timing
- One-hour recorded training on Parole Overview AND in-person training on Thursday, September 14, 5:30pm-7pm (TNH 2.139) (Client Interviewing)
- Skills used
- Interviewing; document requests; document review; legal research and writing; team collaboration; potential oral advocacy
- Project location
- Preparation of the parole packet typically involves travel to meet with the client at least one time in-person; drafting the packet can be done at the law school or remotely; training will be held at the law school
- 727 E. Dean Keeton Street, Austin, TX 78705
- Number of student volunteers requested
- Class year preference
- 1L, 2L, 3L
- Required skills
- No prior skills are required. Experience with providing direct client services and interviewing as well as working in the criminal legal system or in social work, will be considered when selecting volunteers; however, it is equally if not more important for volunteers to display a strong interest in this project and learning how to advocate for people who are incarcerated.
- To Apply
- Complete the 2023-2024 Parole Volunteer Application by noon on Wednesday, September 13