Successful Components of Clemency Applications and Board Portfolios
Contents of a Successful Application/Portfolio
If you are considering preparing an application for clemency, parole board portfolio, or application for resentencing, it should contain at least the following:
1. Statements of Insight. At the very minimum, you must have comprehensive Statements of Insight: Responsibility, Impact & Magnitude, Remorse, and Causative Factors (as described in this book).
2. Apology Letters. There should be a section containing the apology letters to all victims of your crime and/or criminality (as described in this book).
3. Support Letters. You should have as many support letters as possible. This includes letters from friends and family in the free world as well as fellow prisoners who have observed your rehabilitation and recovery. You should obtain as many letters offering employment as possible.
4. Education. There should be a section containing all of your educational and vocational upgrades and achievements.
5. Self-Help. There should be a section containing all of your self-help group participation and facilitation, including all laudatory documentation regarding your character and rehabilitation efforts.
6. Parole Plans. You should have realistic Parole Plans that detail your plans for successful reintegration into society. This includes but is not limited to short & long term plans such as maintaining contact with your parole agent, reporting to your transitional housing location, applying for your driver’s license and social security card, applying for general assistance, reporting to your employer, establishing contact with community self-help organizations and meetings, establishing a bank account and/or credit cards, create a budget, etc. It is important to give this proper consideration. The contents will demonstrate whether you have thoughtfully planned for success or failure.
7. Relapse Prevention Plans. Additionally, you must have a Relapse Prevention Plan for the vices that brought you to prison (i.e., crime, gangs, drugs, alcohol, unhealthy relationships, etc.). You may be well into your recovery and rehabilitation and do not struggle with those contributing factors that landed you prison. However, a reviewer determining your suitability for parole will view these as problem areas. This was one of the best pieces of advice I received. As a long recovered drug and alcohol addict, I did not consider them to be a potential problem for me upon release. In the same way that your causative factors (internal) must be addressed to demonstrate rehabilitation, the contributing factors (external) must be addressed in the Relapse Prevention Plan to prevent relapse into those aspects of your previous criminality. Only then will the parole board be satisfied that your release will not pose an unreasonable risk to public safety.
Follow the steps outlined herein and success will be on the horizon. God bless you!
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