Introduction to the Parole Review Process
Supporting your loved-one through the parole review process can be confusing, stressful, and very frustrating. The Board of Pardons and Paroles Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is vast and complex. It has extensive and complicated rules that govern the parole review process, to say nothing of how to present an effective case for parole. The most important asset to have at your disposal when navigating this system is an advocate—a skilled, experienced professional well-versed in presenting a strong case for parole. Stephen P. Karns is that advocate—he is an experienced, aggressive attorney who has a passion for championing the rights of his clients.
Mr. Karns’ Philosophy regarding his role in the Parole Review Process
Mr. Karns’ military background gives him an effective outlook on the parole system. He employs a practical approach in presenting a Client’s case to the Parole Board—an approach the Parole Commissioners themselves have informed Mr. Karns they appreciate. His mission is to present a direct, clear, and effective argument which persuades the Board to parole the Client. As an effective advocate, Mr. Karns knows that the goal of his presentation is simple—give the Parole Board relevant, compelling reasons to vote "yes!" The chief elements in a successful presentation will consist of the following:
- A concise, relevant, organized, and eye-pleasing presentation of the client’s positive and redeeming qualifications for parole;
- Honestly addressing the client’s mistakes and neutralizing any lingering negative consequences by presenting mitigating circumstances and rehabilitative efforts;
- Demonstrating how the client takes responsibility for his actions and has the "right" attitude and perspective in order to succeed while on parole;
- Evidencing a comprehensive support system of family, friends, professional counseling (if available), and spiritual guidance; AND
- Clearly mapping out plans for employment, housing, and transportation upon release.
Services provided in the Parole Review Process
Mr. Karns serves clients and their families with regard to nearly all aspects of counseling and legal representation in the parole review process, including:
- Review of the Client’s original case, as it impacts his or her case for parole;
- Review of the Client’s prison record and confirmation of his eligibility;
- Contact and consultation with the Client’s family and friends for the purpose of organizing and presenting a successful support system;
- Organize, develop, and publish a "parole packet" to be presented to the Board; and
- Request an in-person or telephonic interview with the lead-reviewer in the case.
Examples of recent cases where Client’s were approved for parole*
- A recent client was convicted of solicitation of a minor under fourteen. The client was caught by an "internet sting operation." He received a ten-year sentence, with his first eligibility review date approximately one year after the beginning of his sentence. After researching and submitting a comprehensive "parole packet," Mr. Karns flew with the family to Amarillo for an in-person interview with the lead reviewer on the case. The client received an affirmative vote for parole, conditioned upon the pre-release completion of a sex offender education program.
- Another client received a 30-year sentence for aggravated robbery. The client had prior theft and burglary cases. Even though he received job training through Project RIO, he was denied parole on his first review. He hired Mr. Karns to represent him at this next review date and was paroled.
- Another client was incarcerated for manufacturing a controlled substance and sentenced to ten years TDC. Despite a long documented addiction/drug use history and criminal record, Mr. Karns was able to convince the Parole Board to parole him on his first review. The Parole Board indicated that had it not been for Mr. Karns’ presentation, it may not have voted to parole the client.
- Another client was incarcerated for possession of a controlled substance and sentenced to four years TDC. The client was sentenced to TDC because of a "dirty" urinalysis, giving cause for his probation to be revoked. Even though this client had less than optimal family support, and no waiting job offer (he was self-employed prior to incarceration), after Mr. Karns’ presentation he was granted parole.
- A recent client was sentenced to three years TDC for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver. This client had a record including being revoked from probation on a prior drug offense. He was also a fugitive for an extended period of time. He had other factors in his case which had to be overcome in order to convince the parole board that he was worthy of another chance, including a spouse with a pending drug felony charge. Mr. Karns put together a plan for an early release that the parole board voted to approve—the Client was paroled on his first review.
- Another client was incarcerated for possession of a controlled substance and sentenced to three years TDC. The client had past offenses including burglary and a DWI. His family hired Mr. Karns to represent him for his first review and the Client was paroled.
* Past results achieved are not a guarantee of future results. Each case is unique and reference must be made to the specific legal and factual circumstances presented.